Celebration and fanfare continued for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital as leaders from the organization welcomed more than 150 dignitaries from throughout the community at a reception held Aug. 19 at the Glendale, Calif., hospital, the University of Southern California’s newest addition to its growing clinical enterprise.

Following a rousing entrance by the USC Trojan marching band, USC Health Senior Vice President and CEO Tom Jackiewicz, MPH, kicked off the event with a special greeting and introduction of elected and community officials and guests and the hospital’s new CEO Debbie Walsh, RN, MSN.

C. L. Max Nikias, PhD, USC president, spoke about the important place USC Verdugo Hills Hospital holds within the Keck Medicine of USC organization, particularly as the academic medical center positions itself as a leader in a changing health-care reform environment.

“I assure you that what we have accomplished individually will be nothing compared to what we will achieve by working together,” Nikias said. “I am convinced that USC Verdugo Hills Hospital will provide patients with the very best of both worlds.”

Elected officials in attendance included U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff and Michael Antonovich, member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. They applauded the partnership between Verdugo Hills Hospital and USC and noted the positive impact it would have on the surrounding community and the broader Southern California region.

Each organization brings significant, complementary strengths, enhancing the level of care available to residents of the Foothill communities. Verdugo patients benefit from the research, clinical, organizational and financial support afforded by a world-class academic medical center, while patients of Keck Medicine of USC and others who live in the area gain enhanced access to the system, Jackiewicz said.

“In an increasingly competitive health-care landscape, we are well-positioned to capitalize on our combined assets and deliver exceptional patient care that is unparalleled in this region,” Jackiewicz said. “It is absolutely the right move at the right time for both our organizations.”

The opening festivities concluded with the dramatic unfurling of a banner revealing the hospital’s new name at the top of the hospital, as the USC Trojan band played the familiar “Fight On” anthem, streamer cannons fired and doves ascended into the skies. The guests then adjourned to a seated luncheon and a program featuring remarks from outgoing USC Verdugo Hills Hospital CEO Leonard LaBella and hospital Foundation board chair Rod Dorman. At the luncheon, Jackiewicz presented a video showcasing the story of the two organizations, and guests also got a first glimpse of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s new brochure.

The celebrations will continue with a planned community-wide event on Saturday, Sept. 28, featuring a health fair and activities designed for kids and families, as well as tours of the newly renovated hospital. For more information, visit www.uscvhh.org.