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New behavioral health hospital planned for the Lehigh Valley

LVHN Behavioral Health hospital.jpg
LVHN Behavioral Health hospital.

HANOVER TWP., Pa. — The Lehigh Valley will soon have a hospital dedicated solely to behavioral health.

Lehigh Valley Health Network, along with Universal Health Services plans to build the facility on Macada Road in Hanover Township, Northampton County, the organizations announced Monday.

  • Lehigh Valley Health Network and Universal Health Services plan to build a behavioral health hospital
  • The facility will break ground on Macada Road in Hanover Township
  • Expected to open in fall 2025

The proposed hospital will have 144 beds and be across from the Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg campus.
The joint venture is expected to open more than 300 new jobs in the Lehigh Valley.

LVHN and Universal Health Service plan to break ground on the project in the spring of 2024 and expect the facility to open in the fall of 2025.

“The need for a variety of behavioral health programs and services is far outpacing regional capacity, and those needs are only growing,” LVHN Chief Executive Officer Dr. Brian Nester said in an announcement Monday.

“The need for a variety of behavioral health programs and services is far outpacing regional capacity, and those needs are only growing.”
Dr. Brian Nester, President & CEO, Lehigh Valley Health Network

Nester said LVHN will continue to provide inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services, including extensive telepsychiatry programs.

“We are excited to partner with LVHN on the construction of this new facility that will incorporate the latest innovative evidence-based care elements for maximum patient safety and clinical outcomes,” said Matt Peterson, president of the behavioral health division at UHS.

The 97,000-square-foot facility will help LVHN continue to address what it says is a growing demand for high-quality behavioral health care services for seniors, adults and adolescents.

"The scarcity of mental health resources is a major national issue that is hitting us hard, right here in the Lehigh Valley,” Nester said.

The Lehigh Valley, as well as the rest of the country, is experiencing a higher demand for mental health services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Whole-person health is incomplete without comprehensive mental health services, and it has never been more apparent that this is a service our community wants, needs and relies on," Dr. Edward Norris, chairman of LVHN's Department of Psychiatry, said.

LVHN said it selected United Health Services to partner with because of its longstanding commitment to patient- and family-centered care, strong clinical outcomes and proven track record of partnering with community-based entities.

The hospital and health care services provider is among the largest in the country.