West Louisville getting its first hospital in nearly 100 years
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A $100 million investment in Louisville will include the construction of the city’s first hospital in over a century.
The last hospital west of 9th Street was built in the late 1800s, but it closed in the 1930s.
Norton Healthcare is investing $70 million to make it happen.
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“This is one of the best days I’ve had since becoming governor,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday after Norton made the announcement.
Norton’s investment will produce a full service hospital with primary care physician offices, emergency room services, inpatient and outpatient services.
“A person’s zip code has become one of the biggest factors in determining health outcome in Louisville,” said Norton CEO Russ Cox. “That’s something we have to look at every day and decide whether or not that’s acceptable. It’s not.”
Norton’s $70 million investment isn’t their first in west Louisville; they’ve invested roughly $90 million in the last two years.
This time, Norton’s investment is matched by a $30 million contribution from Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. The Goodwill building next to Norton, which will become the state headquarters, will house services dedicated to removing barriers that prevent people from establishing self-sufficient lifestyles. Their ‘Opportunity Campus’ is expected to create 200 jobs, and the services offered are expected to help people find 600 more full-time jobs each year.
The Goodwill ‘Opportunity Campus’ is expected to be completed by the middle of 2023. The Norton facility could take up to two years to complete.
After a century and a half of waiting, the hospital is long overdue in west Louisville. Local doctors believe it will have an immediate positive effect on health outcomes.
“To me, it would absolutely improve the inequities that have been going on for decades,” Louisville physician Dr. Giavonne Rondo, who grew up in west Louisville, said.
Rondo provides Gobile MD mobile medical services to patients in west Louisville. She said that it is not uncommon for patients to forego necessary medical treatment in order to travel downtown or to other parts of the city.
“Going all the way downtown is a lot for people living here in west Louisville, going all the way down there and having to deal with traffic,” Rondo said.
The Norton investment also aims to change the course of west Louisville history, which has been marked by generations of segregation, discrimination, and redlining.
“They have shown that they are interested back in these communities, and I applaud those efforts, it’s really a great thing to see,” Dr. Wayne Tuckson, Louisville surgeon and health equity advocate, said. “So now all of a sudden you talk about putting a hospital back there, Norton is putting its money where its mouth is.”
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