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Groundbreaking for New Hospital in Carbon County

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. — It was a packed house in a tent off Fairyland Road. Not far from the Pennsylvania turnpike near Lehighton, people were excited fo...

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- It was a packed house in a tent off Fairyland Road. Not far from the Pennsylvania turnpike near Lehighton, people were excited for St. Luke's to start construction on a new hospital.

"They've all just been, when is it coming? When is it coming? We've been showing pictures and renderings and there's only so much you can do there.  This makes it tangible.  It's happening.  We're putting literally shovels in the ground today to break dirt and to make this happen.  Make it a reality," St. Luke’s chief operating officer Joe Pinto said.

The 80-bed building will host many services including behavioral health, rehab, and outpatient care.

"St. Luke's has over two dozen care sites throughout the county.  Virtually every town in this county has a St. Luke's presence.  While this is the hub, there's just a full network of services throughout the county to provide world-class healthcare to the people in the county," St. Luke’s carbon campus president John Nespoli said.

St. Luke's plans to use American made steel to build the hospital that's expected to create about 200 jobs.

"The amount of resources that St. Luke's puts into planning and thinking about the details of the rooms and physicians that are needed and the type of machinery that's needed for testing.  It's a piece of cake for them.  I would have no idea how to do it myself, but they really know how to do it," St. Luke’s vice president of medical affairs Bill Markson said.