St. Luke’s Hires 20,000th Employee

en flag
es flag

Photo caption: Caitlin Kolba at her first day of work for St. Luke’s this week.

When Caitlin Kolba reported for her first day of work at St. Luke’s University Health Network this week, she became the Network’s 20,000th employee – the personification of St. Luke’s remarkable transformation into the Lehigh Valley’s largest and most recognized health system.

“I wanted to apply to St. Luke’s after talking to other people who worked there,” said Kolba, 32, of Bethlehem Township, who is now employed as a clinical social worker in the extended acute care unit at St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus in Allentown. “Job satisfaction is very high. There are so many opportunities for growth.”

After living in Virginia for nearly two decades, Kolba returned to the Lehigh Valley, where she grew up until age 11. While working at an independent practice in Allentown over the past couple of years, she came across many St. Luke’s employees, all of whom spoke so highly of the Network that she became convinced that St. Luke’s must be a very special place indeed.

She said she felt like she hit the jackpot when she received her job offer. “I immediately called my best friend to tell her because I was so excited!”

St. Luke’s is – and will remain – locally owned and managed for the benefit of our community. Founded in Bethlehem in 1872, St. Luke’s is a fully integrated, regional, not-for-profit health system providing services at 15 campuses and more than 300 outpatient sites. The Network continues to be headquartered in the Lehigh Valley and overseen by a board of trustees comprised of Lehigh Valley residents. With annual net revenue of $3.5 billion, it is an important economic engine providing family-sustaining jobs across a service area that includes 11 counties in two states.

“St. Luke’s remarkable growth over the years is the result of the trust earned from the communities we have served over the course of our 150-year history,” said Rick Anderson, President & CEO of St. Luke’s. “This growth has provided the opportunity to attract employees drawn not only to our culture but also to our competitive salaries and benefits. St. Luke’s is a caring organization that continually demonstrates St. Luke’s employees are our Network’s most important asset.”

St. Luke’s has received numerous awards as the region’s best health care employer. In 2023, the Network was named a Top Workplace nationally, in Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. St. Luke’s is the ONLY healthcare institution in Pennsylvania and the third-highest ranked health care entity in the nation to be deemed a Top Workplace in 2023. The Network was also recently named one of America’s Best Employers for Women by Forbes Magazine. St. Luke’s is the only employer in the Lehigh Valley to be named to the list and is one of only two health care employers in Pennsylvania to receive the designation. In addition, the Network was recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as the top-ranked employer in the Lehigh Valley and one of the best employers in Pennsylvania.

St. Luke’s is now the Lehigh Valley’s largest employer and most recognized health system, transformed by many factors, including new hospital construction and new outpatient sites. Consider these prior employment milestones:

  • The number of employees surpassed 5,000 in 2002 – Bethlehem Steel’s last full year in existence and the year St. Luke’s became the first hospital in Pennsylvania to offer robotic surgery.
  • The 10,000th employee was hired in 2016 when our Monroe Campus opened as the first new hospital in Monroe County in more than a century.
  • Our workforce grew to 15,000 employees by 2019, shortly after Blue Mountain Health System and Sacred Heart HealthCare System joined St. Luke’s.

As St. Luke’s celebrates employment of its 20,000th employee, the Network’s Human Resources Department continues to process numerous job applications for hundreds of opens positions, including many for nurses.

“Demand for St. Luke’s award-winning health care is the catalyst for the Network’s continued growth, providing the opportunity to welcome even more employees, attracted by competitive salaries and benefits, into the St. Luke’s family,” explained Evan Ochs, St. Luke’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “We also enjoy a culture of respect and caring, making St. Luke’s the most recognizable health care employer in the area.”

As the Lehigh Valley’s top employer, St. Luke’s has many openings for direct care roles including nurses, radiology technicians, respiratory therapists and patient care assistants. Non-clinical roles include administrative roles, leadership positions, information technology analysts, inventory control specialists, distribution center associates and sterile processing technicians – all also imperative to our mission of providing award-winning healthcare.

A searchable database of all job openings is available at

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 20,000 employees providing services at 15 campuses and 300+ outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue of $3.5 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties in two states: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey. St. Luke’s hospitals operate the largest network of trauma centers in Pennsylvania, with the Bethlehem Campus being home to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital.

Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, the Network established the Lehigh Valley’s first and only four-year medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 45 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with more than 400 residents and fellows. In 2022, St. Luke’s, a member of the Children’s Hospital Association, opened the Lehigh Valley’s first and only free-standing facility dedicated entirely to kids.

SLUHN is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system to earn Medicare’s five-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  It is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  The Network’s flagship University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from Fortune/Merative 11 times total and eight years in a row, including in 2023 when it was identified as THE #4 TEACHING HOSPITAL IN THE COUNTRY.  In 2021, St. Luke’s was identified as one of the 15 Top Health Systems nationally.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  The Network is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.


Information provided to TVL by:
Sam Kennedy