Blessing of the Grapes Evokes Hopeful Prayers

Bishop Torkom Donoyan, prelate of the Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America, carried out the Blessing of the Grapes ceremony at Adventist Health Glendale on Thursday. (Photo by Zane Hill / Glendale News-Press)

This article was originally published in the Glendale News-Press on Aug. 14

In a relatively brief but nevertheless emotional moment, clergymen from the Armenian Apostolic Church drew a small congregation at Adventist Health Glendale on Thursday and, following the cultural custom, blessed grapes for all in attendance.
Snack bags with green and purple blessings also were distributed to the hospital’s staff members and patients — many of whom readily accepted the help, given the most recent surge of the coronavirus pandemic. It was a spiritual service that the hospital had to forgo last year, when the traditional indoor ceremony was canceled due to COVID-19 health mitigation mandates.
The ceremony returned Thursday, held this time in the outdoor Orfi’s Garden located in between the hospital’s east and west towers.

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Trio Honored as ‘Women of Influence’ in Health Care

Three women at Glendale hospitals were recognized this week by the Los Angeles Business Journal as being among its “Women of Influence” in health care.
The publication named Alice Issai, president of Adventist Health Glendale, Theresa Murphy, chief nursing officer at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, and Mary Virgallito, associate administrator of quality and patient safety at USC-VHH, among the 40 total honorees.
For its list, the Business Journal said it identified “particularly stellar health industry stewards” in the L.A. region, whose leadership shined throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The health care leaders were chosen by the Los Angeles Business Journal to be recognized for exceptional stewardship and achievement across the full spectrum of responsibility, exemplary leadership as evidenced by the highest professional and ethical standards, and for contributions to the health and wellbeing of the Los Angeles community at large,” the Business Journal wrote.
Issai was recognized for leading Adventist Health through numerous advancements throughout the past several years, including the development of a structural heart program, growth of a number of surgical sub-specialties and the expansion of primary care physicians and specialists at the institution. The Business Journal also noted that the hospital was named among California’s top 5% by the U.S. News & World Report and was among five South California hospitals awarded a five-star rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Murphy was lauded for her continued advocacy for improvements to nurse working culture, having helped implement updated work practices for the pandemic and also support services to combat burnout among USC-VHH’s nursing staff. She is chair of the Hospital Association of Southern California’s Nursing Advisory Committee, where she has also developed and led sessions addressing staff burnout and crisis response.
Virgallito was heralded for her quick response at the start of the pandemic to establish new infection prevention protocols that helped reserve the limited supply of personal protective equipment by making use of remote technology and no-touch cleaning. She was the statewide representative for California chapters of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology to the state Department of Public Health’s Healthcare Acquired Infections Advisory Committee.

Area Teachers to Start Receiving COVID-19 Shots Next Week

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and other institutions will begin vaccinating area elementary school teachers for COVID-19 next week, including Glendale Unified School District teachers who choose to sign up for the inoculation.
The hospital will take 350 teachers on Monday and another 350 on Thursday and aims to continue its vaccination work with additional teachers and members of the community, as eligibility increases. The concrete plan is a welcome development weeks after the initial rollout for vaccinating teachers was delayed because of supply issues.
Additionally, Adventist Health Glendale and Glendale Memorial Hospital also will be handling vaccinations for GUSD teachers.

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City Continues ‘Downward Trend’ in New COVID-19 Cases

Photo courtesy Glendale Fire Department
With help from CVS and HumanGood, the Glendale Fire Department this week helped administer COVID-19 vaccinations to low-income senior residents at Park Paseo and The Otto Gruber House.

Daily new cases of COVID-19 in Glendale have been falling throughout 2021, and while they still are not at the lower levels seen before the holiday season surge, it is still a marked improvement from the crisis that overwhelmed Southern California’s health care system.
As of the News-Press’ deadline this week, the city had a seven-day average of 76 new cases per day, the lowest amount since the seven-day average of 72 posted on Nov. 28. This comes weeks after the city peaked on Jan. 14 with an astronomical seven-day average of 247 daily new cases of the coronavirus.

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Adventist Health Glendale Leader Confident Amid Virus’ Surge

 

By Alice Issai
President, Adventist Health Glendale

Alice Issai

This year has brought so many challenges — to our organization, our community and each of us individually. Now, as we embark on a holiday season during a global pandemic, my thoughts immediately turn to our front-line workers and the many community members for whom comfort and joy will be difficult to find.
As with other medical centers, Adventist Health Glendale is seeing a steady climb in the number of patients with COVID-19. State and county officials, fearful of mass spreading, have curtailed activities, instituted curfews and pleaded with the public to heed public health experts’ calls to wear your mask, watch your distance and wash your hands — still the best line of defense against contracting the coronavirus.
And yet, true to the season’s essence, there is hope.
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Hospital Leaders Confident Amid Virus’ Surge

By Keith Hobbs
CEO, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

Keith Hobbs

We are most definitely seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases locally, regionally and nationally — the news is real. We all heard the public health warnings before Thanksgiving; the combination of colder weather, families wanting to gather for the holidays and students returning home from college would likely result in increased exposure and transmission.
At USC Verdugo Hills Hospital we are already seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in our Emergency Room and among our admitted patient population, and these are not even people who were exposed due to Thanksgiving gatherings. The incubation period of the virus means that surge is still likely a week away.

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Flu Shots More Important This Year, Health Experts Say

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
A local resident gets a flu shot during a recent drive-thru event at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Experts are strongly urging people to get flu shots this year, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, especially, is the time to make sure you get your flu shot, according to local experts.
It’s not likely that you’ll find a doctor who won’t urge a patient to get an annual flu shot in a normal year, mind you. However, the world has even more reason to keep hospital beds open at the moment because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Any way that we can prevent any kind of respiratory illness is important,” said Patricia Sung, manager of infection prevention at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. “Even under normal circumstances, it’s pretty important to get the flu shot.”
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Flu Shots More Important This Year, Health Experts Say

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
A local resident gets a flu shot during a recent drive-thru event at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Experts are strongly urging people to get flu shots this year, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, especially, is the time to make sure you get your flu shot, according to local experts.
It’s not likely that you’ll find a doctor who won’t urge a patient to get an annual flu shot in a normal year, mind you. However, the world has even more reason to keep hospital beds open at the moment because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Any way that we can prevent any kind of respiratory illness is important,” said Patricia Sung, manager of infection prevention at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. “Even under normal circumstances, it’s pretty important to get the flu shot.”
The flu, much like COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that can become incapacitating and fatal if not treated and when exacerbated by other conditions. Although some studies have indicated that individuals infected with both illnesses have twice the mortality rate, Sung said the actual data isn’t there yet.

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Glendale Armenians “Inspired by Other People’s Sacrifices”

When local members of the Armenian diaspora woke up on Thursday and began to scour the internet and social media for on-the-ground updates — any news, really — from the front lines of the reignited war between Azerbaijan and the Armenia-backed breakaway state Artsakh, they found pictures of the Holy Savior Cathedral.
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Adventist Health Glendale Celebrates 115 Years

Adventist Health Glendale will celebrate 115 years next week as part of the hospital’s testament and dedication to the men and women who have made this organization what it is today.
Since Aug. 24, 1905, Adventist Health Glendale has been providing quality health-care services to residents of Glendale and the surrounding communities. Since its founding in 1905, generations of families have entrusted its physicians, nurses and associates with their health-care needs. With a heritage of dedication and commitment, the hospital continues to bring the highest quality of care to keep the communities healthy, now and in the future.

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