The Valley Line: Reception guests learn of progress at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

Eveline Siracuse opened up her lovely home on Nov. 16 for a "meet-and-greet" reception featuring USC Verdugo Hills Hospital news, especially focusing on some impressive advancements.

Keith Hobbs, the chief executive of the hospital for almost two years now, is an enthusiastic and optimistic speaker. He proudly spoke of the newest addition to the hospital — its neonatal unit that currently features six private rooms for the newborns who need special care. Also provided for these high-risk babies are beds for their parents, who can stay close by their infants. Hobbs said this is just a beginning, because more rooms will be added to this important unit.


Hobbs also spoke about the renovation and improvements made to the emergency facility. Most noteworthy in my mind was that a patient arriving at the emergency room will only have a maximum wait of 26 minutes to be seen. He also said the hospital is designated as a stroke treatment center.

Hobbs also gave an overview of exciting changes to come to the hospital. He said the goal is to make this community hospital not only the best in the state but the country.

After Hobbs' presentation, questions were encouraged with much guest participation.

Beverages were served as well as a buffet table offering Chinese chicken salad that Siracuse had prepared as well as gourmet Chinese foods provided by New Moon Restaurant, including pot stickers and skewers of shrimp and chicken. New Moon owners Colin and Candice Tom were in attendance.

Welcoming guests were Teresa Murphy, chief nursing officer; Kerri Yoder, executive director of the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation; Sue Wilder, chair of the foundation board; Tina Marie Ito, vice chair of the foundation board; Stephanie van Sickel, director of major gifts; Ken Pawlek, chief operations officer and Ruth McNevin, a dedicated hospital volunteer and past president of its women's council.


I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving weekend. I'm sure there will be many gatherings of family and friends for all of you.

Once the last of the turkey leftovers are consumed, we are on the fast track for Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations. Have fun, everyone!

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.