On Feb. 23, 2022, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, Norton Healthcare and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear made a historic announcement — a $100 million investment in West Louisville. Twenty empty acres at 28th Street and Broadway soon will be home to a collection of life-enhancing programs and services in one of Kentucky’s most underserved communities — including the first hospital built west of Ninth Street in more than 150 years.
Fittingly called Opportunity Campus, the site will house Goodwill’s new headquarters, career services, a collection of local social service agencies and Norton Healthcare’s new hospital.
At the announcement ceremony, Russell F. Cox, Norton Healthcare president and CEO, said: “Today provides us with an opportunity to truly begin to change the narrative about investment in West Louisville and sustainability in West Louisville. We absolutely believe that people can’t truly have opportunity if they don’t have access to quality health care. That’s how everybody’s going to live their best life. That’s what this is all about.”
He recently answered questions about the project and how it impacts Norton Healthcare’s purpose to provide exceptional care and service to our entire community.
How long have you been working with Goodwill on the campus and plans to build a hospital?
We have continually been exploring ways to offer more care to more residents in West Louisville. When this opportunity recently presented itself, it seemed ideal. It will allow us to reach more people on a visionary campus where they also will be able to access other important life-enhancing services.
Does the hospital have a name?
The official name will be announced at a later date.
What services will be offered?
Comprehensive services will include adult and pediatric primary care physician offices, a 24-hour emergency department, 20 inpatient beds — to start — and outpatient functions.
Diagnostic services, including X-rays and CT scans, will be available, along with specialty services such as women’s health, cardiology, neurology and endocrinology.
Will cancer services or surgical services be available?
Precancer screenings will be available, and there is opportunity for some surgical procedures.
Why do we need another hospital so close to Norton Hospital downtown?
While 25 blocks may not seem far, it can be a barrier when it comes to accessing care. We are committed to meeting people where they are.
According to the most recent Health Equity Report for the city of Louisville, residents in West Louisville have some of the highest rates of cancer and incidence of stroke and heart disease. While your genetic code has an impact on your health status, your ZIP code should not.
We knew what it would take to truly change health outcomes and provide access. The answer was to build a hospital, which West Louisville has not had since the Marine Hospital closed in 1933.
How many jobs will this create?
The hospital will create approximately 100 new jobs in West Louisville with an approximate average salary of $60,000. As we work to keep our community healthy, we are also creating careers.
Do you think the hospital will be able to be staffed adequately given the nationwide health care worker shortage?
Staffing challenges in health care are a current national problem. We are taking steps to develop a pipeline of medical professionals who are prepared to care for our community.
One step includes our partnership with Simmons College of Kentucky to introduce more students to careers in the medical field.
However, the current shortage won’t limit our commitment to health equity and access.
Will there be a priority for hiring residents of West Louisville?
There will be opportunities for community residents to work in this facility, and that’s important to us and to the community.
How will this be financed?
This will be funded through Norton Healthcare with support from the Norton Healthcare Foundation. As a not-for-profit health system, we depend on support from the community to help us advance our mission.
Opportunity Campus is slated to open in the summer of 2023. Norton Healthcare’s new hospital is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete. Updates will be provided as the project progresses.
For more information on Opportunity Campus, visit GoodwillWestLouisville.com.
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