Jewish Hospital’s prospects appear to be improving; observer remains skeptical

Jewish Hospital serves many of the city’s uninsured and underinsured residents. | Photo by Tony Pacheco

While Jewish Hospital’s prospects for survival appear to be improving, at least one local health care industry observer remains skeptical that a tie-up with another partner would bode well for the facility long-term.

The June 30 deadline, set by both the hospital owner KentuckyOne Health/Dignity Health and the potential acquirer UofL, is less than two months away.

While the parties appear to be making progress, based on an internal email obtained by the Courier Journal, the university’s potential partner for the acquisition of Jewish Hospital and up to eight other local health care facilities, remains unknown.

A source who would be affected by the transaction told Insider said that people who previously had feared the hospital’s closure now have a more positive disposition toward the developments. Another source told Insider that the university likely has few options, as it is looking for an acquisition partner who can provide at least $1 billion toward the venture.

Both sources asked to remain anonymous because they worried about backlash. Neither is directly involved in the negotiations.

KentuckyOne has been trying to sell Jewish Hospital and Louisville assets, which also include Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, since May of 2017.

Jewish and Sts. Mary & Elizabeth posted operating losses of nearly $29 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, according to filings by its owner.

Until December, KentuckyOne had been in exclusive negotiations with BlueMountain Capital Management, a New York-based alternative asset management firm, though sources had told Insider in the fall that the deal was in trouble and that some local parties were preparing for Jewish Hospital’s closing.

The University of Louisville said in February that it was looking for a partner who would pay for the acquisition of the medical facilities, but a request-for-proposal process did not identify a suitable partner. The institution has hired private health care investment banking firm Cain Brothers to directly engage potential partners and hopes to conclude the process by June 30.

The medical facilities, especially Jewish, are critical to the university and serve as a staging area for many School of Medicine-related functions, including cardiology, organ transplantation and neurosurgery services.

Dr. Peter Hasselbacher, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, who writes on the local health care industry through the Kentucky Health Policy Institute, has said that it would be good news if the community could preserve some of its medical assets.

However, Hasselbacher told Insider via email this week that he remains skeptical about whether a new partner can succeed where KentuckyOne Health/Catholic Health Initiatives have failed.

“I wish my University good fortune,” he said, “but I have to confess that I am not optimistic that all the entities will ultimately survive the disaster of the last decade.” Boris Ladwig

First renderings of Galt House’s Jockey Silks have been released

Rendering of Jockey Silks | Courtesy of Galt House

Last year, when the Galt House announced it would undergo $80 million in renovations, one of my first thoughts was of the beloved Jockey Silks Bar, tucked away in the depths of the historic hotel and which was actually one of Louisville’s first bourbon-forward bars.

It’s always been a favorite of mine through the years because of its low-key atmosphere, its extensive bourbon list and the fact that it’s hard to find unless you know where you’re looking. I’d take out-of-town guests there and pretend it was my own private bourbon cellar.

I recently checked in with the Galt House folks to see how the renovations were coming along. The changes include a complete makeover of Jockey Silks, but hopefully, those will only improve the space and not diminish its character. Knowing I was concerned, they sent me a couple of renderings, promising to keep Insider updated as the opening date this fall approaches.

The good news is, they are keeping the name Jockey Silks and will increase its bourbon offerings. The entire space is being redesigned and will feature jewel-toned fabrics, copper accents and will have more of a lounge atmosphere.

Another rendering of Jockey Silks | Courtesy of Galt House

Fingers crossed they’ll keep the popcorn machine and old-school jukebox, but who knows.

One other news bit to mention is that they’re planning an al fresco dining option you can get to from the Belvedere. Details on that are mum. Insider will keep you updated as work progresses. —Sara Havens

Flea Off Market partners with Fund for the Arts for weekend activities in NuLu

The Flea Off returns to East Market Street and Shelby. | Courtesy of Flea Off Market

The Flea Off Market will once again pop up in a spot it usually is not on Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12. Partnering with the Fund for the Arts, the event is called “Round Up for the Arts” and will feature the Flea Off’s hundreds of vendors, as well as food trucks, beer and cocktail vendors, and live music by King King, Bingo Rider, Old Lou’s Ragtime Band, Britton Patrick Morgan and more.

