Faith History | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

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

New immunotherapy vaccine for glioblastoma tested at Norton Cancer Institute

Renato V. LaRocca, M.D., values the opportunity to be at the forefront of brain cancer research. As a neuro-oncologist and cancer medicine specialist with Norton Cancer Institute, Dr. LaRocca has treated many cases of glioblastoma. […]

Read Full Story

Critically ill with COVID-19, 24-year-old recovers after convalescent plasma treatment

With COVID-19 weakening her body, Hannah Jones, 24, was at risk of a heart attack. She was placed on a ventilator so she could breathe. It was very possible she would die. Two days after […]

Read Full Story

What to do if someone is having a stroke

Knowing what to do if someone is having a stroke can have a lasting impact on their recovery. The greatest chance for recovery from stroke occurs when emergency treatment is started immediately. “Stroke treatments are [...]

Read Full Story

Soothing postpartum vaginal soreness

After any vaginal delivery, you may have swelling and discomfort. If you had a vaginal tear or episiotomy with delivery, you may have stitches in the area as well as itching and soreness. “Soreness in […]

Read Full Story

Sure, telehealth is safer, but for one cancer patient it’s just so convenient

Like many cancer patients, Misty Aubrey’s calendar is filled with appointments. She meets regularly with her oncologist, behavioral oncologist and neurologist. To be safer during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she stopped meeting her […]

Read Full Story
Related Stories

New immunotherapy vaccine for glioblastoma tested at Norton Cancer Institute

Renato V. LaRocca, M.D., values the opportunity to be at the forefront of brain cancer research. As a neuro-oncologist and cancer medicine specialist with Norton Cancer Institute, Dr. LaRocca has treated many cases of glioblastoma. […]

Read Full Story

Critically ill with COVID-19, 24-year-old recovers after convalescent plasma treatment

With COVID-19 weakening her body, Hannah Jones, 24, was at risk of a heart attack. She was placed on a ventilator so she could breathe. It was very possible she would die. Two days after […]

Read Full Story

What to do if someone is having a stroke

Knowing what to do if someone is having a stroke can have a lasting impact on their recovery. The greatest chance for recovery from stroke occurs when emergency treatment is started immediately. “Stroke treatments are [...]

Read Full Story

Soothing postpartum vaginal soreness

After any vaginal delivery, you may have swelling and discomfort. If you had a vaginal tear or episiotomy with delivery, you may have stitches in the area as well as itching and soreness. “Soreness in […]

Read Full Story

Sure, telehealth is safer, but for one cancer patient it’s just so convenient

Like many cancer patients, Misty Aubrey’s calendar is filled with appointments. She meets regularly with her oncologist, behavioral oncologist and neurologist. To be safer during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she stopped meeting her […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.

Schedule an Appointment

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