Plans to organize a continuing education program for physicians and to enhance communication among medical staff at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital are well under way, less than one month since the University of Southern California (USC) purchased the local hospital.
Credit for the program is given, in part, to USC interventional neuroradiologist Donald W. Larsen, M.D., MBA, who was appointed USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s first chief medical officer. As the hospital’s physician executive, Larsen serves as chief liaison between Keck Medicine of USC administration and the doctors practicing at the 158-bed community hospital.
“As chief medical officer, Don will play an important role in driving key clinical and strategic initiatives at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, especially in strengthening relationships with new and existing physician partners as well as supporting hospital business development,” said Debbie Walsh, CEO of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. Walsh recently replaced Leo LaBella as CEO.
Larsen, 54, most recently medical director of external health affairs at the Keck Medical Center of USC, remains associate professor of neurological surgery and radiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
“Don’s experience in directing clinical performance and resource management will be invaluable in ensuring high-quality outcomes, outstanding service and excellent patient care at Verdugo Hills,” said Tom Jackiewicz, senior vice president and CEO for USC Health.
In his new role, Larsen reports to Walsh and will supervise initiatives involving clinical quality, safety, medical staff affairs and case management.
“It is both a privilege and a pleasure to serve as the first-ever chief medical officer for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital,” said Larsen, a longtime resident of the foothills community. “As a resident of the foothill communities and having raised my family there, it’s extremely rewarding for me to now directly serve the community that I call home. I am confident that this new partnership with USC will not only position the hospital to endure the challenges ahead in health care but will also enable it to excel in its mission to provide the highest quality patient care possible in the communities it has served for so many years.”
Larsen received his medical degree from Chicago Medical School and a master’s of business administration from the USC Marshall School of Business. He completed his residency in diagnostic radiology and a fellowship in vascular and interventional radiology at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center as well as fellowships in neuroradiology and interventional neuroradiology at the University of California, San Francisco. He previously served as medical director for USC Care Medical Group and as chief medical officer of Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. Larsen lives in Pasadena with his wife Linda, associate professor of radiology at the Keck School of Medicine, and their two children. They are parishioners at St. Bede the Venerable Church in La Cañada Flintridge.