One of the Lehigh Valley's top hospitals is expanding its services once again.
St. Luke's University Health Network will now offer a level of trauma care never before seen by residents in Schuylkill County.
The hospital will be listed as a Level IV trauma center.
It will be the first level four center in the state and workers say that means better care and faster response times during life threatening events.
The announcement is a big deal for St. Luke's University Health Network.
The Miners Campus in Coaldale, Schuylkill County, is now a Level IV trauma center.
"This is a project that we as a team have worked on over the past two years and we're thrilled," said Melanie Turock, trauma program medical director at the Miners campus.
This is the first Level IV designation in the state.
It was voted on and passed by the Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation.
"We've really elevated the level of care we provide here and we'll be keeping more patients and we'll be working more closely with our level one trauma center in Bethlehem," added Bill Moyer, president of the Miners campus.
Level four is the lowest designation for adult trauma centers according to the PTSF but the title means the staff has completed more educational components than non-designated facilities.
"In a relatively rural area like this, this will give the people who live in this area, easier access to trauma centers in Pennsylvania," said William Hoff, chief of trauma for St. Luke's University Health Network.
Doctors at the Miners campus say that is why they pushed for the designation.
It took two years to be certified.
Normally, the process takes three years or more.
"We did this to serve our local community," added Turock. "We love being here. This is a true passion for us and we're thrilled with the certification."
The new designation will be effective on November 1st.
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