Story by: Sara Sidery on September 26, 2022
Near one of West Louisville’s busiest intersections, there is an open field that holds a lot of promise. Standing on the site, not far from piles of dirt and construction equipment, DeVone Holt shares a simple request: “Imagine an oasis of good here.”
The chief external affairs officer for Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is referring to the new Norton Healthcare Goodwill Opportunity Campus, which is currently under construction at 28th Street and West Broadway. The more than $100 million investment by Norton Healthcare and Goodwill will include both a 124,000-square-foot, one-stop lifestyle enrichment facility and the first new hospital built west of Ninth Street in more than 150 years.
“It’s all happening because Goodwill and Norton Healthcare invested in West Louisville,” said DeVone, a West Louisville native who has called the area home for most of his life.
“West Louisville is where some of my best memories were made. It’s where my best relationships exist. It’s the place where I’m raising my son,” he said. “It was important to me to be part of the solution in rebuilding this community and making it a vibrant part of not just Louisville, but the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the region.”
Since the United States Marine Hospital closed in 1933, anyone seeking hospital services in West Louisville had to travel downtown in order to receive care. While 28 blocks may not seem far, it can be a barrier when it comes to accessing care.
The new hospital will include an emergency room, primary care, pediatric care, specialized services and much more.
According to the most recent Louisville Metro Health Equity Report, residents in West Louisville have some of the highest rates in the city of death connected to heart disease, cancer and stroke. Norton Healthcare’s new hospital aims to truly change health outcomes and provide access for all residents.
“Bringing a hospital to West Louisville, where there are so many African Americans who wrestle with many of those health disparities, has the ability to tip the scales in a positive way,” DeVone said.
Comprehensive services at the new hospital will include adult and pediatric primary care physician offices, a 24-hour emergency department with 20 inpatient beds, outpatient services and diagnostic services — such as cancer screenings, X-rays and CT scans — along with specialty services including women’s health, cardiology, neurology and endocrinology.
In addition to a new Goodwill headquarters, the campus will provide a host of community social services, including financial literacy, second-chance banking, job placement, legal aid, expungement services, youth mentoring, free drop-in childcare services and free haircuts.
“If I had to summarize this project in one word: I would say ‘renaissance,’” DeVone said. “Because it’s the dawning of a new day.”
The investment is expected to spur future developments in an area that has been underserved for too long.
“We are planting a seed and proving that investments in this community are worthwhile and have the ability to return a great investment — not just to the bottom line, but to improving our community and restoring the health of the people who call West Louisville home,” DeVone said.
It’s no coincidence that there is a public school across the street. Children who attend Brandeis Elementary, which serves students in grades pre-K through 5, will be able to witness real-life examples of opportunities in their own community.
“Young kids, who are dreaming about what their future might one day be, will be able to look right across the street and see this lot transform from a blighted brownfield site to a beautiful beacon of hope,” DeVone said. “It provides hope to young people that change can happen.”
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