Beverly Hills. Pasadena. Downtown Los Angeles. Now it’s the Foothill communities’ turn to join Keck Medicine of USC’s network of satellite locations spanning Los Angeles County.

Keck Medicine of USC is expanding, and its most recent addition is the Glendale, Calif., community medical center now known as USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Nestled close to areas such as La Crescenta-Montrose, La Cañada and Pasadena, the hospital has provided vital medical services to Foothills residents for more than 40 years.

The hospital’s integration into Keck Medicine of USC promises to give patients the benefits of a world-class academic medical center while maintaining the intimacy of a neighborhood health care facility, says Debbie Walsh, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital CEO. The move also means more patients than ever will be able to turn to Keck Medicine of USC physicians for convenient care, right in their own communities.

Tom Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO for USC Health, says patients at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and other Keck Medicine satellite sites have the advantage of excellent care from Keck School of Medicine faculty who apply the newest methods and latest findings from medical research.

“In terms of our critical care, we have expertise in all major surgical and medical disciplines,” Jackiewicz says. “We really pride ourselves on being one of the places where you can actually get the most innovative, most advanced care anywhere in the world.” The hospital has a 24-hour emergency room, allowing its patients round-the-clock access to care. Soon-to-be mothers will be able to take advantage of obstetric services, including labor and delivery, at the hospital as well.

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s new medical leader knows the needs of the area well. When Donald W. Larsen MBA ’01 was chosen as the hospital’s first chief medical officer, it was a sort of homecoming. Larsen has called the Foothills his home for 15 years. He believes bringing the hospital into the Trojan Family will help USC forge stronger ties with referring physicians in the area.

“The independent physicians on staff at Verdugo who are not USC-affliated now have a closer relationship with our specialists at Keck,” says Larsen, former chief medical of cer for Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. “I see this as a win for all parties involved.”

The move—and Keck Medicine of USC’s overall growth in sites and services—reflects major shifts in the national health care system. “In a changing health care environment, it is important for hospitals to be part of strategic alliances, to be part of a bigger system,” Jackiewicz says. “We can help not only bring additional services to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, but we can help reduce costs and bring in new information technology.”

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital has already seen extensive exterior and interior renovations since the acquisition, and more improvements in the facility and its programs, including expansion of obstetrics and emergency services, are to come.

“With our investments in the facility, we’re going to make sure that USC Verdugo Hills Hospital is there to serve the community for the long term,” Jackiewicz says. “In addition, as part of the Keck Medicine of USC system, the continued investments in information technology, clinical research and teaching are going to make sure that our Verdugo Hills location is at the forefront of health care for many years to come.”

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HealthScience/Technology