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

How to handle some of the more common bugs kids bring home from school

Germs, viruses and bacteria are back in school too. And they’re coming home which means their sick day could potentially turn into your sick day. Here are some of the more common illnesses that kids […]

Read Full Story

Here’s how your Bike to Beat Cancer donations help

Donating to Bike to Beat Cancer continues a cycle of hope for your parent, spouse, partner, sibling, friend or loved one as we pedal one step closer to beating cancer. Because of donations to Bike […]

Read Full Story

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) now a treatment for epilepsy

There’s a new treatment option for patients in Louisville with medically-refractory epilepsy. Louisville’s first patient to get deep brain stimulation for epilepsy — a patient treated at Norton Neuroscience Institute — now has an implanted […]

Read Full Story

Patients and caregivers: Learn about the latest advances at the 2019 Neuroscience Expo

The lineup for the 2019 Neuroscience Expo features sessions with neurological experts and others on a range of topics from specific conditions to financial considerations. The Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, event at the Kentucky International […]

Read Full Story

8 tips for healthy grocery shopping

Eating healthy isn’t complicated, but healthy grocery shopping can be work. Getting real, whole foods to the table at every meal isn’t easy. Navigating the grocery can feel overwhelming, but let’s talk a bit about […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.

Schedule an Appointment

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