LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital is bringing labor and delivery services back to South Louisville for the first time in nearly 50 years with its newest addition, “The Birthing Place.” The $20 million project is part of UofL Health’s commitment to providing convenient health care access to those patients in underserved communities. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital already serves the zip codes with some of the highest birth rates in Jefferson County and “The Birthing Place” will keep future patients from having to travel outside their home community for maternity services.
“We are approaching 150 years of caring for patients here at Mary & Elizabeth Hospital and are so thrilled to expand our services to expecting mothers once again,” said Melisa Adkins, CEO of Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. “The last time a baby was born here, through a planned delivery, was 1974. I would like to thank the leadership of the Mary & Elizabeth Hospital Board of Trustees Chair, Marianne Butler, Metro Councilwoman Cindi Fowler and the support from the entire Louisville Metro Council and Louisville Metro Government. Now, more women will be able to deliver their newborns close to home and under exceptional care.”
“I am beyond excited that Southwest Jefferson County will again be served by Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. My husband and I were both born here. It thrills my soul that that new generations can now enjoy delivery options west of I-65,” said Cindi Fowler, District 14 Louisville Metro Councilwoman. “This is long overdue and certainly a huge need on this side of town. Fighting for the funds to make this possible was one of my worthiest causes. Thank you to the rest of the council for their support and to UofL Health for the matching funds to make this a priority for the mothers in South and West Louisville.”
The project wouldn’t be possible without $8.25 million worth of funding generously granted by Louisville Metro Government. The renovations to nearly 21,000 square feet of already existing space near the main entrance of the hospital will allow room for eight Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum (LDRP) suites with a focus on both natural and traditional childbirth. Each room will also include a spa-inspired labor tub area and a private bathroom/shower room. Additionally, The Birthing Center will include a C-Section suite, a well-baby Level 1 Nursery and a Labor Lounge providing a calming and soothing environment for laboring mothers.
“There is no form of health care more fundamental than the care provided to new and pregnant mothers and to children who are just coming into the world,” said Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg. “That’s why Metro Government is proud to support ‘The Birthing Place’ at UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. This is a great investment in the future of South Louisville and our entire city. Our thanks to UofL Health for their partnership, and we look forward to finding more ways to work together to serve the people of Louisville.”
Care at “The Birthing Place” will be provided by both physicians and certified nurse midwives, along with licensed clinical social workers, health coaches, health educators and care navigators. The space designed reflects a home environment where families can be together.
“We are excited that labor and delivery services are coming back to South Louisville for the first time in over 50 years,” said Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman. “As Kentucky’s highest-elected mom and the first lieutenant governor to give birth during office, this announcement is important to me. Bringing back labor and delivery services will produce healthier families in Louisville.”
Mary & Elizabeth Hospital is the only hospital in Louisville west of I-65 serving a diverse and medically underserved population, including a large concentration of low-income citizens. The socio-economic challenges faced by patients often lead to babies being born prematurely and/or low birth rates and other complicating medical conditions.
“UofL Health recognizes the lack of maternal health care services in South Louisville, and taking the initiative to improve access and expand labor and delivery services speaks to our dedication to the patients we help each and every day,” said Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health.
Mary & Elizabeth Hospital is also home to the UofL Health – Center for Women’s Health and UofL School of Medicine’s Family Medicine Residency Program, which provide care for patients of all ages, including newborns. It means moms and babies can continue follow-up care close to home while simultaneously providing opportunities for the training of future physicians.
“’The Birthing Place’ will positively impact the lives of both mothers and children. Our improved maternity care can lead to lifelong improvements in health, as well as safer development of the baby’s basic and vital functions,” said Sean Francis, M.D., Donald E. Baxter Endowed Chairman, Department of OB/GYN & Women’s Health.
Demolition of the existing space is scheduled to start in December, with an anticipated opening of “The Birthing Place” in Spring 2025. When needed, high-risk and subspecialty care will be provided at UofL Hospital, thanks to the collaboration with the UofL Hospital – Center for Women & Infants.
Additional media coverage:
- UofL Health renovating hospital to open first birthing center in south Louisville in nearly 50 years (WDRB)
- Labor and delivery services to return to this south Louisville hospital after nearly 50 years (WHAS)
- UofL Health celebrates ‘The Birthing Place’ at Mary & Elizabeth Hospital (WAVE)
- South Louisville to get ‘The Birthing Place.’ Why it matters. (Kentucky Lantern)
- Labor and delivery services to return to UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital as part of $20 million project (Louisville Business First)