Around Town: Hoag, UCI make U.S. News & World Report best hospitals

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach.
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach.
(File Photo)

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach and UCI Medical Center in Orange received high marks in the annual rankings issued by U.S. News & World Report.

The rankings recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients and conditions. For the 2020-21 rankings and ratings, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions.

UCI Medical Center was ranked fifth in the Los Angeles metropolitan region. This year’s findings also highlight the excellence of UCI Health programs nationally in gynecology at No. 16; urology at No. 24; nephrology at No. 43; and geriatrics at No. 45 among similar programs nationally.

Hoag was the highest-ranked hospital in Orange County, the fourth-best hospital in the Los Angeles metro area and ranked eighth in California.

It was also recognized for high performance in 13 specialty procedures. Hoag’s rankings included No. 27 in neurology and neurosurgery; No. 29 in diabetes and endocrinology; No. 33 in pulmonology and lung surgery; No. 35 in orthopedics; No. 37 in gynecology; No. 38 in gastroenterology and GI surgery; and No. 40 in geriatrics.

“We have been humbled each year that we receive this prestigious national recognition, but this year feels particularly special,’' said Robert T. Braithwaite, Hoag’s president and CEO. “We are proud of the excellence we have been able to deliver in the face of a global pandemic. This recognition is a tribute to Hoag’s commitment to delivering the highest quality, patient-centered care to the Orange County community — no matter what the obstacle.”

City News Service

Newport Beach Navy League names Thomas Kenny Narwhal’s Sailor of the Year

The Newport Beach Navy League has named Petty Officer 3rd Class Thomas Kenny the Sailor of the Year for the Corona del Mar-based Coast Guard cutter Narwhal.

The July 9 ceremony was a hybrid of physically distanced, masked crew members and others on the pier alongside Narwhal and watching over Zoom.

Kenny, an MK 3 (Machinery Technician) with about three years of service to the Coast Guard, stood at attention as he heard a commendation crediting him for being a liaison with contractors during the ship’s 37-day drydock; weatherproofing the vessel to prevent electronic and engineering damage; quickly dealing with a potentially dangerous toxic gas leak from a ruptured air conditioning line; spending 40 man-hours cleaning Narwhal’s propellers that increased the ship’s maximum speed during a recent at-sea operation; and being the ship’s primary food purchaser because the COVID-19 pandemic caused the unit’s Culinary Specialist to remain home for health and safety concerns.

To cap off the awards ceremony, Narwhal’s Commanding Officer, Lt. Caroline Miller, and Navy League board President Bert Ohlig presented Kenny a unique boatswain pipe in an engraved case along with a check.

Following the presentation, Miller conducted a virtual tour of the Narwhal.

Massiah Foundation challenge gift to fund UCI chair in Zoroastrian studies

UC Irvine announced Wednesday that it received a $1.5-million challenge commitment from the Massiah Foundation, a philanthropic organization headed by Newport Beach resident Fariborz Maseeh that donates to education, arts and health-related causes, to establish the Ferdowsi Presidential Chair in Zoroastrian Studies. The university will also be supporting the position for up to $500,000.

The foundation funded the creation of UCI’s Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture in 2005 and established the first independent, interdisciplinary center focused on Iran within the UC system. The new Ferdowsi Presidential Chair in Zoroastrian Studies will be affiliated with the Jordan Center and is named after Ferdowsi, a 10th-century Persian poet often credited with saving the Persian language by writing Shahnameh (Book of Kings), the national epic of Greater Iran, the university said in a news release.

“We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Maseeh for establishing this new chair to expand research into Zoroastrian studies,” said UCI history professor Touraj Daryaee, the Maseeh Chair in Persian Studies and Culture and director of the Jordan Center. “The chair will enhance the already rich global historical and cultural study that takes place in the center, further raising its distinction not just at UCI but throughout the world.”

“By broadening UCI’s Persian studies program to include Zoroastrianism, we encourage young people to enrich their multicultural awareness — an essential component of working and living in a modern, multiethnic society,” Maseeh said.

Sherman Gardens extends evening hours

Sherman Library & Gardens is extending its summer hours as the botanical oasis will remain open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays through Sept. 25.

Garden admission is $5 and included with dinner at Café Jardin, which offers a new “Dinner for Two Under the Stars” prix-fixe menu for the season.

Sherman Library & Gardens is at 2647 E. Coast Hwy. in Newport Beach.

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