New hospital coming to west Louisville is taking shape
After months of site preparation, structural work has started on the first hospital to be built west of Ninth Street in more than 100 years.
The first steel beams are in place at the site of the future Norton West Louisville Hospital at 28th and Broadway, which officials say is on track to open in late 2024.
The hospital, part of the Norton Healthcare Goodwill Opportunity Campus, will provide 24-hour emergency care, imaging services and inpatient and outpatient services. Officials say it will bring crucially needed health care options closer to home for residents of the historically underserved area.
“Over the next year and a half, you'll see this corner of hope come to fruition,” Corenza Townsend, chief administrative officer for the hospital, said during a project update Monday.
Outpatient services include adult and pediatric primary care, OB-GYN, diabetes care and mental health services.
“It’s all about education and access to care,” Townsend said. “Mostly, preventative care is what we’re shooting for. We want to see you before you have to be inpatient, but bigger than that: we’ll have an inpatient area that you can be seen in as well.”
Russell Cox, president and CEO at Norton Healthcare, said project leaders have spent the past year listening to what the community wants and needs to see in a health care setting — through meetings and surveys.
He said they repeatedly heard that the facility needs to be convenient and easy to use. They’re focusing on removing barriers like long registration processes, and expanding financial assistance to be more inclusive.
“What's important is really that we build a relationship that can sustain over a period of time and not just episodic of when you don't feel good,” Cox told LPM News. “If we can't be involved with you and your journey through your life and give you a comfortable place to seek medical care, then we're doing something wrong.”
Staff recruitment for the hospital is expected to start as soon as next spring. There are also jobs available through a workforce development initiative associated with the hospital.
Through the Louisville Urban League’s Kentuckiana Builds program and a joint venture by construction companies Harmon Construction Inc. and Messer Construction Co., candidates can get training and experience by helping to build the new hospital.
The programs focus on training and permanent job placement opportunities for women and people from other minority backgrounds.
Houston Briscoe, who’s lived in west Louisville all of his life, is one of the first local participants in the Messer/Harmon training program. He’s now a first-year plumbing apprentice helping to build the new hospital.
“I'm proud to be a part of this project in my community, and it’s going to make a real difference for people here,” he said. Briscoe added that getting started in construction through the program “has been a second chance for me to be able to be productive and create something for myself and my family.”
Community members can also make their literal mark on the hospital Saturday. Starting at noon at the Shawnee Boys & Girls Club, neighbors can sign a beam that will go inside the hospital once it’s complete.
“We want our community, all of us, to be part of this historic event,” Townsend said.