Only Health Network in Lehigh Valley to Win Prestigious Statewide Achievement Award

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Photo caption: St. Luke’s Community Health Initiatives Coordinator Kelsey Gaspar serves a meal during the summer meals program in Allentown.

St. Luke’s University Health Network has received a prestigious Achievement Award from The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).

The award, in the large division of the Community Champions category, honored St. Luke’s for its project titled Utilizing Strategic Partnerships and Sustainable Initiatives to Improve Food Access and Address Health Equity for Underserved Communities.

St. Luke’s Department of Community Health addressed food access in various ways including hosting new food distribution programs such as on-site pantries, mobile food distribution, emergency food bags, boxes and meals. Additionally, the initiative provides referrals to existing food bank programs, food pantries and connections to SNAP, WIC and other food programs.

Additional details on the project are available here:

St. Luke’s was one of 13 health systems and hospitals in Pennsylvania – and the only one in the Lehigh Valley – recognized by HAP through its 2024 Achievement Awards. Started in 1978, the program recognizes health systems and hospitals that are taking innovative approaches to strengthening the safety and quality of care, enhancing operations and patients’ experience and partnering with their communities to address public health needs.

“We are proud to be the only health care network in the Lehigh Valley to earn a HAP Achievement Award,” said St. Luke’s Community Health Vice President Rajika Reed, PhD., MPH, M.Ed. “This recognition reflects St. Luke’s longstanding commitment to go above and beyond to consistently meet the needs of the communities we serve.”

St. Luke’s competed against organizations of a similar size for the Community Champions award, which celebrates hospitals’ and health systems’ efforts to improve community health and access to care, advance health equity, and advocate for the health of our community and patients. In total, there were 93 entries for this year’s Achievement Awards.

“We are proud to announce the winners of HAP’s 2024 Achievement Awards, showcasing innovative, patient-centered projects that are making a difference in Pennsylvania,” HAP President & CEO Nicole Stallings said. “Strong health systems make strong communities and hospitals are central to our shared mission for a healthy Pennsylvania.”


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 $3.4 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/PINC AI 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