New West Louisville hospital gives patients better access to healthcare – and hope

When Regina-Riley Smith has a doctor’s appointment, it usually means she has to be off work all day. In order to get to her appointment on time, she has to leave 45 minutes early to drive from her home in the Shawnee neighborhood of West Louisville to her primary care doctor’s office on North Hurstbourne Parkway. When she returns home, the hours have passed.

“It’s a long drive, but when you have a good doctor, you get on with it,” said Regina, who is a longtime patient of Crystal D. Narcissus, MDspecialist in internal medicine/paediatrics at Norton Community Medical Associates – Hurstbourne.

Regina, 47, has lived in West Louisville for 20 years and is being treated for high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and acid reflux. She has routine appointments with her primary care physician and rheumatologist every six months. All three generations of her family – including her husband, daughters and granddaughters – are Norton Healthcare patients, all with their own unique healthcare needs.

“My daughter has severe asthma and we had to go to intensive care regularly,” Regina said. “In an emergency, it would take us 15 minutes to get downtown (to Norton Hospital), but the new hospital in West Louisville will be less than five minutes away.

Tell us what you think…

By completing this confidential survey of services at West Louisville Hospital, your feedback will help ensure this facility has what the community needs. This investigation should only take a few moments.

Take the survey

On Tuesday, Norton Healthcare and Goodwill Industries of Kentucky opened an Opportunity Campus at 28th Street and Broadway. Their $100 million investment will include both a 120,000 square foot one-stop lifestyle enrichment facility and the first hospital built west of Ninth Street in over 150 years.

Since the United States Navy Hospital closed in 1933, anyone seeking hospital services in West Louisville had to travel downtown to receive care. Although 28 blocks doesn’t seem far, it can be a barrier to accessing care.

“Most of my neighbors don’t have vehicles. They are old and they don’t want to travel that far,” Regina said. “It will be just around the corner. Instead of taking two buses, they only take one.

According to the latest Metro Louisville Health Equity Report, residents of West Louisville have some of the highest death rates from heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Although a person’s genetic code has an impact on their health status, their ZIP code should not. Norton Healthcare’s new hospital aims to truly change health outcomes and provide access for all residents.

“This event symbolizes our commitment to changing health outcomes to help people live better lives,” said Russell F. Cox, President and CEO of Norton Healthcare. “We are working with healthcare providers, community members and local leaders to identify key services that will truly benefit West Louisville residents. Access to quality healthcare, prevention and specialist services is vital, and we need to consider innovative approaches to delivering care.

The new hospital’s comprehensive services will include adult and pediatric primary care physician offices, a 24-hour emergency department with 20 inpatient beds, outpatient services and the possibility of certain surgical procedures. Diagnostic services including cancer screenings, x-rays and CT scans will be available, as well as specialist services such as women’s health, cardiology, neurology and endocrinology.

“I’m excited for this. It gives me hope,” Regina said. “The West End needs change. I can’t wait for this to happen.

Leave a Comment