Breaking News
More () »

UofL Health expands heart care services at Urgent Care Plus in west Louisville

More than half of a $350,000 donation will fund an Echo machine, which cardiologists use to get an accurate image of a patient's heart and potentially detect issues.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A major, six-figure donation is funding a critical device at a west Louisville clinic, part of a larger effort to reduce healthcare disparities in the city.

University of Louisville Health is expanding medical access and services at its Urgent Care Plus in the Parkland neighborhood, thanks to a $350,000 donation by Ted Nixon and Frank Harshaw.

According to UofL Health, more than half of the gift will fund a cardiac ultrasound device, also called an Echo machine, which cardiologists use to get an accurate image of a patient's heart and potentially detect issues early enough to save lives.

"[We are trying] to right the wrongs of healthcare disparities," said Dr. Kim Williams, a cardiologist at the Parkland clinic and chair of UofL's Department of Medicine. "People who are minorities, the socioeconomically deprived don't get imaging. They don't get access to specialists, and this is what we're hoping to provide here."

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people in the U.S., and the rates are even higher among African Americans.

The Parkland clinic is a quick drive or walk away for many west end residents in Louisville, who now have easier access to heart care services.

“When we opened the Parkland Clinic location in 2021, it was part of UofL Health’s commitment to expand access and reduce barriers to care in our community,” Tom Miller, CEO of UofL Health, said. “This considerable gift helps reduce specific disparities and brings specialty care into this neighborhood.”

Williams says this investment is where the message of Black History Month and American Heart Month come together.

"They intersect in a very real way because its African American women who tend to have less access to care and less ability to [overcome] the bias that we have in our medical system -- to address their issues when they come in with them," he said. "So, it's a wonderful time to draw attention to this."

Reverend Gerome Sutton, who attends West Chestnut Street Baptist Church in the Russell Neighborhood, is optimistic about the move's impact.

"You see people barely making it into the grocery store because of deteriorating health and no real healthcare provider [nearby], but now we're getting closer to that," Sutton said.

The funding will also be used to hire a full-time, licensed clinical social worker, officials said in a press release. They will help with individual therapy and case management.

“The need for mental health services and interventions is tremendous and growing,” UofL President Dr. Kim Schatzel said. “Access to mental health services in low income and medically underserved communities is limited, and we plan to fix that thanks to this donation.”

To learn more about the Urgent Care Plus center in the Parkland neighborhood, click here.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Before You Leave, Check This Out