Local Infection Prevention Doctor Named Woman of Year

Dr. Wint Hun

About 17 months ago, when Dr. Wint Hun started reading news reports about a coronavirus spreading out of China, and eventually throughout the entire world, she knew she’d be called up to bat at work soon.
At USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, the young doctor and La Cañada Flintridge resident works as an infectious disease specialist; since March 2020, she has been a member of the hospital’s infection prevention team to help isolate the coronavirus only to the patients who arrive with it and protect the institution’s health-care workers and other patients. Hun also utilized her expertise at Adventist Health Glendale as well as Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, where she has served as a consult and on-call physician.

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Keck Medicine, USC Verdugo Hills Set COVID Visitation Policy

Keck Medicine of USC announced last week that all visitors to its locations, including USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or provide proof of a negative test before entering its facilities for an inpatient visitation.
Visitors must be two weeks removed from their final dose of vaccine — that is, the second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna shots or the singular dose of the Johnson & Johnson variety — before visiting. Those visitors can provide their vaccination cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, show a photo or copy of the card or use the electronic record to provide proof of vaccination.

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Local Infection Prevention Doctor Named Woman of Year

Dr. Wint Hun

About 17 months ago, when Dr. Wint Hun started reading news reports about a coronavirus spreading out of China, and eventually throughout the entire world, she knew she’d be called up to bat at work soon.
At USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, the young doctor and La Cañada Flintridge resident works as an infectious disease specialist; since March 2020, she has been a member of the hospital’s infection prevention team to help isolate the coronavirus only to the patients who arrive with it and protect the institution’s health-care workers and other patients. Hun also utilized her expertise at Adventist Health Glendale as well as Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, where she has served as a consult and on-call physician.

Continue reading “Local Infection Prevention Doctor Named Woman of Year”

Tested by Crisis, Local Nurse Named Woman of the Year

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital nurse Susan Sung Hee Lee was recently recognized as one of the women of the year in Congressman Adam Schiff’s district. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the longtime nurse has stitched together scrub caps for her colleagues as part of their coronavirus safety gear. (Photo courtesy Susan Lee)

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

A sewing machine and a pair of scissors, along with some key leadership skills, helped Susan Sung Hee Lee navigate some of the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic.
The relief charge nurse at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital had a team to lead when the first wave of the pandemic came crashing down — in the intensive care unit, no less. She continued through the similarly large second surge, then through the nearly catastrophic third outbreak and now faces a fourth rise in COVID-19 caseloads as the school year dawns.
Early on was chaotic, with a barrage of new information and policy changes from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the hospital’s own administration.
Through it all, and whatever the future might bring, the most important thing to Lee is that she’s not alone.

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Vaccinations a Hit With Youth Baseball Club

Photo by Zane Hill / Outlook Valley Sun
Trevor Rivas, Chase Regan and Milo Lin proudly show off their bandages on Saturday after receiving their first round of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The vaccines will allow them and other members of their La Cañada youth baseball team to travel and compete in a tournament in Cooperstown, New York, next month.

Who knew a bunch of preteen boys and girls would wake up early on a Saturday or Sunday excited to go get a shot?

This past weekend, nearly 1,200 of them did, and their families brought them to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital to get their first doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. The hospital administered another 850 doses this week.

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ALF Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals Provides Meals to USC-VHH

Photo courtesy ALF
CAP member Astrid Soegaard receives lunches from a Penelope’s employee for front-line workers at USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital.

The Assistance League of Flintridge’s auxiliary, Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals (CAP), have provided meals to frontline workers at USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital on four occasions this year.
After having provided meals to USC-VHH in the spring of 2020, CAP member Astrid Soegaard suggested a second round of meals be provided. CAP membership unanimously supported this proposal.
The project was coordinated through the website Meal Train Plus, which was established to support COVID-19 front-line workers at USC-VHH.
Local businesses Penelope’s, Gelsinger’s and Stella’s were enthusiastic participants in the philanthropic project, providing lunches and dinners.
CAP members participate in five philanthropic programs: Scholarships, Cappy Bears, SPROUTS, and CAP Care PACs, and work with Assistance League of Flintridge in Operation School Bell. CAP philanthropies are supported by sales in the Bargain Box thrift shop, which includes toy sales.
To learn more about Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals, CAP philanthropic programs, social activities and membership, visit ALFlintridge.org or call (818) 790-1328.

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.

Cath Lab has ‘Wall-breaking’ Ceremony at USC-VHH

Image courtesy Savely Architects
This rendering showcases what will be one of two cath lab devices being installed at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. The new lab is expected to substantially improve the hospital’s ability to treat emergency cardiovascular situations.

He left the actual destruction to the professionals, but Rod Hanners, the interim CEO of Keck Medicine of USC, officially broke ground — er, wall — Thursday last week on what will be a new IR cath lab at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.
Before taking the ceremonial swing with a sledgehammer, Hanners touted the IR cath lab — short form for interventional radiology catheterization laboratory — as being a game-changing addition to the Glendale-based hospital’s ability to treat cardiovascular issues. To say the least, it’s an important ability to have — cardiovascular diseases are the top cause of death worldwide, killing nearly 18 million annually according to the World Health Organization.

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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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