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Lansford gets its own medical office

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    Former St. Luke’s patients Stephen Dubosky, right, and Jeff Knadler were chosen to cut the ribbon at the open house for St. Luke’s new medical building in Lansford. St Luke’s Miners Campus President Wendy Lazo holds the ribbon. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

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    Lansford resident Tina Brotzman has already used the physical therapy center located at the new St. Luke’s Medical Center in Lansford. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

Published March 14. 2019 11:13AM

 

As the steel and concrete rose to become the new St. Luke’s medical office building in Lansford, 87-year-old Don Gildea would check out the construction each day with a group of residents.

So when St. Luke’s officially debuted the facility to the public Wednesday night, Gildea wanted to check it out.

“They did a beautiful job,” Gildea said. “It’s nice to see a new building going up instead of knocking them all down.”

Lansford residents took in the new physical therapy and rural health centers while they noshed on desserts from Lansford’s own Serina’s Bakery, and appetizers prepared by the cafeteria staff at St. Luke’s Miners Campus.

They were joined by state representatives, county commissioners, council members and Lansford Mayor James Romankow. The state’s acting deputy secretary of health also attended.

Micah Gursky, director of development for St. Luke’s Miners Campus, said that it’s the network’s goal to provide care where people can access it, and the new building demonstrates that mission.

“It’s working because we put facilities in locations where people can get to, and we have the very best team to help provide that care,” Gursky said.

Developer Joseph Bennett built the facility, and CMG Construction of Easton was the general contractor.

The rural health center, a primary care doctor with some additional specialized services, accommodates well and sick visits, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. St. Luke’s Rural Health Clinic program has earned national awards.

Transportation was a big theme among those who attended. The new facility is within walking distance for many residents. Before the Lansford center opened, they had to seek alternate transportation to get similar services in Tamaqua and Nesquehoning.

Miners Campus board member Maureen Donovan said the convenience of the new center is evident in the number of patients who have already visited.

“This is accessible — that’s the most important thing — well-needed, and important to the community,” she said.

Jim Gregory said that when he moved to Lansford from the Lehigh Valley about a year ago, he was concerned about being able to see a primary care doctor nearby.

“Moving up, one of the concerns was health care. I always had it good in the valley. So as this was opening, I said ‘This is going to be great,’ Gregory said.

The health center will provide additional tax revenue for Lansford Borough and Panther Valley School District, and could have additional benefits to the area’s economy as well, according to Kathy Henderson of the Carbon Chamber and Economic Development.

“You have companies who are going to look here and say ‘If my employees are needing medical care, we don’t have far to go for quality medical care,’” she said.

Lansford borough officials were excited about the biggest new building constructed in town in some time.

Mayor James Romankow said he’s grateful that the network is adding jobs and it’s a sign the borough is moving in the right direction.

“Hopefully it will show other companies that Lansford has a lot to offer to new businesses moving into town,” Romankow said.

Council President Jared Soto said he was pleased with the community support for the open house. He said he is looking forward to seeing St. Luke’s resources possibly being put to use for public health purposes in Lansford.

“I hope Lansford can continue to find opportunities to work with public health stakeholders in an effort to encourage our community to thrive,” he said.

Lansford now has a facility of its own and residents couldn’t have been more excited to see the new building.

Paul and Teresa Rokita were also keen observers of the construction. For them, the facility has beautified the area. Also, the lab services will come in handy.

“I wish this was here years ago,” Teresa said.

 

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