Faith History

Our Faith-based Roots

For more than a century, Norton Healthcare’s faith heritage has guided its mission of caring for the sick and injured in the Louisville community. Hospitals that are now part of Norton Healthcare were established by local members of the Episcopal Church, The United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church. Volunteers from a Presbyterian church, a number of community-minded physicians and citizens, and community charities created what is now Norton Children’s Hospital.

Episcopal Founders

The Rev. John Norton

After the Civil War, a small group of women called the Home Mission Society of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church began raising money to build a hospital in Louisville. In 1881, Mary Louise Sutton Norton gave her elaborate home to the hospital project organizers. They sold the home and used the money to create a hospital that was then named in her husband’s memory. The John N. Norton Memorial Infirmary opened in 1886. The Rev. John Norton was associate rector of Christ Church Cathedral and was considered by many to be a good Samaritan because of his strong values and devotion to the poor. Originally located at Third and Oak streets, the hospital, now at 200 E. Chestnut St., continues to provide health care in the same caring spirit of its namesake.

The United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ (formerly Evangelical) Founders

 

Leaders from The United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Church (now United Church of Christ) joined together to fulfill their health care missions by opening Methodist Evangelical Hospital in 1960. The hospital was well known for its excellent nursing practices and for its loyal “army” of volunteers. More than 1,200 volunteers from local churches supported staff in the care of patients and families. These values and commitment to excellence continue today in the facility that is now the Norton Healthcare Pavilion.

Catholic Connections

In 1926, members of a Louisville Catholic community opened St. Joseph Infirmary, the largest private hospital in Kentucky at that time. In 1970, a for-profit company purchased the hospital and 10 years later built a new facility that is now Norton Audubon Hospital. It became part of the Norton Healthcare family in 1998 with the Alliant Health System purchase of Audubon and Suburban hospitals. Shortly after the purchase, Alliant became Norton Healthcare, and Norton was added to the hospitals’ names.

Presbyterian Influence

Children’s Free Hospital opened in 1892 when civic activist Mary Lafon and two physicians were determined to create a hospital devoted to children with any illness or injury. A small group of women from Warren Memorial Presbyterian Church, where Lafon was a member, also was instrumental in establishing and running the hospital with a 99 percent volunteer workforce. The hospital moved to its current location at 231 E. Chestnut St. in 1986 and today is Kentucky’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital.

Sources:

“Norton Hospital: The First Hundred Years 1886-1986” by Gail McGowan Mellor

“The Mission: The History of Methodist Evangelical Hospital 1960-1993” by Betty Lou Amster, APR, and Barbara Zingman, Ph.D.

Children’s Hospital: A History 1892-1992” by Gail McGowan Mellor

Program helps student reach toward his dream job

Mautrice Jones beams when he talks about first becoming a nurse, and then a cardiothoracic surgeon. The Norton Healthcare co-op student’s “dream job” wasn’t a future he even considered two years ago. Mautrice joined the […]

Read Full Story

Understanding PEP and PrEP in prevention of HIV

Advancements are helping to prevent the spread of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Medications that can help prevent the spread of HIV are available for those who are exposed or at an increased risk. The Centers […]

Read Full Story

Bonnie St. John to speak at free Louisville event

Paralympic medalist and best-selling author Bonnie St. John will appear at the Go Confidently free inspirational speaker series Wednesday, June 26. Bonnie lost her leg at age 5, but she didn’t let that — or […]

Read Full Story

Celebrating Men’s Health Month with whole grains and healthy fats

When it comes to fueling the body, men have their own specific nutritional needs. Thinking of food as fuel that can help fight disease and keep you looking and feeling younger is a great way […]

Read Full Story

Employee is both a mother and an LGBTQ ally

NPride, Norton Healthcare’s LGBTQ employee resource group, celebrates Pride Month by recognizing a few of our notable employee members. For some, finding their voice takes being touched directly by the LGBTQ community. Melissa Allen, manager, […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.

Schedule an Appointment

Select an appointment date and time from available spots listed below.