Two new leaders will take on the management of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Debbie Walsh, RN, MSN, has been appointed the new CEO of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, succeeding former CEO Len LaBella who is retiring after 12 years at Verdugo Hills Hospital.

In addition, Donald Larsen, MD, MBA, has been appointed chief medical officer for USC Verdugo. The announcements come on the heels of a hospital-wide celebration event and the transformation of Verdugo Hills Hospital as a part of Keck Medicine of USC.

Debbie Walsh, CEO, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital  (Photo/Jason Wallis)

Debbie Walsh, CEO, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
(Photo/Jason Wallis)

Walsh has more than 30 years’ experience in hospital management and was most recently responsible for operations and strategic planning as president and CEO at the 400-bed Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. She also has strong roots in the USC medical community, having previously served as CEO of the former USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital.

“Under her leadership, Debbie drove initiatives that improved outcomes, patient satisfaction and hospital finances; expanded and restructured hospital programs and information systems; and oversaw the construction of the Norris Inpatient Tower on the then-USC University Hospital campus,” said Tom Jackiewicz, MPH, senior vice president and CEO of USC Health. “This familiarity and experience, along with her expertise in running community hospitals, makes her an ideal choice for taking USC Verdugo Hills Hospital forward.”

As the new CEO, Walsh will lead the hospital as it adds new programs, expands facilities and initiates new organization-wide policies and procedures. She will manage continuous improvement, develop and manage the hospital budget, and will report monthly to the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital governing board.

As the physician executive for USC Verdugo, Larsen will help drive key clinical and strategic initiatives at the hospital, and will serve as an important liaison between Keck Medicine of USC leaders and USC Verdugo physician partners.

Don Larsen, chief medical officer, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (Photo/Bill Youngblood)

Don Larsen, chief medical officer, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital
(Photo/Bill Youngblood)

As CMO, he will promote relationships with new and existing physician partners, and will support business development through targeted community outreach. He will also guide the development and implementation of new systems to ensure optimum quality and efficiency.

Walsh holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University, Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in nursing from Azusa Pacific University. She maintains a California registered nurse license. She has also served as a board member and area board chair for the Hospital Association of Southern California.

Larsen is an associate professor of neurosurgery and radiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He holds a medical degree from Chicago Medical School and a master’s of business administration from the USC Marshall School of Business. He previously served as medical director for USC Care Medical Group, and CMO for Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital.