ChristianaCare, Lehigh Health Valley Network investing in Pennsylvania micro-hospitals

Two major health systems, Newark, Del.-based ChristianaCare and Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Health Valley Network, are making moves in the world of Pennsylvania micro-hospitals to expand their footprint in the market.

Also known as neighborhood hospitals, micro-hospitals are small-scale, inpatient facilities featuring eight to 10 patient beds for observation and admitted short stays, according to a Nov. 17 University of Southern California article on micro-hospitals.

ChristianaCare will be opening a neighborhood hospital at its West Grove, Pa., campus, previously known as Jennersville Hospital, in late 2024 or early 2025, according to a ChristianaCare news release.

The 20,000-square foot, 24/7 hospital will comprise 10 emergency department beds and 10 inpatient beds, including emergency care, behavioral health emergency care and diagnostic capabilities like ultrasound, laboratory services, X-ray and computed tomography. 

ChristianaCare purchased its West Grove campus from Tower Health for $8 million in June 2022, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Feb. 12. Jennersville Hospital has been closed since Dec. 31, 2021, according to the release. 

LHVN also has neighborhood hospital plans in the works and completed the first part of its medical campus, the Health Center at Macungie (Pa.), in December. 

The three-story health center comprises HNL Lab Medicine, Lehigh Valley physician group family medicine practices, orthopedics and cardiology, Children's ExpressCARE, outpatient adult rehabilitation, and vascular diagnostic testing. 

Lehigh Valley Hospital-Macungie, located on the same campus as the health center, is expected to be completed by this spring, according to an LVHN news release shared with Becker's

Open 24/7, LVH-Macungie will feature an inpatient medical unit, ambulatory diagnostic services, a full-service emergency room, lab, and imaging. 

"The new LVH-Macungie neighborhood hospital campus, including the health center and neighborhood hospital, will give those living and working in the Macungie area more convenient, accessible, leading-edge health care," John Pierro, executive vice president and COO of LVHN, said in the release.

Along with the Macungie health center and hospital, LVHN is also planning to open a new Lehigh Valley Hospital and health center in Gilbertsville, Pa., to meet the growing demand for accessible and convenient ER and inpatient care.

LVH-Gilbertsville, which will sit around 22,000 square feet, will be open 24/7 and include a full-service ER with limited inpatient beds. It will also feature lab and imaging, and is expected to open this fall.

At around 57,000 square feet, LVHN's Gilbertsville health center will house Lehigh Valley physician group primary care and pediatrics, orthopedics, obstetrics and gynecology, rheumatology, cardiology, psychiatry, breast health services, cardiac and nuclear testing, adult and pediatric rehabilitation, and cardiac rehabilitation, according to another LVHN news release shared with Becker's

"LVH-Gilbertsville and the Health Center at Gilbertsville will give residents more convenient access to emergency and hospital-level care, along with robust ambulatory services located closer to where they live, work and play," Brian Nester, DO, president and CEO of LVHN, said in the release.

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