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St. Luke’s Partners with Saquon Barkley on Star Running Back’s 1st Hometown Charitable Endeavor

St. Luke’s University Health Network and the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation are proud to announce today an historic partnership between the two organizations – Saquon Barkley’s first hometown charitable endeavor.

The St. Luke’s Sports Rink/Saquon Barkley Center of Excellence on 7th Street in Whitehall will bring about opportunities for underserved youth in the local community, focusing on physical activity, academics and life choices.

“It is an honor to partner my foundation with such a great staff dedicated to providing the best service possible to a community that will always feel like home to me,” Saquon Barkley said. “It was very important when making this decision to choose a team truly dedicated to their community, and with St. Luke’s, that dedication is clear.”

Added Tonya Johnson-Barkley, Saquon Barkley’s mother, “This is really exciting. It is something positive and will provide good momentum moving forward. Everyone who is part of the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Foundation, and especially Saquon, is excited about this. I think partnering with an industry leader like St. Luke’s is a win-win situation for both parties.”

Barkley, the former Whitehall High School and Penn State University running back, was drafted No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft by the New York Giants and is entering his fifth NFL season. Whitehall retired his jersey number last fall.

This new partnership is designed to address the whole student, from athletics to academics, personal care and life choices utilizing the combined resources and name recognition of the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation and St. Luke’s.

“This is the first opportunity for Saquon to have a building named after him. Now he has the opportunity to fulfill the philanthropy he has been so looking forward to doing in the community by starting in his hometown of Whitehall, and that makes it extra special,” said George Makhoul, foundation board member and one of his former coaches at Whitehall.

“The importance of the naming is not just about athletic excellence,” said John Hauth, St. Luke’s Senior Network Administrator for Sports Medicine Relationships. “Saquon is a superior athlete, but one of the goals that clearly came through while talking with Saquon, his mother Tonya and other members of the foundation is that they want this to be about the whole person.”

In addition to providing St. Luke’s exceptional sports performance and fitness services, the goal is to provide services that include nutritional education as well as homework and after-school tutoring opportunities to address the whole child, so children become better athletes, better students and better human beings engaged with their community in a positive way.

While the initial relationship will include the naming of the Whitehall facility, the goal is to spread some of the key initiatives to other St. Luke’s facilities that can reach into underserved communities including, but not limited to, the underserved areas of Allentown.

St. Luke’s University Health Network and the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation are proud to announce today an historic partnership between the two organizations – Saquon Barkley’s first hometown charitable endeavor.

The St. Luke’s Sports Rink/Saquon Barkley Center of Excellence on 7th Street in Whitehall will bring about opportunities for underserved youth in the local community, focusing on physical activity, academics and life choices.

“It is an honor to partner my foundation with such a great staff dedicated to providing the best service possible to a community that will always feel like home to me,” Saquon Barkley said. “It was very important when making this decision to choose a team truly dedicated to their community, and with St. Luke’s, that dedication is clear.”

Added Tonya Johnson-Barkley, Saquon Barkley’s mother, “This is really exciting. It is something positive and will provide good momentum moving forward. Everyone who is part of the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Foundation, and especially Saquon, is excited about this. I think partnering with an industry leader like St. Luke’s is a win-win situation for both parties.”

Barkley, the former Whitehall High School and Penn State University running back, was drafted No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft by the New York Giants and is entering his fifth NFL season. Whitehall retired his jersey number last fall.

This new partnership is designed to address the whole student, from athletics to academics, personal care and life choices utilizing the combined resources and name recognition of the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation and St. Luke’s.

“This is the first opportunity for Saquon to have a building named after him. Now he has the opportunity to fulfill the philanthropy he has been so looking forward to doing in the community by starting in his hometown of Whitehall, and that makes it extra special,” said George Makhoul, foundation board member and one of his former coaches at Whitehall. 

“The importance of the naming is not just about athletic excellence,” said John Hauth, St. Luke’s Senior Network Administrator for Sports Medicine Relationships. “Saquon is a superior athlete, but one of the goals that clearly came through while talking with Saquon, his mother Tonya and other members of the foundation is that they want this to be about the whole person.”

In addition to providing St. Luke’s exceptional sports performance and fitness services, the goal is to provide services that include nutritional education as well as homework and after-school tutoring opportunities to address the whole child, so children become better athletes, better students and better human beings engaged with their community in a positive way.

While the initial relationship will include the naming of the Whitehall facility, the goal is to spread some of the key initiatives to other St. Luke’s facilities that can reach into underserved communities including, but not limited to, the underserved areas of Allentown.

About the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation

The Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded to support the goals of our youth to excel in academia and athletics through the United States. We will provide scholarships, educational assistance and athletics guidance. The primary aim of the Michael Ann & Saquon Barkley Hope Foundation is to supply assistance to children, adolescents and young adults that have a strong desire for forward-movement. Our goal is to draw forth the combined efforts of community leaders. educators and the families of our youth to help ambitious young individuals succeed in both academics and sporting arenas.

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 17,000 employees providing services at 14 campuses and 300+ outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue of $2.7 billion, the Network’s service area includes 11 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe, Schuylkill and Luzerne counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s established the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 38 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 347 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system to earn Medicare’s five-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Luke’s #1 in the Lehigh Valley and #6 in the state.  Three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals are St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s flagship University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health nine times total and seven years in a row, including in 2021 when it was identified as THE #1 TEACHING HOSPITAL IN THE COUNTRY.  In 2021, IBM Watson Health also named St. Luke’s among the 15 Top Health Systemsnationally.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.

 

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