Evangelical Community Hospital Recognized for Innovative COVID-19 Response

April 11, 2022


Evangelical Community Hospital Recognized for Innovative COVID-19 Response

Evangelical Community Hospital led one of the 10 highest-scoring projects in a statewide awards program spotlighting how Pennsylvania hospitals have served their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) COVID Response Innovation Awards showcase the innovative teams, solutions, and projects that have helped shape the healthcare community’s response to, understanding of, and resilience to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Evangelical was recognized for its early institution of rapid COVID-19 testing for the community through an alternative testing site. The quick establishment of the site answered the testing needs of the community, in a convenient and safe drive-through method, while making it possible to separate those needing testing from those seeking treatment for COVID-19 and other illness in the Emergency Department.

The COVID-19 testing site at Evangelical, which began behind Plaza 15 in the early days of the pandemic response to a dedicated site at St. Mary Street in Lewisburg, was the longest-running public testing site in the region. It afforded individuals a convenient drive-through option, safe from the elements, in a no-appointment needed environment. From inception on March 19, 2020 until closing on February 19, 2022 due to lower volumes and great availability of home testing kits, Evangelical’s COVID-19 testing site collected 25,614 samples.

“The COVID-19 testing site was quickly assembled and in place nearly as soon as the pandemic was declared,” said Angela Lahr, MHA, MT (ASCP), CLSSBB, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Evangelical Community Hospital.

Lahr continued, “We knew this was a need and we worked collaboratively to make it happen. As a result, we set the bar for COVID-19 testing in the area and were visited by the Pennsylvania Department of the Health for them to gather information on how to successfully run a convenient location for testing needs. We couldn’t be prouder of our teams on the organization of the site, and our staff from across the organization who worked there.”

HAP received nearly 80 entries for the award. The blinded applications were evaluated by a group of independent judges from Pennsylvania and across the nation.

“Pennsylvania hospitals have not only protected the health of their communities during this pandemic but have also been leaders in finding innovative solutions to the unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19,” HAP President and CEO Andy Carter said. “These awards recognize the exceptional healthcare teams that developed creative strategies to meet their communities’ needs and address issues such as vaccine access, racial disparities in vaccination, and medical supply chain disruptions.”

The winning projects will be recognized during HAP’s annual Leadership Summit, May 9-10, 2022, at the Harrisburg Hilton.

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