Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit opens at Norton Children’s Hospital

DesignGroup leads redesign of hospital to provide better patient- and family-centric services

COLUMBUS, Ohio – DesignGroup of Columbus, Ohio, has transformed the fourth floor of Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, into the Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). Dedicated in December 2019, the CICU’s 17 private rooms house children recovering from heart procedures, including open heart surgery, heart transplant and other conditions requiring intensive care.

More than 1,400 critically ill and premature infants come to the hospital each year. Many of these patients are in need of cardiac care. The CICU redesign is one piece of $78.3 million Norton Healthcare investment in the Children’s Hospital. The renovation project, expected to be complete in 2022, will total more than 101,000 square feet.

The new CICU is part of a jigsaw puzzle of renovations, including the creation of a new 7,000 square foot conference center on the first floor. Moving the conference center from the sixth floor to the first floor created space to accommodate a 24-bed medical and surgical unit, which had been on the fourth floor. The pediatric intensive care unit, which is also being renovated, will remain on the fourth floor with the new CICU. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has also been renovated, and opened in February 2020.

Central Lobby

“More than 20 departments have been relocated as part of this redesign and renovation,” said DesignGroup’s Director and Healthcare Studio Leader Elliott Bonnie, AIA, LEED AP BD+C. “It really shows how the entire hospital is committed to focusing on the family-centered model of care.” DesignGroup, a firm specializing in healthcare, is the planner and design architect for the project, allowing their board-certified healthcare architects to focus on the unique requirements and next-generation needs of a healthcare facility. DesignGroup is collaborating with a local firm to complete construction.

The Jennifer Lawrence CICU includes three neonatal rooms and 14 private CICU patient rooms, along with a new family-dedicated gathering space which serves as a focal point providing families with opportunities for connection and respite.

The NICU renovation converted an existing ward-style unit to a 29-bed, family-centered model of care. Aligned with an addition to the north side of the facility, the NICU offers a new entry sequence that includes a greeter station, a family respite zone, family amenities and the milk lab for the entire facility.


“We are delighted that parts of this renovation are coming to completion,” said Kathy Lamb, vice president of operations, Norton Children’s Hospital. “At Norton Children’s Hospital, we aim to provide the very best approach to care. The family-centric changes that are part of this renovation are helping us achieve that goal. We look forward to completing the entire renovation project in the coming years.”

With the opening of the Jennifer Lawrence CICU, the architect and construction teams will turn their focus to renovations of the “Just for Kids” Critical Care Center and creating a more patient-centric imaging department and entrance set to open in Summer 2020.

About DesignGroup

Founded in 1972, DesignGroup is an AIA Ohio Gold Medal architecture and design firm located in The Discovery District of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The practice focuses on civic, education, library, healthcare and office projects. With numerous, award-winning projects located throughout the United States, DesignGroup's work is unmistakable, with a balance of stunning contemporary architecture, thoughtful renovations and sustainable building practices. Civic responsibility is integral to DesignGroup’s philosophy; beyond bricks and mortar, the firm is deeply involved in community organizations and its design principals are recognized as thought leaders in design. Learn more at .

About Norton Children’s Hospital

For more than a century, Norton Children’s Hospital and its predecessor hospitals have cared for the children of Kentucky and Southern Indiana without regard to their families’ ability to pay. Norton Children’s Hospital is Kentucky’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric care facility dedicated exclusively to caring for children and is an advocate for the health and well-being of all children. The 300-bed hospital serves as the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

As the need for expert pediatric care has grown in our region, so has the footprint of Norton Children’s Hospital and the specialized care we provide. Our medical facilities currently serve more than 170,000 patients each year.


Sara Stacy
Blue Water Communications
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