Norton Healthcare will spend $78.3 million through 2021 to expand the capacity at its children’s hospital. | Courtesy of Norton.

Norton Healthcare will invest $78.3 million to increase the critical care capacity at its children’s hospital and to create the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.

Jennifer Lawrence

The 17-bed CICU, named after the Louisville native and Oscar-winning actor, will feature private rooms for children recovering from heart surgery and other procedures requiring intensive care. Norton said in a press release that the unit was expected to be completed at the end of 2019.

Renovations at Norton’s Just for Kids Critical Care Center will include turning patient bays into private and semi-private rooms. Construction on a new 7,000-square-foot, first-floor conference center will begin in May.

Together with upgrades at its neonatal intensive care units, the project, expected to be completed in 2021, will increase the number of critical care beds to 38, up from 26 today.

The Children’s Hospital Foundation has raised $10 million for the project, including $2 million given last year by the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation. The hospital foundation plans to raise an additional $10 million.

The hospital, at Floyd and Chestnut streets, annually serves more than 1,400 critically ill children and premature infants, Norton said.

Thomas Kmetz

Thomas D. Kmetz, a division president with Norton, said the project’s new units will include family oriented amenities, such as private rooms and play areas.

“Norton Children’s Hospital always aims to provide the very best approach to care, and this project gets us much closer to that goal,” he said.

The hospital was formerly known as Kosair Children’s Hospital. Norton changed the name last year after it reached a settlement with Kosair Charities that ended a two-year-old lawsuit that involved accusations of misused funds.

Norton said the 267-bed hospital “is the region’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and serves as the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Louisville School of Medicine.”

Norton is a Louisville-based nonprofit health system with more than 40 locations, about 2,000 beds and more than 13,000 employees and about $2 billion in annual revenue.

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Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.