Home » Louisville’s largest-in-the-world aging-care cluster is growing and sharing best practices

Louisville’s largest-in-the-world aging-care cluster is growing and sharing best practices

By Susan Gosselin

Norton Healthcare is currently in the middle of a $125 million, four-year renovation of its Audubon Hospital.

Recent estimates by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics show the healthcare industry will create more than 50,000 new jobs in Louisville by 2022. Already, Louisville is the global leader in aging care and wellness, with more headquarters than anywhere.

Louisville Forward reports that aging care organizations employ 21,000 people and bring $50 billion in revenue to the area. It’s a level of growth that also seems to be changing the way healthcare companies in the area approach their business.

“Before, the field was full of competitors, looking to win. But now, healthcare companies are looking for ways to unite as a group to improve the region’s economy,” said David Buschman, CEO of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Healthcare Enterprises Network (HEN). “It’s a big change.”

Buschman points to efforts such as HEN’s Healthcare VIP program, which bridges the corporate engagement gap by connecting healthcare entrepreneurs with other corporations that can provide mentorship, investment backing and opportunities for product testing.

Louisville’s healthcare leaders are so excited about future opportunities, in fact, that they formed their own 501(c)4 organization, The Louisville Healthcare CEO Council. Created late last year, the group leverages the collective influence of the area’s top healthcare CEOs to improve the region’s healthcare economy, with an early emphasis on aging care.

The downtown Innovate LTC Lab is another area where universities, local aging-care companies and aging-tech entrepreneurs have come together to pursue new opportunities. The lab, opened in 2017, is a business accelerator aimed at helping to deliver innovative products and services for the global aging population.

Last December, Louisville-based Kindred agreed to be acquired for $4.1 billion in cash by a consortium consisting of TPG Capital, Humana and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe. Humana will own a 40 percent portion of Kindred including home health, hospice and community care, while the other partners will own long-term acute care hospitals and rehab divisions. The move will make it easier to find synergies between Humana’s business and home health, a key to keeping costs down for the millions of elderly patients it insures through its Medicare program.

At the University of Louisville’s Health Science Center medical campus near downtown, the first major new facility in a decade has been rising since late 2016. As of July, the $80 million, 176,000-s.f. Novak Center for Children’s Health is the new home for pediatrics treatment from UofL Physicians. UofL general pediatrics faculty and pediatric specialists, plus providers from Norton’s Children’s Hospital, will handle 120,000 patient visits annually. Its name is the result of a major gift from David Novak, the former head of Louisville-based Yum! Brands, and his family.

Louisville-based ResCare, the largest diversified health services provider in the United States, announced it is constructing a new $34 million, 140,000-s.f. headquarters building in the Shelbyhurst area.

With a 52 percent share of the local healthcare market, Norton Healthcare is investing in ways to improve outcomes. With hospitals, immediate-care centers and more than 1,000 healthcare providers as part of its network, it is experimenting with ways to make access to healthcare easier. Norton is currently in the middle of a $125 million, four-year renovation of its Audubon Hospital – an investment that includes private critical care and progressive cardiac care rooms, as well as an expanded emergency department.

It also is investing in a new video visit system that will allow any Norton patient to opt for an appointment by video chat with nurse practitioners.

“The healthcare organization of the future will have to be prepared to meet patients where they are,” said Russell Cox, president/CEO of Norton Healthcare. “That’s why we’ve tried to create so many points of access into our system. And everyone who works with us is part of the same electronic health record system, so you never have to worry about transferring records. The future of healthcare is all about being flexible for the patient and family needs.”

Norton Healthcare

P.O. Box 35070

Louisville, KY 40232-5070

(502) 629-1234



Norton Healthcare has been a leader in serving the healthcare needs of adults and children for more than 130 years. In addition to primary care, specialty care includes heart and vascular, neurosciences, cancer, orthopedics, women’s and pediatric services. The not-for-profit system is the Louisville area’s third largest private employer, with more than 14,000 employees and over 900 employed medical providers serving in 250 locations, including five Louisville hospitals, seven outpatient centers and 14 Norton Immediate Care Centers. A strong research program provides access to clinical trials in a multitude of areas.