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Easton couple’s $1M gift to St. Luke’s will fund patient care, medical education

Easton residents Anthony (Tony) and Adrienne DaRe have pledged $1 million to St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) to help fund the construction of the Women & Babies Tower at St. Luke’s Allentown and establish an endowment for scholarships to the Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine.

“We are making this personal investment to ensure that St. Luke’s is able to provide world class healthcare to our community for another 150 years,” the couple said.

This year, St. Luke’s is celebrating its 150th anniversary of serving the health needs of the region, which began with the founding of the St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill.

Half of the gift from the DaRes will support the expansion of community access to high-quality birthing, post-partum and newborn services, including neonatal intensive care at St. Luke’s Allentown. Ground was broken in November to begin construction of the 85,000-square-foot tower that will house these services. Completion of the project is expected in early 2024.

“We are indebted to the DaRes for their generosity, which will help ensure that patients at the St. Luke’s Allentown Campus have access to a brand-new facility, new services and an increased level of care that allows babies to remain in their own community with their families,” said Elizabeth Dierking, MD, Vice Chair, St. Luke’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Director of the St. Luke’s  OB/GYN Residency Program.

Two of the couple’s children were born at St. Luke’s, and their daughter, Adele received critical, compassionate care at St. Luke’s for a significant medical emergency when she was only 3-years old.  “The amazing doctors and nurses at St. Luke’s were there for her in a heartbeat,” DaRes said.

The remaining $500,000 will create scholarships for students at Temple/St. Luke’s Medical School, which remains the region’s first and only medical school. Temple/St. Luke’s graduates 40 new physicians each year, many of whom remain local to take care of patients in the community.

“A generous gift of this magnitude during a critical national physician shortage will expand St. Luke’s ability to prepare our new doctors to take care of us in the not-too-distant future,” said Shaden Eldakar-Hein, Senior Associate Dean of the Medical School.

The medical school awards more than $1.5 million in scholarships annually to help offset the high cost of medical education.

The DaRe family’s connection to St. Luke’s dates back more than a century.

“St. Luke’s has cared for loved ones over the last four generations,” the couple said.

“My family settled in the City of Allentown over 100 years ago,” Tony said. “Having the ability to support the critical care that St. Luke’s is committed to providing residents via the Allentown and Sacred Heart campuses fills us with pride.” He is a member of the board of trustees for St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Campus.

Tony also serves as Chief Executive Officer at BSI Corporate Benefits, a nationwide employee health benefits organization based in Bethlehem.  BSI has sent over 100 clients through St. Luke’s ExecuHealth Program which offers participants a focused, evidence-based picture of their overall health and well-being in one day.

“It is with a tremendous amount of pride and humility that Adrienne and I are making this investment in our community,” Tony said.

“St. Luke’s continues to be the heart of our community, providing personalized care for so many and educating the next generation of world-class doctors. We are honored to support this extraordinary health system as it continues to make the region a better place to live, learn, work and enjoy life,” the couple said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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