© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

UofL Health opens Bullitt County hospital while Norton goes public with $200M fundraiser

Through a narrow window, a few health care providers in blue scrubs are visible. One, facing the window, wears a scrub cap and a surgical face mask.
Phalinn Ooi
Creative Commons
UofL and Norton are in the midst of projects to significantly upgrade and expand their operations.

Louisville health care systems keep expanding their operations, with two big announcements from UofL Health and Norton Healthcare this week.

UofL Health celebrated the opening of an inpatient hospital in Shepherdsville on Monday, while Norton Healthcare unveiled the public phase of its “Just Imagine” fundraising campaign late Wednesday afternoon.

These developments come amid broader efforts by both Louisville-based organizations to significantly upgrade and expand their operations.

UofL Health, for example, is in the middle of a $182 million expansion of UofL Hospital, and Norton’s expansion plans include the launch of a west Louisville hospital this November.

New UofL hospital fills service gap in Bullitt County

UofL Health spent $78 million to expand an outpatient medical center that has served patients in Shepherdsville for years.

The revamped facility, now named South Hospital, officially opened Monday.

South Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Emily Volk said Bullitt County — with over 82,000 residents — was the largest county in Kentucky that lacked an inpatient hospital.

“This has been a dream of the leaders of Bullitt County for going on two decades,” she told LPM News.

With South Hospital, she said innovative and critical care is more accessible to people who live in Bullitt or southern Jefferson County.

The upgraded facility includes 40 inpatient beds, a pair of new operating rooms, a cafe for visitors and staff and other improvements.

Volk highlighted the hospital’s new labs for cardiac care as a standout feature.

“Having the ability to treat someone who was having an acute heart attack in Bullitt County, without having to transfer them to another facility, will improve the outcomes of patients,” she said. “We understand that, you know, minutes matter to heart muscle. And so that time equals life.”

Norton’s 'Just Imagine' fundraising campaign

Norton launched the public phase of its “Just Imagine” campaign this week. The not-for-profit health system aims to raise $200 million to fund an array of initiatives centered on supporting clinical research, building up state-of-the-art facilities and recruiting top talent in the medical field.

Norton Chief Development Officer Lynnie Meyer said the organization privately fundraised with major donors over the past few years and is about three-quarters of the way toward its goal.

She said some of the donations already have been spent on initiatives like:

  • Bringing eight doulas on board to support pregnant patients.
  • Researching Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
  • Adding a dozen therapy dogs to help patients.
  • Creating 13 meditation gardens.
  • Funding a fleet of mobile outreach vehicles and ambulances.

With $154.5 million raised, there’s still $45.5 million left to go to hit the fundraising campaign’s goal. Now, Norton is asking people in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to help by making donations that are affordable for them.
Meyer said people could donate to buy a brick for Norton’s future hospital in west Louisville, for example, or to put their name on a bench in a hospital chapel. And their money will invest in future initiatives at Norton.

She said the public phase of the campaign is about “raising the sights of the community” and engaging new people in Norton’s work.

“A lot of people will say they didn't really realize that the Norton Cancer Institute was there [or] that Norton Children's Hospital was there — until they needed it,” she said. “Sometimes you don't recognize how important an asset can be for your community until your family is personally touched by it.”

Norton’s website for the “Just Imagine” campaign includes details on specific projects and initiatives the organization aims to finance.

Morgan is LPM's health reporter. Email Morgan at mwatkins@lpm.org.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.