December 2006

St. Joseph in Reading Dedicates New Campus


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Gathering to cut the ribbon for the new St. Joseph Medical Center in Bern Township, just outside Reading, Pa., were (from left) George Cush, Bern Township supervisor; John Morahan, president and chief executive officer, St. Joseph Regional Health Network; John Hannon, chair of the board, St. Joseph Regional Health Network; the Most Reverend Edward Cullen, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown; Michael O’Pake, Democratic party leader of the Pennsylvania State Senate; Pat Sharma, MD, chief of the St. Joseph department of surgery; Colleen Blye, senior vice president, finance and treasury for Catholic Health Initiatives; Peter Christ, MD, president of St. Joseph’s medical staff; and Chester Winter, chair of St. Joseph’s Healthy Community Initiative.

More than 800 community, religious, business and political leaders attended a blessing, dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new St. Joseph Medical Center campus in Bern Township, just outside Reading, Pa. The ceremony included a blessing by Edward Cullen, bishop of the diocese of Allentown; a dedication by Sister Francis Ann Harper, chief executive officer of St. Joseph Hospital from 1977 to 1990; and remarks by John Hannon, board chair of St. Joseph Regional Health Network, and John Morahan, president and chief executive officer. The $150 million facility, which took two and a half years to construct, includes 179 private rooms and 212 total rooms. An evidence-based, patient-centered design provides easy access to all services while improving the care, safety and comfort of patients. The hospital has state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment areas for its Heart Institute and Cancer Center, as well as pulmonary medicine, orthopedic services, women’s services and vascular services. In addition, the hospital has smaller nurses’ stations located closer to patient rooms, new and expanded operating suites, an expanded emergency department designed to shorten waiting times and many other features. “Many years of planning, preparation, advocacy and sheer tenacity led to the realization of this great medical center,” said Hannon. “And as we gather today, we celebrate more than the completion of this project: we commemorate the continuation of a healing mission — one driven by Reverence, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence.” The new hospital officially welcomed its first patients on November 5. St. Joseph will donate its former campus on 12th Street in downtown Reading to the Reading School District, which plans to renovate the site to serve as a junior high school that will accommodate more than 3,000 students.