EASTON, Pa. – St. Luke’s University Health Network will acquire Easton Hospital on July 1.
This includes affiliated physician practices and two physician residency programs with 36 physician residents, the health network said in a news release.
St. Luke’s and Steward Health Care of Dallas, the owner of Easton Hospital since May 2017, recently signed an asset purchase agreement that will allow for the transfer of ownership to SLUHN effective on July 1, according to the release.
The acquisition, which was approved by the St. Luke’s Board of Trustees, is subject to certain conditions, including review and approval by various regulatory agencies.
“I am thrilled, and our community is very fortunate, to have as fine a healthcare provider as St. Luke’s acquire Easton Hospital and expand its presence in our area,” said Easton Mayor Sal Panto.
“This hospital is critical to the care needs of Easton. It is the premier hospital in the Easton area,” State Representative Bob Freeman said.
Freeman, who represents the 136th district, said he learned from a conversation with St. Luke’s CEO Rick Anderson that St. Luke’s will initially scale back the number of staffed beds from 75-80 to about 20.
A spokesperson for St. Luke’s tells 69 News the number of staffed beds will be based on patient volume. The ER will still run as usual.
“Because of the downsizing, there are probably going to be a number of layoffs. I was told they anticipate having a total staff of about 115 in the facility,” Freeman said.
Freeman said there are about 1,000 potential openings across the St. Luke’s network for Easton Hospital employees that want to stay with the company.
“The sooner we can get it expanded back to what we’re used to, about 75-100 beds, the more we’ll be able to bring back those folks who may face temporary layoffs,” said Freeman.
“Integrating an existing hospital into a health network can be challenging, even during the best of times, let alone during a global pandemic. However, St. Luke’s has always welcomed challenges,” said Richard A. Anderson, president & CEO of St. Luke’s.
“St. Luke’s will replicate at Easton Hospital the success it has achieved at its other campuses, resulting in a ‘win-win-win’ for all. The community wins. Easton Hospital wins. Our Network wins,” Anderson said.