Before University Hospital was known as University Hospital it was The Louisville Hospital Company. The Louisville Hospital Company was established in 1817 by the General Assembly of Kentucky. The hospital began admitting patients in 1823. The Louisville General Council appropriated over $39,000 to remodel the original facility in 1870. By 1873 the hospital was known as Louisville City Hospital.
Ground was broken in 1910 on a new, $942,000 hospital, which in 1914 opened its doors. In 1917 the Dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine was appointed superintendent of the hospital. By 1939 the hospital had become officially affiliated with the U of L School of Medicine and increased capacity to 537 beds. In 1942 the name changed to Louisville General Hospital. In 1978, construction began on a new hospital building. In 1979, General Hospital was deeded to the University of Louisville.
During the following two decades the hospital underwent several changes in management and name.
In 1996, however, the University Medical Center, Inc. partnership (UMC) assumed responsibility for management of University Hospital and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
A partnership between the University of Louisville, Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services and Norton Healthcare, the UMC has invested more than $100 million in facilities improvements and upgrades since 1996.
Ensuring that the facilities are state-of-the-art barely scratches the surface of what University Hospital has achieved under UMC:
- As the focal point for cancer research and treatment, the Brown Cancer Center has made significant strides in its quest to become Kentucky’s first and only NCI Designated Cancer Center and is poised to obtain this distinction in the near future.
- University Hospital became the first certified Stroke Center in Kentucky, showing that the Hospital and U of L School of Medicine are leading the fight against the third leading cause of death, and one of the leading causes of long term disability in Kentucky.
- University Hospital provides more than $100 million in medical care to the uninsured each year.
- University Hospital hosts the region’s most comprehensive trauma program.
It was announced on July 9, 2007, that Norton Healthcare and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare would withdraw from the UMC Board, at the request of the University of Louisville. The restructuring took place independent of the University’s School of Medicine’s multiple affiliation agreements with Norton Healthcare and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare.
On September 26, 2007, the first 14 members of the UMC, Inc. Board of Directors were announced. To date, there are 17 voting Board Members which come from the community and from the University of Louisville. UofL President James R. Ramsey, Ph.D. serves as the President of the UMC Board. UMC, Inc. President and CEO James Taylor serves on the Board as a non-voting member. There are also six Advisory Directors.
For nearly 200 years, University Hospital has played a key role in caring for Louisvillians, and in finding better ways to care for patients around the world.