Lehigh Valley Health Network and Universal Health Services Announce Plans to Build New Behavioral Health Hospital

New facility to be located in Hanover Township, Pa., and will address growing demand for services.

Allentown and King of Prussia, Pa. (Feb. 13, 2023) — Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and Universal Health Services (NYSE: UHS) today announce plans to construct a new 144-bed behavioral health hospital. The proposed new joint-venture facility will be located on Macada Road in Hanover Township, Pa., across from the Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)-Muhlenberg campus.

The partnership combines two leaders in health care: UHS, one of the nation’s leading providers of behavioral health care, and LVHN, long respected for its behavioral health program in our region, to address the growing demand for high-quality behavioral health care services for seniors, adults and adolescents.

Groundbreaking for the new 97,000-square-foot facility will be held in spring 2024 with expected opening in fall 2025.

"The scarcity of mental health resources is a major national issue that is hitting us hard, right here in the Lehigh Valley,” said Brian A. Nester, DO, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer, LVHN. “The need for a variety of behavioral health programs and services is far outpacing regional capacity, and those needs are only growing. As the region’s leading health care provider, LVHN has for decades implemented initiatives and worked with others to address this ongoing need, which includes the largest inpatient behavioral health service in the region on the current LVH-Muhlenberg campus. This new facility across the street will nearly triple the number of inpatient beds available to the Lehigh Valley. With the announcement of this new partnership, LVHN is taking a positive step forward on our journey to expand access to care for those suffering with mental and behavioral health issues.”

"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, Behavioral Health Division, UHS. "LVHN is an outstanding provider of critically needed services in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding region. Our missions are aligned, and we share a commitment to expand access to compassionate care and treatment for all populations in the region."

“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,” said Edward Norris, MD, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, LVHN. “Our annual Community Health Needs Assessments consistently reveal that access to leading-edge, convenient and compassionate behavioral health care is a top priority. This project addresses that long-standing need.”

Nester said LVHN provides inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services, including extensive tele-psychiatry programs. Demand for services has increased rapidly in recent years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for inpatient psychiatric capacity for all populations in the region.

“We know that with LVHN, we have a partner equally committed to our mission of behavioral health wellness. Together, we will enable more care for more patients, a core goal we continue to deliver upon with growth nationally as well as right here in Pennsylvania,” said Vic Radina, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, UHS.

UHS LVHN facility rendering
The proposed new joint venture behavioral health hospital in Hanover Township, Pa.

UHS is one of the nation's largest and most respected providers of health care in the nation with more than 300 facilities. UHS behavioral health facilities located in Pennsylvania (Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital, Clarion Psychiatric Center, Fairmount Behavioral Health System, Foundations Behavioral Health, Friends Hospital, Horsham Clinic, KeyStone Center, Roxbury Treatment Center, The Meadows Psychiatric Center, and Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, a joint venture with Penn Medicine) provide compassionate mental health care services delivered by staff dedicated to helping patients transform their lives for the better.

LVHN selected UHS as its partner because of its long-standing commitment to patient- and family-centered care, strong clinical outcomes and proven track record of partnering with community-based entities.

The new facility will be operated by the joint venture and will create more than 300 full-time jobs including nurses, clinicians, therapists, technicians and administrative staff.

High-resolution rendering available upon request.

About Lehigh Valley Health Network

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) includes 13 hospital campuses, four in Allentown, two in Bethlehem, one in Easton, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton, two in Pottsville, one in Dickson City, and one in Lehighton, Pa.; 28 health centers; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices; 20 ExpressCARE locations including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE; pharmacy, imaging, home health, rehabilitation and lab services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred.

Specialty care includes: trauma care for adults and children, burn care at the Regional Burn Center; kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer, orthopedics, neurology, complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and robotic surgery in 10 specialties.

For over 50 years, the Department of Psychiatry at LVHN has cared for, comforted and healed persons in our community afflicted with mental illness. Over that time, an explosion of research has improved our delivery of service. We are able to offer children, adolescents, adults and older adults a wide array of proven therapies to soften the burden of their illness and to help them regain their joy in living. Mental health services include emergency, inpatient, partial hospital, outpatient, residential, substance use, consultation liaison and integrated behavioral health psychiatry.

Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute, Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute, Lehigh Valley Institute for Surgical Excellence, Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute and Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute physicians provide the most advanced treatments. Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute is a member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance (MSK Cancer Alliance), an initiative that helps community providers improve the quality of cancer care and offers access to MSK clinical trials. Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, the third largest children's hospital in Pennsylvania, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest is ranked as the region’s No. 1 hospital for nine straight years and has been recognized among Pennsylvania’s top 10 hospitals for nine consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report. Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)-Cedar Crest, LVH-17th Street and LVH-Muhlenberg are the region’s only Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org or following us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Universal Health Services

One of the nation’s largest and most respected providers of hospital and health care services, Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS) has built an impressive record of achievement and performance. Growing steadily since our inception into an esteemed Fortune 500 corporation, our annual revenues were approximately $12.6 billion in 2021. In 2023, UHS was again recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune. In 2022, UHS ranked #297 on the Fortune 500; and in 2021 ranked #307 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Public Companies.

Our operating philosophy is as effective today as it was upon the company’s founding in 1979, enabling us to provide compassionate care to our patients and their loved ones. Our strategy includes building or acquiring high-quality hospitals in rapidly growing markets, investing in the people and equipment needed to allow each facility to thrive, and becoming the leading health care provider in each community we serve.

Headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., UHS has approximately 89,000 employees and through its subsidiaries operates 28 acute care hospitals, 335 behavioral health facilities, 40 outpatient facilities and ambulatory care access points, an insurance offering, a physician network and various related services located in 39 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. It acts as the advisor to Universal Health Realty Income Trust, a real estate investment trust (NYSE:UHT).


For more information

Jane Crawford Universal Health Services 610-382-4830 [email protected]

Brian Downs Lehigh Valley Health Network 484-884-0825 [email protected]