In celebration of its 20th anniversary as an esteemed partner of Pocono Raceway, the Lehigh Valley Health Network will further expand its significant commitment to the venue by securing the naming rights for the inclusive children’s infield playground.
The Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Inclusive Playground, a 5,000-square-foot layout that opened in 2018, was designed for children of all ages to learn, grow and play together. The playground is recognized as a National Demonstration Site, making it one of the top 100 inclusive playgrounds in the country.
The playground has several key inclusive elements including a rocker designed for wheelchair access and seating for the caregiver that provides upper-body strength conditioning for the children, who use a hand peddler to move the platform back and forth. The playground allows for children in wheelchairs to play alongside those who do not require one. In addition to event weekends, the playground is open from mid-April through mid-to-late October and free for local residents and track visitors during normal business hours.
The Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Inclusive Playground is another key investment by LVHN into the children’s programs at Pocono Raceway. LVHN already partners with the track on the Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital Kids Zone, Kids Day, Kids Club, Tricky’s Kit Kamp and serves as the Official Children’s Hospital.
“At Pocono Raceway, we like to have fun,” Pocono Raceway President Ben May said. “From race cars to fighter jets to concerts, we provide opportunities for people to reconnect and recharge. It is a great comfort to us knowing that the professionals at LVHN are always keeping a watchful eye over all of us and prepared to deliver expert care on a moment’s notice. We couldn’t ask for a better healthcare partner, and aligning the Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital with all of our initiatives for kids is a perfect community-forward collaboration.”
Pocono Raceway’s partnership with LVHN was built two decades ago on the foundation of providing motorsports emergency medicine and mass gathering medical care at the venue. LVHN continues to serve as Pocono Raceway’s Official Medical Provider and Official Health Network and staffs all major event weekends, including the May 27-28 Great Pocono Raceway Airshow featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and July 21-23 Pocono 400 NASCAR weekend.
“Over the past 20 years, LVHN has had the privilege to have an incredible collaborative relationship with Pocono Raceway,” said David Burmeister, DO, Chair, Department of Emergency and Hospital Medicine at LVHN. “This partnership has greatly improved the care of those enjoying the events that occur at this venue and the Pocono community. We have partnered together to bring the highest level of onsite medical care to participants and spectators. This partnership with Pocono Raceway has always provided the highest level of pride within the LVHN family.”
During the NASCAR race weekends, LVHN provides medical care for drivers and teams throughout the continuum of care. Beginning with on-track response by emergency medicine physicians and critical care paramedics, the care continues through rapid stabilization and transport by MedEvac to definitive care at the Mattioli Level 1 Trauma Center at LVH-Cedar Crest, the first Level 1 trauma center in the state.
The partnership also includes annual multidisciplinary education with the track’s fire and rescue staff to support high-fidelity, medically-driven rescue training scenarios to continuously improve quality of care.
Pocono Raceway and the LVHN medical team have been recognized multiple times by NASCAR at its national convention and they routinely provide lectures to the sport’s medical community. The partnership with Pocono Raceway also has resulted in two notable NASCAR honors, the Team Work Award in 2011 (Infield Care Center and LVHN) and the Track Services Innovation Award in 2016.
LVHN also goes well beyond the track as the on-site medical team is accessible to the tens of thousands of spectators on event weekends. The team’s rapid response from the infield to the campgrounds at this expansive venue has resulted in a number of life-saving situations of spectators over the years.
The success of LVHN relies on its strong partnerships with numerous regional EMS agencies who support its operations by dedicating units for both on-track response and spectator care.
Following the Great Pocono Raceway Airshow, the LVHN team will be preparing for a busy Pocono 400 NASCAR event. The weekend features four races in three days, highlighted by the Pocono 400 Cup Series race on Sunday, July 23. The CRC Brakleen 150 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race will be joined by the Pocono 225 Xfinity Series race on Saturday, July 22. The weekend kicks off Friday, July 21, with an ARCA Menards Series race.
“The longstanding partnership with LVHN and Pocono Raceway is one that has benefited our organizations, the fans, and the NASCAR family for many years,” said Bob Begliomini, PharmD, MBA, Senior Vice President, Operations, LVHN and President, Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest. “Assuring the highest level of safety and care, when needed, for those enjoying the race weekend has been an honor for LVHN.”
For more information on The Great Pocono Raceway Airshow and Pocono 400 NASCAR race weekend, please visit www.poconoraceway.com.
— Pocono Raceway —