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Lehigh Valley Health Network announces merger with Greater Hazleton Health Alliance

Author: , follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published: Apr 24 2013 02:01:11 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2013 02:05:18 PM EDT

HAZLETON, Pa. -

Lehigh Valley Health Network is expanding its reach to the coal region.

LVHN and the Greater Hazleton Health Alliance (GHHA) announced Wednesday plans for a full asset merger.

The organizations began clinical partnerships about four years ago, and LVHN physicians have covered emergency department shifts at Hazeleton. Additionally, various telemedicine initiatives have utilitized LVHN's specialists to enhance the quality of care to residents in the Hazleton region.

“The patient-centered partnerships we have formed over the years speak volumes about the similar cultures of caring and compassion that exist at both the Greater Hazleton Health Alliance and Lehigh Valley Health Network,” said Jim Edwards, president and CEO, GHHA. “Both organizations value their people and realize that’s where the care starts. That’s what has made working together a natural fit and what makes merging the logical choice, especially in today’s ever changing health care environment.”

Ronald Swinfard, LVHN’s president and CEO, agrees that the two organizations have a symmetry that works. “Hazleton General Hospital is a highly-valued, independent, community hospital that takes care of the people in this area. The leadership of the Greater Hazleton Health Alliance is to be commended for their exceptional stewardship. We respect what they’ve done and feel being a merged organization will allow us to continue to learn from one another and make a great situation even better for our communities.”

Greater Hazleton Health Alliance includes Hazleton General Hospital and the Hazleton Health & Wellness Center, with a staff of more than 1,000 employees and more than 100 physicians.

The merger is expected to be ratified by the LVHN Board of Trustees at its May 1 meeting.

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Legal issues to keep Peterson off the field

Running back indicted on felony child abuse charges

Author: By Ed Payne CNN
Published: Sep 17 2014 02:16:41 AM EDT   Updated:  1 HR. AGO
Adrian Peterson

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

(CNN) -

Running back Adrian Peterson will not play for the Minnesota Vikings until his legal issues are resolved, the team said early Wednesday.

It's a reversal of course for the Vikings. The team had earlier said that Peterson, who is facing a child abuse charge, would practice this week and could play in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

In a statement early Wednesday, the team said Peterson has been placed on the NFL's Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list, which will require him to "remain away from all team activities."

"While we were trying to make a balanced decision (Monday), after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," said a statement from owners Zygi and Mark Wilf. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right."

Peterson is considered one of the best running backs in the NFL -- if not the best. His absence was probably felt during the Vikings' 30-7 loss to the Patriots last Sunday.

In 2011, he agreed to a lucrative contract, which NFL.com reported would be worth $100 million over a 7-year period.

Turn for the worse

But his fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since his indictment last week on a felony charge of causing bodily injury to his son.

On Tuesday, he lost one of his most significant endorsement deals when Castrol, a major producer of motor oil, pulled out.

Castrol used Peterson in commercials for its Edge performance oil product and on social media. Many recent social media posts of his likeness had been pulled down, and the commercials were no longer available on YouTube. (His other major sponsor, Nike, said late last week it would stand by its athlete for the time being.)

One of the team's sponsors, the Radisson hotel chain, announced Monday night that it was suspending its "limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."

Also, the website for his All Day Foundation was taken off line after the charities represented on the site were getting "harassing" calls from gossip sites, his philanthropic adviser, Bruce Richmond, said.

"We took the website off line because the charities that Adrian supports were getting calls from the media and were getting harassed by the media," Richmond told CNN. "I spoke to one communication director saying she had received about a dozen calls today from the same gossip site."

Legal process

Following his indictment, Peterson turned himself in to East Texas authorities Saturday and was released on a $15,000 bond.

The next step is a preliminary court hearing on October 8.

According to Texas law, people can be convicted of injury to a child if they cause bodily or mental injury "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence" or cause such harm by omission. The crime is punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a $1,000 fine.

Authorities haven't divulged the details of what led to the charge. But Peterson's lawyer said the "charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son" -- explaining that his client did so while doling out discipline "much like "he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas."

Rusty Hardin said "Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."

Peterson defended himself on Monday, saying he is "not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser."

Other allegations

The developments came as CNN affilaite KHOU reported this week that Peterson allegedly abused another one of his children -- a 4-year-old son.

Sources told KHOU that the mother of the child filed a complaint with Child Protective Services in Texas because she alleged that Peterson beat the child, while visiting his father at his Houston-area home.

According to the report, text messages between Peterson and the boy's mother show that Peterson admitted disciplining the child, but he claims the child hit his head on the car seat in the process.

No charges were ever filed, according to KHOU.

 

On this Day

  • Civil War, Battle of Antietam painting

    Library of Congress

    On this day: September 17

    The U.S. Constitution is signed, the Civil War sees the bloodiest battle in American history, the prototype space shuttle Enterprise is unveiled, and the Camp David Accords bring peace between Egypt and Israel, all on this day.

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