Celebrate a Healthier Tomorrow

Celebrate a  Healthier Tomorrow

Two festive local events, two ways to support our local healthcare system

More convenient access to state-of-the-art medical care for the Bucks and Lehigh County regions draws closer each day, as construction continues on a new $100-million St. Luke’s University Health Network facility in Quakertown.

The 30-acre campus, scheduled to open in late 2019, will provide a welcome complement to the network’s existing Quakertown hospital on Park Avenue.

“Our new hospital will be much more visible to the public,” says Dennis Pfleiger, president of St. Luke’s Quakertown campus. “It will be a full-service facility, dedicated to acute-care patients.” It will offer 40 beds (with the capacity to expand to 80), and all rooms will be private.

The new campus will enhance St. Luke’s importance to the local community as well. “It will allow us to bring in new specialists and new inpatient and outpatient services to our area in the future,” he says. 

Enjoy a Gourmet Meal for a Good Cause

To raise awareness of its ongoing capital campaign for the new hospital, St. Luke’s Quakertown will host their “Dining Under the Stars” event on Saturday, September 29, a special evening of al fresco cuisine, featuring the collective talents of chefs from Savory Grille, Spinnerstown Hotel, Leaf Restaurant Cigar Bar and Lounge, and Dolce Patisserie. 

The evening’s menu will be a true collaboration. The quartet of chefs plan to pool their knowledge and skills to create a one-of-a-kind meal, rather than presenting independent creations. “Dining outdoors and discussing the future of healthcare in our community will be a wonderful way to get people involved with our organization,” says Pfleiger.

Shawn Doyle, co-owner and chef of Macungie’s Savory Grille, says he’s looking forward to the event. “It’s for a good cause, and I feel close to St. Luke’s – I was born there.” What will be on the plates? At press time, Shawn couldn’t say, for a very practical reason. “We plan to go farm-to-table as much as we can,” he explains, “so we’ll be using locally produced products whenever possible.” He adds that the final menu will depend in part on exactly what’s available as the date draws closer. But he did reveal that the food would be “a bit upscale, but served family style.”

De-Stigmatize Mental & Behavioral Health Issues

While the new hospital is getting plenty of attention, Pfleiger is quick to point out that the existing facility on Park Avenue will continue to serve the community. It will still house the medical office building, radiology, cardiac/pulmonary rehabilitation services, the infusion center, and wound center. 

In addition, plans include expanding the number of inpatient behavioral health beds. And that couldn’t happen at a better time.    

St. Luke’s takes a holistic approach to treating behavioral disorders.

As of 2016, it was estimated that 45 million adults in the U. S. are afflicted with some type of mental illness (encompassing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders), according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s over 18% of our adult population.

Pfleiger says St. Luke’s Quakertown takes a holistic approach to treating behavioral disorders.  Programs include art therapy, group therapy, pet therapy, and even some programs devoted to developing better life skills, such as anger management.

One well-known Quakertown native, who knows the first-hand benefits of addressing behavioral issues before they become destructive, is legendary guitarist Craig Thatcher – who will present a special “Evening with the Artist” program on Friday, September 28th. 

“We’ve presented this event for the past four years to help remove the stigma that surrounds mental and behavioral health issues,” says Pfleiger, adding that proceeds from the show will benefit the behavioral health program at St. Luke’s Quakertown. 

Thatcher battled panic disorder for over two years, with severe attacks occurring two or three times a day, every day. “Self-medicating didn’t work at all,” he says. “I finally got professional treatment – therapy and some medications – and learned meditative techniques, including the ‘relaxation response,’” a technique that involves gradually relaxing every muscle in the body, breathing slowly and deeply, and trying not to dwell on negative thoughts. 

Fans can expect to hear a mix of his original tunes and some new material, along with covers of other favorite songs. “We’re known for doing covers our way. We capture the sound and style, but make them our own,” he says. Thatcher adds that he’ll be playing acoustic instruments that night. And while the rest of the band will be plugged in, they won’t overwhelm his sound. The program will also include a Q&A session with Thatcher about his struggles with panic disorder.

For more information about these events or to order tickets visit slhn.org/healthiertomorrow or call the Development Office at 484.526.3067.



Follow @LehighValleyMarketplace on Instagram