LCHS Graduate Plays Key Role at USC-VHH During Coronavirus

Mary Virgallito

Mary Virgallito’s fingerprints are all over USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.
Her title as infection preventionist means this isn’t a literal statement — she’ll sooner sanitize and wipe down a window than smudge a handprint on it — but rather metaphorical. Whether it’s food prep, janitorial service or surgery, if it happens at USC-VHH, it’s because Virgallito — a La Cañada Flintridge native who went off, became a nurse and returned home — gave it the thumbs-up.
“This involves every single aspect of what we do, even on the finance side,” she explained in a phone interview. “It’s something that I never really expected but you get a flavor for every aspect of how a hospital functions. You have to have a snapshot understanding of all of the disciplines. It’s really comprehensive. Many times people will ask me what I do and it’s hard to answer them in one sentence.”
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USC-VHH Hosts ‘Healthcare Heroes Shout-Out’

Photos Courtesy USC-VHH

La Cañada Flintridge’s L.A. County firefighters, the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Department, Glendale Police Department and Glendale Fire Department were represented by more than 100 personnel during an emotional tribute that featured “Healthcare Heroes” representing USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital at two events last week. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the aptly-named “Healthcare Heroes Shout-Out” was essentially first responders honoring first responders last Wednesday afternoon during a “day shift” tribute, then again on Friday night for “night shift” workers.


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USC-VHH Continues To Safely Deliver Babies Despite Coronavirus

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital continues to deliver babies and tries to keep its patients safe by screening individuals who come to the facility and also by limiting mothers to one guest.
In fact, the hospital is reporting its highest birthrate in years, and CEO Keith Hobbs pledged that USC-VHH will continue to deliver babies throughout the crisis.

Photo courtesy Keck Medicine of USC
A new mother and her baby are pictured with USC Verdugo Hills Hospital nurse Kristin Anderson.

Among the hospital’s newest mothers is Tiffany Yzaguirre, who gave birth to a healthy girl — Blake — via C-section on March 23. The 25-year-old said she felt the hospital staff was accommodating and that everything went well, even amidst all of the attention focused on the disease, which is caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged late last year.
“In the midst of the coronavirus and pandemic going on, it was a really eerie feeling to be at the hospital, but they took all the precautions they needed too,” Yzaguirre said. “They screened everyone at the door, which was slightly intimidating, but overall it was a great experience.”
Her doctor, Steven Hartford, a 35-year resident of LCF, said he has delivered babies for 36 years at the hospital. He said USC-VHH has sensible yet strict policies for getting inside and being safe since the coronavirus outbreak.
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Using Technology to Fight Coronavirus

Kenny Pawlek

By Kenny Pawlek
Special to The Outlook

Telemedicine allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients at a distance using telecommunications technology. Telemedicine began in the 1950s and was mostly used to connect doctors working with a patient in one location to specialists somewhere else. This was especially helpful to patients residing in rural locations or for hard-to-reach populations.
The advent of internet and smart devices with high-quality video transmission now allow for the delivery of remote healthcare directly to patients in their homes. With current COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders and physical distancing recommendations, telemedicine has become an extremely powerful tool in the health care provider’s toolbox.
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Joy Wilson – Obituary

Aug. 3, 1933 – March 30, 2020

Joy Wilson

Joy Wilson, of La Cañada Flintridge, passed away on Monday, March 30, at the age of 86.

Joy was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Aug. 3, 1933. She was the eldest of four children born to Fred and Eva Pfiester. She grew up in Cincinnati and attended Withrow High School before entering the University of Cincinnati. She was an active member of many organizations while at the university and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She served as vice president of her senior class and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Bachelor of Arts.

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Why It’s Critical We Flatten the Curve

By Dr. Armand Dorian
Special to The Outlook

Dr. Armand Dorian

Epidemiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the incidence, distribution and control of diseases. “Flattening the curve” is an epidemiological term used to describe the idea of slowing the spread of a communicable disease (COVID-19) so that fewer people need to seek treatment at any given time. The “curve” refers to the projected number of people who will contract the virus. The faster the infection curve rises, the faster local health care systems become overloaded beyond their capacity. Critical resources such as ICU beds, ventilators, masks, gloves and even health care workers themselves are finite.
When the curve is flattened, even if ultimately the same number of people become infected, this infection occurs over a longer period of time and the surge in patients requiring hospitalization is reduced to a manageable flow. Continue reading “Why It’s Critical We Flatten the Curve”

Heart Health Movement Is Aimed at Women

Photo courtesy USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
La Cañada Flintridge residents Gillan Frame, Shawn Sheffield and Jenn Worley are taking part in the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

La Cañada Flintridge resident Donna Franklin was surprised when she sustained a heart attack last year, because she was not found to have cardiac health issues during two pre-surgical screenings. Continue reading “Heart Health Movement Is Aimed at Women”