The Fund for the Arts will provide a kids’ station, complete with games, crafts and much more. The event will be a street party, taking over the Shelby Street to Market Street (near Please & Thank You — which now makes us hungry for cookies), and then Market to Clay. It is free and open to all, and it runs from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 12.

Music continues after the festival ends, with King Kong going on Saturday at 7 p.m. —Sara Havens

Louisville Forward, GLI honored again by Site Selection magazine

Louisville Forward and Greater Louisville Inc. have been jointly recognized as Top U.S. Economic Development Groups for 2018.

It’s the third straight year the two organizations have received Site Selection magazine’s Mac Conway Award for economic development efforts, and the fifth consecutive year for Louisville Forward. The announcement was made Wednesday by Mayor Greg Fischer and GLI president and CEO Kent Oyler.

Speaking of GLI, the chamber was named one of three finalists for Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. The winner will be announced during the ACCE convention in Long Beach, Calif., July 14-17, according to GLI.

According to the announcement, projects representing $972 million in investment and 5,936 new jobs were announced last year in the 15 counties covered by the economic development groups.

Award winners were determined by an index that examines 2018 corporate facility investment projects as tracked by Site Selection’s proprietary Conway Projects database and are based on total projects, total investment associated with those projects and total jobs associated with those projects.

Louisville Forward located 58 projects in Jefferson County, representing $400 million in investment and 3,128 new jobs, according to the announcement.

Site Selection specifically highlighted a$200 million GE Appliances expansion, a $7.2 million investment by Chewy.com, and Heaven Hill Distilleries’ plans to build a $65 million Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown.

“With its young and educated workforce, low cost of living and pro-business environment, Louisville is clearly on the rise,” Gary Daughters, senior editor at Site Selection magazine said in the announcement. —Kevin Gibson

Bourbon Barrel Foods opens retail location in Falls City Market

Bourbon Barrel Foods has opened a retail space inside Falls City Market. | Courtesy of Bourbon Barrel Foods

Bourbon Barrel Foods, the only soy sauce microbrewery in the U.S., has opened a retail space inside Falls City Market at Omni Louisville Hotel.

The outpost will carry all of the Louisville company’s products, from fermented soy sauces to spices, all made using reclaimed barrels from Kentucky distilleries. The store also will feature curated gifts.

Falls City Market is a 20,000-square-foot retail market inside the Omni, with tenants such as Heine Brothers Coffee, El Toro taco food truck, Wendell’s Books and Magazines, and more.

Bourbon Barrel Foods has locations in Crescent Hill and Butchertown, and also will have a space in the forthcoming Logan Street Market in Shelby Park.

“We love how the Omni and Falls City Market have created an environment for guests to get a great local experience and to learn how diverse Louisville’s food culture is all in one place,” Matt Jamie, owner of Bourbon Barrel Foods, said. —Kevin Gibson

111 JCPS seniors to get free tuition, thanks to Rotary Club 

A record number of Iroquois and Western High Schools seniors will have their college tuition covered, thanks to the Rotary Club.

Through the Rotary Promise Scholars program, 111 students across the two schools earned free tuition to Jefferson Community and Technical College. After two years at JCTC, students will qualify for additional scholarships at UofL and IUS to finish a bachelor’s degree.

The program targets schools that typically serve disadvantaged students, providing funds that could potentially help students overcome barriers to a college education. In a new initiative this year, program participants can receive $500 grants for books and other expenses once they start at JCTC.

Students must meet academic, behavior and attendance goals throughout high school to qualify for the scholarship. Rotary Club members met with the students regularly as part of a mentoring program.

The Rotary Club of Louisville will hold a graduation ceremony for the students Thursday at 11 a.m. —Olivia Krauth

In brief

Humana said it has been named among the nation’s top 50 companies for diversity, ranking No. 42, moving up from 48 last year.

A career fair and other empowerment activities will be Thursday, May 9, at the Nia Center, 2900 W. Broadway. Along with credit help and job opportunities, there will be workshops, door prizes, HIV testing and free food. The event is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but the career fair ends at 1 p.m.

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