USC closes deal to purchase Verdugo Hills Hospital

July 16, 2013

Acquisition enhances health-care opportunities for residents of Los Angeles County’s Foothill communities

Contact: Leslie Ridgeway at (323) 442-2823 or

LOS ANGELES — The University of Southern California (USC) has expanded its medical services in the Foothill communities of Los Angeles County with the acquisition of Verdugo Hills Hospital, a 158-bed hospital in Glendale, Calif. The deal, which closed July 16, 2013, adds the new USC Verdugo Hills Hospital to Keck Medicine of USC.

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital will provide residents of the Glendale-La Cañada Flintridge areas greater access to world-class specialized care, clinical trials and breakthrough technology while retaining the convenience and personal touch of a community hospital.

“USC and Verdugo Hills Hospital both have long and enduring histories of providing vital medical care to our local communities,” said USC President C. L. Max Nikias. “By joining forces, we will significantly strengthen both of our organizations, and we will find innovative new ways to deliver the very best patient care to the people of the Foothills and throughout Southern California.”

The acquisition, which promises $30 million in capital investments to improve Verdugo Hills Hospital facilities, received broad support from leaders in the Foothill communities, as well as those directly impacted by the venture.

USC, one of the world’s leading private research universities, established its present-day medical system with the purchase of two hospitals from Tenet Healthcare Corp. in 2009 — Keck Hospital of USC (formerly USC University Hospital) and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. In 2011, with a $150 million gift from the W.M. Keck Foundation, USC launched Keck Medicine of USC, which now comprises the three hospitals, a number of campus-based specialty clinics, five community-based ambulatory care clinics, a faculty physician practice (USC Care Medical Group) of more than 600 doctors and the renowned Keck School of Medicine of USC, the oldest medical school in Southern California.

The USC-Verdugo partnership leverages the strengths of each organization and provides valuable benefits to Southern California patients. Keck Medicine of USC offers the clinical excellence of an academic medical center and medical specialties that consistently rate highly in national rankings such as U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospital” rankings. Verdugo Hills Hospital has a 40-year legacy of serving the Foothill communities, providing a 24-hour emergency department, primary stroke center, maternity/labor and delivery, cardiac rehabilitation and imaging and diagnostic services. The addition of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital expands and strengthens the Keck Medicine of USC system of community-based services.

“This was the right move for both organizations, particularly in light of the changes that are transforming health care and how it’s delivered,” said Tom Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO of USC Health. “Bringing together these two very strong provider organizations creates a unique opportunity for residents in the Foothill communities to receive exceptional patient care from the physicians they know and trust, and from those who bring additional medical expertise from one of the world’s leading academic medical centers.”

The challenges created by health-care reform played a role in the decision to partner, as smaller organizations such as Verdugo Hills Hospital face rising costs and the demand by payers to do more with less. Keck Medicine of USC offers the size and resources, as well as the innovation to improve care and reduce costs, needed by community hospitals to remain viable and competitive. An integrated network, such as that created by Verdugo Hills Hospital joining Keck Medicine of USC, helps patients get well and stay healthy by providing the right type of care in the right place at the right time. Additionally, their caregivers are better able to track outcomes and see the “big picture” when it comes to their health.

USC has already made significant initial investments resulting in visible changes to the familiar façade of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. New exterior signage, fresh landscaping and upgrades to the hospital’s lobby and other interiors have kicked off the first of many planned enhancements, and all have been met with enthusiasm from employees, physicians, volunteers and patients. A series of celebrations is planned, including a community-wide event in September, to commemorate the alliance and showcase the new USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.

“Verdugo Hills Hospital has been an integral and valued part of the Foothill communities for decades and we intend to retain that important connection to our patients and the residents we serve,” added Len LaBella, CEO of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. “This affiliation with USC helps to take us forward in a powerful way. It enables us to provide key services and advantages that not only help us remain viable, but to thrive in a challenging health-care environment that demands constant evolution.”

Additional clinical services, facility improvements and community activities are expected to be announced in the coming months. To learn more about USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, visit A digital press kit is available at

Photo credit: Phil Channing

About USC Verdugo Hills Hospital

Verdugo Hills Hospital was established in 1972 and was an independent, 158-bed acute care hospital serving patients in the cities of Glendale and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the surrounding Foothill communities of Southern California for more than 40 years. In 2013, USC Verdugo Hills became part of Keck Medicine of USC, which includes the Keck Medical Center of USC and Keck School of Medicine of USC. All are part of the University of Southern California, one of the world’s leading private research universities.

USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s services include a 24-hour emergency room staffed by USC faculty physicians; a primary stroke center; bariatric and minimally invasive surgery; OB-GYN and infant services; orthopaedic surgery; occupational, physical and speech therapy; cardiac rehabilitation; and imaging and diagnostic services including mammograms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scans and angiograms.

About Keck Medicine of USC

Keck Medicine of USC encompasses the University of Southern California’s medical school and clinical enterprise. It consists of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the oldest medical school in Southern California, and the Keck Medical Center of USC, a 471-bed acute care center that also includes the renowned USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the first cancer centers established in the United States as a result of the National Cancer Act. Keck Medicine of USC is one of two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area. It also includes ambulatory care facilities in Beverly Hills, downtown Los Angeles, La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, and the USC University Park campus. In addition to the USC Care faculty practice, the Keck School of Medicine of USC departments also have practices throughout Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties.