Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
12:20 PM

LVHN Receives One of the Largest Gifts in its History; Changes Name of Children’s Hospital

With donation from J.B. and Kathleen Reilly, health network will enhance Children’s Hospital programs, services and facilities

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) has received one of the largest gifts in its history from local philanthropists and business owners J.B. and Kathleen Reilly. The sizable gift – the amount of which will be kept private per the family’s wishes – will be dedicated to supporting ongoing enhancements to programs, services and facilities of the Children’s Hospital, which now will be named Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital.

LVHN has cared for more kids than any other health system in the area since the 1970s. As part of its commitment to the care of children, LVHN opened the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest in 2012. The Reilly’s gift will bring a host of more than 30 pediatric specialties – from childhood cancer to cystic fibrosis – all under one roof.

“With the consolidation into a true children’s hospital, we will grow services and touch even more lives,” Physician-in-Chief of Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Nathan Hagstrom, MD, said during a naming celebration on Thursday. “Just as these kids are growing fast, so are we,” he added.

The Reilly’s gift will fund updates to the hospital’s Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) – the highest level NICU in the area – as well as the construction of a new pediatric inpatient unit, complete with 30 private rooms and child-friendly touches, such as doors labeled by colors and animals and spaces for families to play with little ones. The region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) will be expanded to 12 beds with additional spaces for families, and more Child Life Specialists will be hired to help kids cope emotionally while they’re in the hospital.

A new designated entrance for Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital also will be built, and the Children’s ER – the only one of its kind in the region – will grow by 14 beds and open in 2021.

This is not the first time the Reillys have given to LVHN.

In 2016, the family also gave to what became the Reilly Children’s Surgery Center, which focuses on minimally invasive and state-of-the-art technologies for the hospital’s smallest patients. The surgery program now will be expanded to include care for congenital defects, hearing impairments and gastrointestinal disease.

The Reillys know first-hand what it is to have a child face a life-threatening health issue. Years ago, on two separate occasions, both of their daughters’ lives were saved by doctors at LVHN before being transferred outside the region for specialized care.

“We learned a lot,” Kathleen Reilly said in an interview in her home. “How important it is to be close not just to health care, but to pediatric health care.”

The Reillys hope their gift will help care for the children of the Lehigh Valley and beyond for many years to come.

“If children don’t have good health, it’s very hard for them to succeed and thrive in other ways,” she continued. “I would like the children’s hospital to be considered a jewel in the crown of the Lehigh Valley. The Lehigh Valley deserves it, and I hope the community will rally to support it.”

President and Chief Executive Officer of LVHN Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP, believes they will.

“The Reillys have provided a transformational gift that will dramatically impact pediatric care across our region,” Nester said. “Rare and generous gifts like these have the opportunity to improve the lives of children and families for decades to come.”

About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; 26 health centers caring for communities in seven counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices and 18 ExpressCARE locations throughout the region including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE at the Health Center at Palmer Township; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, orthopedics, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute and the Lehigh Valley Institute for Special Surgery give clinicians of the highest caliber the necessary infrastructure, programs and partnerships to help community members stay healthy and provide the most advanced treatment when needed. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a formal member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, a transformative initiative to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with cancer in community health care settings, including access to key MSK clinical trials. Robotic surgery is offered in ten specialties across the health network with more than 10,000 procedures performed since 2007. Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital and Level 4 NICU in the region, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest has been recognized among the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report for for five consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are national Magnet hospitals for excellence in nursing. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook and Twitter.