From Doctors Lee & Cosenza to Nurses like Vaughn — my Hollywood Presbyterian Healing Experience

Ashley Jude Collie
4 min readAug 14


The longest serving hospital in Hollywood

Needles. Blood. Intravenous.

They are the very staple of procedures at a hospital — there are an estimated 6100 hospitals in (US) with over 34 million total admissions. That’s a heck of a lot of needles, blood and intravenous procedures. But those three things have always given me the shivers and wobbles — I can’t even watch medical TV dramas, even while knowing full well the blood and needles are fake.

And, not having piled up “frequent flyer” (visit) points at hospitals — I hadn’t had any surgery (tonsils) since I was a teen — I only had heard of some of the beliefs/myths about U.S. hospitals, including: the U.S. health care system was very expensive, and that service was not comparable to peer nations. But the New York Times published a report that revealed that the “U.S. looks a lot more like its peers than researchers expected” and that the “quality of health care looks pretty good” in comparison.

Hollywood Presbyterian—the new design
Hollywood Presbyterian—the classic design

Well, my three recent hospital stays, when I was a “guest” at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center on Vermont Avenue, the oldest hospital in Hollywood, seemed to bear those positive revelations out.

How would I describe my three stays? In a word or two — “enlightening” as to how a modern hospital actually works based around teamwork and communication; and, surprisingly “attentive” as to the care I received.

I was enlightened by the use of so many new terms, including: Rapid Response Team (a fast-acting patient safety intervention team, one which was called in for me); Crash Cart (mobile unit used for transportation and dispensing of emergency medication/equipment, like the Benadryl and cortisone that I received intravenously); Anaphylaxis (a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction which I suffered); and, Butterfly needle which had to be used to take my blood (BTW, over 2 million needles a day are used in US hospitals).

Learned, affable and attentive—Dr. Edwin Lee

I was also inspired and warmed by the attention of the many doctors and nurses. When I had a double hernia surgery, my surgeon specialist was Dr. Carlos Cosenza, who asked me to put my faith in him. Then there was my cardiologist, Oxford University educated cardiologist Dr. Edwin Lee, who approved the hernia surgery and had attended me last December when I had a heart event. He has visited me every single day I’ve stayed overnight in Hollywood Presbyterian. Here’s a little humorous anecdote about him, something the nurses concur with — the good doctor has the uncanny ability to softly, almost stealthily, appear at the foot of your bed, standing there watching over you, before asking how you are doing.

This is my overall take on Dr. Lee: “Professional, personable and caring, Dr. Edwin Lee is a role model for how modern medicine should be practiced. Each time I’ve been at Hollywood Presbyterian for various tests/procedures, Dr. Lee has visited me, asked my status, answered my questions attentively, been caring, and even brought the warmth of humor, much needed in a hospital situation. Likewise, in his nearby office, where his staff follow his positive lead, Dr. Lee takes the time to listen and explain. A true gentleman, and trusted practitioner.”

Say no more!

Modern nurses at work

Then there are the nurses, of all colors and stripes and ages, who handle all sorts of functions throughout the hospital from the ER to the recovery rooms, and the testing areas (CT, Ultrasound, X-ray, etc). The attending inpatient room nurses seem to work 3-days a week on 12-hour shifts. One example of these outstanding and indispensable care-givers is 20-something male nurse Vaughn whose social media site wittily goes: “You win some, then you win the rest. Whatever it takes.” Of progressive, hip nurses like Vaughn, I suggest: “You got to hand it to the new wave of caregivers, young, cool and also very attentive to all types of patients. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by their invaluable contributions to the efficiency and team work at a modern hospital.”

Let’s face it, the nurses are the mostly unheralded heroes of a hospital.

To sum up, even though I am still so squeamish about needles and related stuff, if I have to rate my own personal experience at Hollywood Presbyterian it would be, Two very big thumbs up!

Drop in on the website for Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, the longest serving hospital in the City of Angels.



Ashley Jude Collie

Award-winning journalist-author-blogger for Playboy, TO Star, Movie Entertainment, HuffPost, Hello Canada & my novel REJEX (Pulp Hero Press) is on Amazon.