Healing Arts for Hospital Patients

Photo courtesy USC-VHH
As part of the Healing Arts Initiative at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, patients can take advantage of the “art cart” — they can pick a painting by a local artist to display in their hospital room and take home with them when they leave.

When inpatients leave USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and return home, sometimes they take a print of a painting with them.

They get them from the so-called “art cart,” and they’re free for the patients. Elsewhere throughout the community hospital, the patients, doctors, nurses and other staffers are also treated to a variety of locally produced artwork, framed and embellishing upon the walls of hallways, patient rooms and gathering areas. While staying there, inpatients can also tune into video presentations of past art exhibits on iPads brought to their rooms.

It’s all part of the Healing Arts Initiative at USC-VHH.

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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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USC-VHH Holds Suicide Prevention Conference

State Sen. Anthony Portantino

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.
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Restrictions Return as State’s COVID-19 Numbers Rise

Businesses in La Cañada Flintridge were dealt another big blow last week with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reinstatement of restrictions on indoor activities due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate in California.
Restaurants must be closed for indoor dining until further notice, and closures also extended to wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, bars and card rooms. Gyms remain open, but staff members and patrons must wear face coverings and gloves.
“It is obviously frustrating that after just a few short weeks of a partial reopening, indoor dining was shut down again,” LCF Mayor Mike Davitt wrote in an email to The Outlook Valley Sun. “I know that restaurants in our community were following the guidelines as outlined by the health officials, so that adds to the frustration.
Continue reading “Restrictions Return as State’s COVID-19 Numbers Rise”

USC-VHH on Alert as COVID-19 Cases Surge

By Keith Hobbs
Special to Outlook Valley Sun

Keith Hobbs

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.
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USC-VHH Hosts Stroke Info Seminar

Dr. Nerses Sanossian

May is American Stroke Awareness Month, an occasion that USC Verdugo Hills Hospital will use to educate the public about how to treat strokes — and more importantly, how to prevent them.
“People don’t realize that 80% of strokes are preventable,” Dr. Nerses Sanossian said by phone. “And the way to prevent them is by educating and empowering people to make lifestyle changes before a stroke occurs.
“No matter how good we are at treating strokes, a stroke averted is the best way to treat a stroke.” Continue reading “USC-VHH Hosts Stroke Info Seminar”

Choi, Davitt, Markgraf and Multari Are Les Tupper Honorees in 2018

The 54th annual Les Tupper Community Service Awards will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, at Von Kármán Auditorium at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Soo Kim Choi, Michael Davitt, Katherine Markgraf and Ellen Multari will be honored with individual Community Service Awards; Courtney Johnson and Naomi Stephen will receive Student Service Awards and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital volunteers will be recognized with the Special Service Award.
Community members are invited to attend as the LCF Coordinating Council distributes the awards, which annually recognize individuals and groups for their outstanding service to the community. Continue reading “Choi, Davitt, Markgraf and Multari Are Les Tupper Honorees in 2018”

USC-VHH Births a New Addition: a NICU

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
USC Verdugo Hills Hospital CEO Keith Hobbs shows off one of the six private NICU rooms, where a NICVIEW online camera system will allow family members to see newborns receiving care.

Within a matter of days, USC Verdugo Hill Hospital is expecting clearance to begin delivering on-site neonatal intensive care in a new unit that will feature specialized staff and equipment to treat ill or premature newborns. Continue reading “USC-VHH Births a New Addition: a NICU”

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”

Long-Awaited Neonatal ICU Being Installed at USC-VHH

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Dr. Alexandria Darras, Dr. Margaret Zdarzyl, Dr. Joe Perez, Dr. Steven Hartford, Dr. Armand Dorian, Dr. Happy Khanna, Dr. Sameer Patel and Dr. Chandish Ahluwali all will be able to access the new NICU at USC-VHH when it opens in September.

Doctors and administrators took a break from their busy schedules Tuesday to don plastic pink, blue and yellow hard hats and celebrate the groundbreaking of the new $3 million neonatal intensive care unit at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.
The six-bed, six-bedroom space will be unique to the area, according to Cecilia Pyzow, the hospital’s director of business development. Continue reading “Long-Awaited Neonatal ICU Being Installed at USC-VHH”