Patients and family members on the third floor of Norton Hospital have a new outdoor space where they can go to relax, meditate or enjoy the company of family members. This floor is home to the hospital’s labor and delivery and postpartum units, as well as part of the Norton Children’s Hospital neonatal intensive care and medical/surgical units. In addition, the space offers employees a place of respite from their daily activities.

Studies have shown that having a connection to a natural environment and access to daylight can improve health.

The labor and delivery unit at Norton Hospital in downtown Louisville welcomes more than 2,300 babies a year. On average, more than 180 mothers a month spend time in this unit. Connected by pedway to Norton Children’s Hospital, many mothers experiencing high-risk pregnancies are transferred there for childbirth so that their newborns may receive the highest level of care. During these situations, having easy access to the outdoors, such as in the new Family Comfort Garden, becomes even more important.

The space was funded with a nearly $250,000 grant from the Norton Healthcare Foundation. This included funding received from employees through a systemwide combined giving campaign.

The Family Comfort Garden features:

·        Sculptural artwork

·        Decorative teak wall panel

·        Shade sails

·        Landscape art

·        A “green wall” of vertical plantings with a variety of succulent-type plants

·        Decorative pergola/trellis

·        Physically distanced seating for individuals, and table, group and bench seating for families