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Poconos Coal

Lehigh Valley Health Network announces merger with Greater Hazleton Health Alliance

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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