Bethlehem Press

Saturday, December 14, 2019


Tuesday, August 13, 2019 by The Press in News Briefs

St. Luke’s Health Network

Next Step target new moms

St. Luke’s Next Step program, currently in its fourth session, targets new mothers and pregnant women ages 17 to 24 who live in Lehigh and Northampton counties, have a high school diploma or GED and are economically disadvantaged. The goal is to break the cycle of poverty with two six-month Next Step sessions per year for a total of up to 20 women training for entry-level health care careers.

Participants use assessment tools to determine their job interests. Mentored by St. Luke’s staff, they receive 20 hours of work experience a week for jobs that include billing and unit clerks, outpatient registration, patient care assistant, receptionist and medical assistant; plus three hours a week of life skills and professional development in areas that include family planning, leadership and finances.

A $150,000 grant covers the cost of the Saturday professional development classes The network picks up administrative expenses. Twenty-four out of the initial 30 women who started in the first three sessions completed the program.

Lehigh Valley Health Network

System joins oncology network

Lehigh Valley Health Network is among five national health systems and the only one in the Lehigh Valley region joining the Strata Precision Oncology Network.

Strata Oncology includes routine tumor molecular profiling, rapid interpretation of test results and access to precision therapy trials. The program started July 12 at the Muhlenberg and Cedar Crest facilities, and is available to eligible Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute patients.

The test has an expanded gene panel, from 90 to 500 cancer genes, and includes analytical validation of 36 emerging gene expression biomarkers.

Commercial gene sequencing tests can cost patients as much as $5,000 in copays. LVHN will be able to offer Strata testing at no cost. For more information, visit