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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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.
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Doctors’ Big Care Package Helps the Healing in Armenia

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
Packing and shipping a 7,500-pound piece of equipment proved challenging for local physicians who sent a CT scanner to Armenia to help surgeons whose patients sustained shrapnel wounds in the war with Azerbaijan.

It all started with the recollection of a quote.
When Dr. Armand Dorian, chief medical officer at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale, saw news reports in September that war involving his ancestral home of Armenia had resumed, he was drawn back to a famous statement by cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” Dorian said in an interview, reciting Mead’s words.
His recall of the remark prompted him to get on the phone, and a few calls later, Dorian said, he knew what he had to do. Armenia’s ministry of health reported that chief among the nation’s needs was a CT scanner, largely for use in surgeries on people with shrapnel wounds as a result of the fighting between Armenian forces in the breakaway state Artsakh against Azerbaijani forces aiming to reassert control of the region.
So he got to work.

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USC-VHH Virtual Golf Tournament Is Sept. 21

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation Board Chair Tina Marie Ito, hospital CEO Keith Hobbs and Golf Classic co-Chair Sue Wilder are pictured at last year’s tournament. Because of COVID-19, this year’s 29th annual Golf Classic will be held virtually on Monday, Sept. 21.

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital will host its 29th annual Golf Classic virtually on Monday, Sept. 21.
“We invite members of the community to join us for a bring-your-own-cocktail, ‘Caddyshack’-themed happy hour, comedy show and program,” an event spokesperson said. “Golf and ‘Caddyshack’ trivia, humor, a fabulous online auction and a brief hospital update from CEO Keith Hobbs and USC-VHH’s chief medical officer, Dr. Armand Dorian, will be teed up.
“The health-care crisis that prevents us from golfing together is also creating the hospital’s most pressing need for support,” the spokesperson continued. “Since mid-March, our front-line caregivers have worked tirelessly to care for more than 300 COVID-19-positive inpatients and have tested nearly 4,000 people through our Emergency Department.”
For more information about how to participate (buy a ticket or bid on online auction items), visit bit.ly/VHHGolf20. The online auction runs Sept. 14-28.
To learn more about USC-VHH’s COVID response efforts, visit bit.ly/VHHCovid.

Busiest Flu Season in a Decade, Says USC-VHH Official

OUTLOOK photo
Like hospitals across the nation, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital has seen a sharp increase in patients experiencing flu this season.

Dr. Armand Dorian said he and his colleagues at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital are taxed and exhausted after treating about 30% more flu cases this season than they normally do. The brutal flu season affecting the nation hasn’t spared La Cañada Flintridge, said Dorian, who noted the local hospital has seen more patients with flu-related symptoms this year than during any other winter in the past decade.
“But it’s why we’re here,” said Dorian, the associate chief medical officer at USC-VHH. “To take care of our friends and family and the community.”
Dorian said the H3N2 virus that’s wreaking havoc locally is in line with what’s happening across the county — and the country. Continue reading “Busiest Flu Season in a Decade, Says USC-VHH Official”