U of L processing more coronavirus test results Thursday, Apr 9 2020 

By Matthew Keck — 

The University of Louisville has increased its efforts with coronavirus testing to help fight the fatal pandemic.

Researchers at U of L are processing test results from 12 different hospitals, U of L Campus Health and four outpatient clinics in the Louisville area. As of April 1, they have processed 1,797 tests, with more than 1,000 of them coming from Norton Healthcare.

Out of the 1,797 tests thus far, there have been 204 positive results.

U of L executive vice president for research and innovation Kevin Gardner said they now have to capacity to test up to 1,000 cases per day. Other U of L researchers have put their duties on hold to devote their time to fighting this virus.

Last week, U of L Health opened the first drive-thru testing in Kentucky. As a part of this effort, the drive-thru testing will be processing up to 200 cases per day.

According to Gardner, U of L’s efforts are producing test results within 24 hours. This quick turnaround allows hospitals to isolate patients and healthcare providers with COVID-19. Along with that, they can move others out of isolation, saving protective medical equipment that is low across the state.

This processing is also an effort to help researchers answer questions about the deadly COVID-19. They are hoping to find how the virus has spread, how it progresses and who gets it. U of L is also working on long-term approaches to the virus.

Kenneth Palmer, director of U of L’s Center for Preventive Medicine, is testing potential treatments, one of which was developed at U of L in partnership with the National Cancer Institute and the University of Pittsburgh.

Support for this research includes $500,000 in funding from U of L, but the university is asking for those able to make a donation for further support.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Research shows Hepatitis C mostly affects millennials now Friday, Oct 18 2019 

By Maggie Vancampen —

A recent press release said hepatitis C is now predominately affecting millennials according to research conducted at Norton Healthcare.

Professor of Pediatrics Dr. John Myers and his team tested over 82 thousand people for the HCV infection from 2016-2018. For research purposes, millennials are defined as anyone born between 1980 to 1995. Baby boomers were described as people born between 1945 to 1965.

The Center for Disease Control says hepatitis C is a long-term liver infection. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B have vaccines, while hepatitis C does not. It is spread through blood from an infected person going into an un-infected person.

The press release said HCV-positive millennials increased by 53 percent during the study period, while HCV-positive baby boomers decreased by 32 percent in the Appalachian region where the study happened.

Myers said, “The opioid crisis has led to a drastic demographic shift, and currently the typical HCV-infected individual is a younger male. Without interventions, this trend will continue for upwards of seven years, plateauing near the demarcation of millennials and generation Z.”

The press release said Myers originally presented the information at IDWeek 2019, a medical meeting for doctors to present information and research findings.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Partnership announced between UPS and Norton Wednesday, Oct 16 2019 

By Jessica Kiesling — 

Norton Healthcare and UPS are the two of the largest employers in the Louisville area and they have now partnered up to allow students an affordable way to pay for their education while working on achieving their dream careers in the medical field.

The program requires participants to be actively enrolled at the University of Louisville or at Jefferson Community and Technical College while working at UPS. Their undergraduate degree, however, can be completed at their own pace with no set time frame. Once the students reach the point that they only have about a semester left of their undergraduate they are required to take professional courses through the program while choosing one of three options to continue their participation in the Metropolitan College program.

The three options available are to continue their employment at UPS while being a Norton Scholar, doing an apprenticeship through Norton Healthcare or switching their employment to Norton Healthcare.

The program allows for many interested medical students to participate. However, they have 10 designated career pathways to be chosen from. Through the options they are exposed to different roles, aspects and departments of healthcare at Norton Healthcare.

The Metropolitan College program has strived to allow students to accomplish their education and career goals in an affordable manner. As a participant in the program students qualify to receive tuition assistance.

Along with other perks such as book reimbursement and career assistance, participants will also gain access to special events and programs through Norton Healthcare. These opportunities can help to boost their education, knowledge and resources to aid them in their future medical career endeavors.

In order to become a participant in the Metropolitan College program students of the two institutions must first apply to UPS if not already a current employee. They must also apply to the program though the metro-college website. Once hired and accepted into the program participants are required to attend a career exploration and symposium day to learn about the healthcare program.

Questions about the program, necessary steps or about the opportunities available through the Metropolitan College program can be directed to Metropolitan College, UPS employment or the Norton Healthcare workforce department.

Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville Urban League’s Track Gets $5 Million And A Name From Norton Healthcare Monday, Oct 14 2019 

The Louisville Urban League announced a major fundraising gift for its track and field project Monday; it’s the first of this scale in nearly a year. But CEO and president Sadiqa Reynolds said the nonprofit isn’t done yet.

Norton Healthcare pledged $5 million to the project in the form of a $3 million grant and an additional $2 million matching challenge, and with that bought the naming rights to the facility. It will be known as the Norton Sports Health Athletics & Learning Complex.

City and nonprofit leaders hailed the investment as a major commitment to a project that some say could contribute to transforming the West End of Louisville, which has suffered from discriminatory policies and a lack of investment for decades.

“It’s the right thing to do, and it’s way past time to do it.,” said Russell Cox, president and CEO of Norton Healthcare, of the investment.

Norton Sports Health Athletics & Learning Complex

A rendering of the Norton Sports Health Athletics & Learning Complex.

Reynolds, typically outspoken, was cautiously celebratory after a press conference Monday morning.

“I feel pretty good today,” she said. “I have to keep it in perspective, or I get a little bit overwhelmed just thinking about it all, but I do. I feel good.”

The Norton investment brings the total for the facility’s capital campaign to about $24 million.

Amina Elahi | wfpl.org

Sadiqa Reynolds of the Louisville Urban League and Russell Cox of Norton Healthcare at the naming announcement on Monday, October 14, 2019.

Last November, the James Graham Brown Foundation put in $3 million. The project also got $10 million from Louisville Metro via a bond, which was almost held up amid last spring’s budget confusion.

In June, the Louisville Urban League launched a campaign called Run With Us, through which it aimed to raise $20 million by selling naming rights to the complex’s 4,000 seats for $5,000 apiece. When the group broke ground on the site in August, it raised about $300,000 that day from seat sales.

Reynolds said Monday that overall seat sales have been fine, but not as strong as she expected. They’ve sold about 250 seats.

There are more fundraising opportunities to consider, too. Reynolds said Opportunity Zone investment is an option, as are New Markets Tax Credits. She said the Urban League could net about $6 million from those credits.

For more context on how the track and field complex fits into overall development taking place in west Louisville, listen to this episode of Here Today:

Norton will be U of L sports new healthcare provider Saturday, Aug 24 2019 

By Matthew Keck–

The University of Louisville athletic department announced that Norton Healthcare will be their official healthcare provider on Aug. 22. Norton Sports Health will oversee the medical care for all 23 sports teams at U of L.

Norton Healthcare CEO Russ Cox said, “We think with having over 1,000 providers we’re going to be able to meet every need, any student-athlete at the University of Louisville may have.”

Cox noted that Norton’s experience with Jefferson County Public Schools helped this partnership happen.

The medical support provided by Norton includes conducting all sports physicals and access to Norton Sports Health medical team. Norton is also offering mental health services, including access to counseling and sports performance specialists.

Steven T. Hester, system chief medical officer of Norton Healthcare, said that one of their main focuses will be how they work with the athletes. “More than ever we find that student-athletes continued to be challenged with not just the performance side of things but all the things that go along with just being a student,” said Hester.

Vince Tyra, U of L athletic director, said that they started this partnership with Norton back in January but the partnership was not formalized until August. Tyra said head coaches have been working with the physicians and staff throughout the spring seasons.

Tyra emphasized the importance around the mental health care students will receive, stating it is one of the fastest growing concerns in the NCAA.

In addition to the medical care, Norton is providing funding for athletic trainers, campus training rooms and new imaging equipment. Athletes will have access to Norton eCare, which allows them to to speak with a nurse practitioner via computer or mobile device.

This change comes after U of L ended their 20-year deal with KentuckyOne Health when it expired last year.

There was no disclosed dollar amount. Tyra said that the deal was more about services and marketing assets. The current deal with Norton is three years with options for two additional three-year extensions.

Tyra said, “I just want to make sure their mind and body is taken care of while they’re here.”

Matthew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal

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Norton lowers opioid prescriptions by over 50% through data analysis, education Friday, Aug 2 2019 

Norton Healthcare has lowered its opioid prescriptions by more than half since 2014 through data analysis and further educating its doctors ⁠— and their patients. Norton in 2013 created an opioid task force to monitor, analyze and decrease the number of opioids its patients were receiving. Prompted in part by state legislation, the system previously […]