On Monday afternoon, the Glendale Fire Foundation received a $600 check from two generous donors. One of whom is 6 years old, and the other, just 2. Sisters Tuesday and Sunny Carroll have spent much of their at-home time during the COVID-19 pandemic painting. They decided to sell their art to raise funds for their local fire department and on Monday, delivered their donation of money as well as three paintings to firefighters at Glendale Fire Station 29. “It’s pretty good here,” said Tuesday, 6, after she and Sunny were given a tour of the station. “I really liked the firetrucks.” Although Tuesday and Sunny might not realize how large the amount of money they raised is, or the impact their actions will have on their local fire station, the firefighters are grateful.
USC Verdugo Hills Hospital recently was designated by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a top hospital for LGBTQ+ patients and health-care workers, the only hospital in Glendale to receive the recognition. The Human Rights Campaign, the educational arm of the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, designated all of Keck Medicine’s hospitals as LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leaders after evaluating hospitals nationwide on their services and work environments to ensure that people who identify as LGBTQ+ feel included and are well cared for. “It has always been the goal of our hospital to ensure the health and well-being of the whole community, including those who identify as LGBTQ+,” said USC-VHH CEO Keith Hobbs. “Receiving this designation by the Human Rights Campaign is an honor, but not the reason we strive to provide care. That said, we hope that this designation can reassure LGBTQ+ patients in the community that we are here for them, that they and their loved ones will be treated with the utmost respect and compassion, addressing any personalized needs that may arise.”
The numerous unexpected challenges, uncertainty and tension brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and wildfires have been difficult for many to handle, causing monumental shifts in people’s lives while limiting access to healthy coping mechanisms.
For example, it is more difficult for people to connect with their social networks, unwind at the spa or gym or even take a leisurely walk around the block.
For people who struggle with mental health issues, these are especially trying times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that the pandemic may worsen existing mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Suicide hotlines in Los Angeles County are reporting several thousand more calls than in previous months. Continue reading “USC-VHH Holds Suicide Prevention Conference”
The numerous unexpected challenges, uncertainty and tension brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and wildfires have been difficult for many to handle, causing monumental shifts in people’s lives while limiting access to healthy coping mechanisms. For example, it is more difficult for people to connect with their social networks, unwind at the spa or gym or even take a leisurely walk around the block. For people who struggle with mental health issues, these are especially trying times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged that the pandemic may worsen existing mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression. Suicide hotlines in Los Angeles County are reporting several thousand more calls than in previous months.
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.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital has doubled down on its commitment to safely help mothers bring their bundles of joy into the world. In fact, USC-VHH delivered 61 babies in July, the most it has welcomed in any month in the last seven years and more than double the number of births in the same period in 2019. Part of the reason for that increase is the hospital’s growing reputation for creating a supportive environment for expectant mothers and fathers and having state-of-the-art medical care, like the neonatal intensive care unit’s specialized staff and equipment to treat ill or premature newborns, USC-VHH officials said. The unit opened in 2018. “We have developed a wonderful relationship with our obstetricians and created a collaborative, supportive environment for them and the mothers who entrust them to deliver their babies. We have focused on adding additional support, the NICU and laborists, to provide a higher level of care capabilities,” said Kenny Pawlek, USC-VHH’s chief operating officer. “During COVID-19, we’ve stressed safety for our moms, parents, babies, MDs, nursing team and employees.”
While the tally of positive COVID-19 tests grows larger, the average age of patients has been inching lower in recent weeks as the initial wave of the pandemic has surged back with fury. When the pandemic grew in March and April, hospitals found themselves overwhelmed and low on key supplies to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, and elderly men and women with pre-existing health conditions represented a large percentage of cases. A significant number of such patients came from skilled nursing facilities, whose residents sometimes made up a super-majority of deaths in a given community. Now, in the weeks after Los Angeles County and state officials briefly relaxed public restrictions, it’s a different picture.
Officials are urging caution and adherence to policies meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as, weeks after California began reopening and mass protests began forming across the county, there has been a spike in reported cases of the virus.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has largely taken direct initiative to reverse an easing of restrictive policies that counties were mostly left to enact at the start of the pandemic in March. This week, he ordered a flurry of counties, including Los Angeles County, to bar indoor sit-down service at restaurants, shut down bars altogether and, ahead of the holiday weekend, close down beaches.
The county’s overall numbers of daily new confirmed cases have steadily risen in recent weeks, Fire Chief Silvio Lanzas told the City Council this week, and although Glendale itself experienced seven spikes of greater than 20 new daily cases during June — four of which were greater than 30 — its seven-day average only crossed north of 20 once.
“That 20 number is a number that I feel is one that would keep us on a flattening-type curve,” Lanzas said Tuesday. “However, the cases across the county are troubling, and therefore the county and state have taken action to reverse some of the openings that have happened.”
As of press deadline this week, Glendale has had a total of 1,455 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its residents, of whom 108 have died from the illness. Roughly half of those deaths are associated with skilled nursing facilities in Glendale, although the county’s data does not make it clear how many of those associated deaths are among residents or staff members.
In unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, the county has listed 57 confirmed cases and one death among residents. Continue reading “Keep Your Distance: City Sees Spike in Virus Cases”
As businesses and public spaces in Los Angeles County gradually reopened over the last few weeks, the data surrounding COVID-19 infection is showing some concerning trends. Last week, after several weeks of decline, L.A. County saw an uptick in not only the absolute number of positive cases, but also in the percentage of positive results. Some are attributing the increase in cases to more testing. However, the increased percentage of those tests that are positive indicates that COVID-19 is spreading more quickly in the community. The data also shows that the average age of those testing positive is trending younger than before re-opening.
While hospitalization for COVID-19 across the county is also again on the rise, the capacity in intensive care units and the supply of ventilators remains stable for the time being. We at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital remain prepared to care for any members of our community who may require hospitalization for complications arising from COVID-19. Continue reading “USC-VHH on Alert as COVID-19 Cases Surge”