Las Madrinas Ball Benefits Children’s Hospital

First published in the Jan. 13 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Las Madrinas recently honored 56 debutantes and their families for their service to the Southern California community and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at the Las Madrinas Ball at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Guests from across Los Angeles and around the country gathered with the debutantes, their families and the members of Las Madrinas for the celebration.
Continue reading “Las Madrinas Ball Benefits Children’s Hospital”

Doctor Works to Allay Fear of COVID Vaccines for Children

First published in the Nov. 20 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Dr. Christine Mirzaian wanted to set an example for other parents.
So as soon as COVID-19 vaccines were authorized for children, the pediatrician brought her 5-year-old daughter to work, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, to get round one of the shot.
After bearing witness to how the coronavirus has devastated Southern California for 19 months, the Glendale native and resident said she didn’t have to think twice about it.
Continue reading “Doctor Works to Allay Fear of COVID Vaccines for Children”

John Muir Dedicates Lending Library in Memory of Student

First published in the Oct. 30 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

The dedication ceremony began with the ring of the 9 a.m. bell at John Muir Middle School.
School administrators, teachers, parents and students gathered in front of John Muir’s outdoor classroom Thursday, but not for a lecture. Instead, they huddled around a small wooden box near the entrance of the classroom. Painstakingly painted, the box — a “lending library” of free books for students — was filled with popular reads: “Wonder,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Magic Tree House” and more.
Continue reading “John Muir Dedicates Lending Library in Memory of Student”

Verdugo Hills Hospital CEO Hobbs Leaving for Torrance Memorial

Keith Hobbs

After joining his hometown hospital five years ago to engineer a financial and performance turnaround, Keith Hobbs will depart USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in March after accepting the top job at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

Hobbs announced his decision to hospital staff last week, and named current Chief Medical Officer Dr. Armand Dorian as the interim CEO. In an interview this week, Hobbs — who grew up in La Crescenta and graduated from Crescenta Valley High School — agreed the transition was bittersweet in many ways, not least of which because he wasn’t actively looking to leave this job.
“It was a very difficult decision to ultimately decide to leave. It was sort of a perfect opportunity that I wasn’t looking for,” he said. “Ultimately I took an interview and it ended up being the perfect opportunity. That’s what it took for me to be willing to leave something I’m so passionate about and love.”
Hobbs was brought in as the leader of USC-VHH in January 2016, nearly three years after USC acquired the 158-bed institution. Prior to the purchase, the hospital had fallen into a period of financial and operational issues and had had trouble investing in updated facilities. Hobbs brought with him nearly two dozen years of background in administration at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he was in charge of ancillary services, support services and the supply chain for the preceding 14 years.
Continue reading “Verdugo Hills Hospital CEO Hobbs Leaving for Torrance Memorial”

Villa Esperanza Services Elects New Board Members

Villa Esperanza Services recently welcomed Christine Benter, Suzi Hoge, Dr. Ricki Robinson and Andrea Williams to its board of directors, which provides guidance to Villa while serving individuals with intellectual/development disabilities of all ages and their families.
Christine Benter is a local philanthropist serving in a variety of capacities supporting her local community. Benter held the immediate past chair, board of governors at Huntington Library. She’s also been a past president of Pasadena Garden Club. Benter’s philanthropy extends beyond that to include working with Huntington’s advancement and membership committee, docent program and much more. Prior to her work in the community, Benter was an elementary schoolteacher. She has her master’s degree in education from USC.
Suzi Hoge has spent her long and successful career in education, serving in a variety of capacities. With more than 20 years of experience as a principal with Glendale and Pasadena Unified School Districts, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Villa’s board. Hoge has a doctorate of educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University and currently works as leadership coach for Los Angeles County Office of Education. She has been committed to special education and advocacy for those with special needs since her daughter was born with Down syndrome. She serves as a member of the Civitan Club of Pasadena, a civic organization, which helped launch Villa 60 years ago.

Continue reading “Villa Esperanza Services Elects New Board Members”

LAFCU Raising Funds for Children’s Hospital

In the spirit of “people helping people,” the Los Angeles Federal Credit Union is raising $1,500 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to support its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund. For every dollar raised in the month of September, LAFCU will match up to $5,000 for CHLA through its charity arm, the Los Angeles Charitable Association. The hospital’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund pays for:
• 5,000 daily COVID screenings for patients, families, guests and staff at CHLA
• 300 daily COVID tests for patients and staff at CHLA
• Telehealth resources and artificial intelligence COVID-screening bots
• Staffing to monitor patients with COVID
• Personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies for staff
One hundred percent of the donations raised will go toward direct COVID-19 medical services at CHLA.

For more information, visit lafcu.org/promotions.html.

Las Madrinas Debutantes

Photo courtesy Nick Boswell
Local residents Caroline Finnegan, Kristina Turicchi, Betsy Foker, Caroline Tilton, Ellie Watkins, Michaela Gallo, Chloe Baker, Brooke Snaer and Katrina Pyle were recently honored for their service to the Southern California community and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at the Las Madrinas Ball.

Las Madrinas honored 26 families and their daughters for their service to the Southern California community and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at the Las Madrinas Ball held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel during the holiday season. More than 800 guests from the Greater Los Angeles area and beyond gathered to celebrate with the members of Las Madrinas. Continue reading “Las Madrinas Debutantes”

New Honors for Beloved Leader in Pediatric Pulmonology

Dr. Thomas Keens
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Dr. Thomas Keens, at his office at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, displays the Pediatric Founders Award he recently won.

Dr. Thomas Keens, a La Cañada Flintridge resident who has served as medical director of the pulmonary physiology laboratory at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles since 1977, has gained further validation of his prominence in his field, having recently received the Pediatric Founders Award.
Keens spoke about his passion for his job during an interview in his CHLA office, where the many awards he has received — including the Founders Award — cover the walls, shelves and desk.
“I just love it,” Keens said. “I like the patient care, I like the research and I like the teaching. It’s the perfect career. No two days are the same, so I never get bored.”
Keens was the 10th recipient of the distinction granted by the Pediatric Scientific Assembly of the American Thoracic Society at its annual meeting on May 19 in Dallas. Continue reading “New Honors for Beloved Leader in Pediatric Pulmonology”

Spiritual Care Guild Bolsters Young Patients, Families

Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK Spiritual Care Guild volunteers include past President Heather Dinger, event chair Kerry Lovelock, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Spiritual Care Department head the Rev. Dagmar Grefe and current President Sara Larson. Spiritual Care Guild supports CHLA’s Spiritual Care Department, making sure no family in crisis is without comfort or support.
Photo by Larissa Althouse / OUTLOOK
Spiritual Care Guild volunteers include past President Heather Dinger, event chair Kerry Lovelock, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Spiritual Care Department head the Rev. Dagmar Grefe and current President Sara Larson.
Spiritual Care Guild supports CHLA’s Spiritual Care Department, making sure no family in crisis is without comfort or support.

For parents caring for a sick or injured child in the hospital, they’ve known the loneliness and despair that might come in the quiet hours of the night, when staff is reduced and their child is struggling with pain or fear.
When they learned of those parents and their need of support, a group of Pasadena women walked the halls at one of the top pediatric hospitals in California, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Continue reading “Spiritual Care Guild Bolsters Young Patients, Families”