Hospital Officials Unveil Merger Details

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EAST STROUDSBURG -- A new look and a new name -- employees and those in charge of patient health care in Monroe County gathered in East Stroudsburg to talk about the merger of Pocono Health Systems with the Lehigh Valley Health Network.

"Our organizations are coming together to ensure that the people in this community are getting the highest quality of care that they expect and deserve right here in the Poconos," said Brian Nester, Lehigh Valley Health Network President and CEO.

The merger means Pocono Medical Center is now called Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono.

Acting hospital president Elizabeth Wise says the merger will allow the hospital to invest in services such as surgery and cancer treatment.

"It will bring more services to the community. We will be able to keep more patients in the community by hiring additional providers, and we will look at more resources that will help to fund our hospital at PMC West and continue to grow ambulatory services," said Weis.

The merger became official on January 1.

Some of the registered nurses laid off late last month showed up to learn more about the merger, hoping it would mean they would get their jobs back.

"It's good to have people like us here, and it would be good to keep us here because I know when I come in through that door every single day, I make a difference and I want to continue to make a difference."

Nurses Union Executive Director Doug Placa tellsĀ  Newswatch 16, after negotiations with the hospital, only 13 nurses ended up getting laid off as opposed to the original 61.

"It's never a good thing when you take nurses away from the bedside. It has a catastrophic impact not only on the patients that walk into the hospital but on the community as a whole, and that is why we came out here today," said Placa, JNESO Executive Director.

According to officials at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono, the layoffs had nothing to do with the merger.

Those 13 nurses who were laid off can re-apply as openings come up.


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