Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

Health Sciences Campus

The 79-acre USC Health Sciences campus is located northeast of Downtown Los Angeles and adjacent to Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, a partner of the university’s medical school since 1885. Housing the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the School of Pharmacy, programs in occupational sciences and physical therapy, and research laboratories for the School of Dentistry as well as three major teaching hospitals, this campus is a focal point for students, patients and scientists from around the world.

Visit us to learn of our featured programs and of upcoming events, or for more information, contact:

Zul Surani
Executive Director of Community Partnerships, Health Sciences Campus
USC Civic Engagement
(323) 442-7808

HSC construction updates

HSC Fall ’15 newsletter

Meetings and presentations

Featured Programs

Fit Families program has healthy focus, from exercise routines to eating right

A few months ago, Mirta Matura spent her Saturday mornings sleeping in, watching TV for a while and, in her words, “lingering around the house doing nothing.”

But for the last 12 weeks, she’s switched up her routine.

“Now I get up, take a shower and get ready for the program,” Matura, 42, said.

That program is Fit Families, now in its 11th year. Put on by the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, the free program takes place every Saturday and includes a three-hour guided workout followed by nutrition education.

Energetically dribbling a basketball in the gymnasium at Bravo Medical Magnet High School, you’d never guess Matura was barely walking with the help of a cane a year ago.

In 2016, she experienced two health scares — a stroke in February followed by a lupus diagnosis in July.

A few months ago, while at her local YMCA, she was turned on to Fit Families by Oscar Gallardo, a USC physical therapy instructor.

Since then, it’s changed her life — and her mom’s, too.

“She said, ‘Why don’t you join me?’,” recalled her mom, Soila Bevas, 59. “I really love the program.”

On Jan. 28, they joined about a dozen other participants doing circuit training — cardio, stretches and strength training with resistance bands.

“Our goal is that by them learning to do it on Saturday, then the rest of the week they can go in their neighborhoods and work out together,” said Cheryl Resnik, the USC physical therapy professor who founded the program. Full story here.

Welcome to the Eastside Café, a musical sanctuary for its neighborhood

Angela Flores and local residents stand outside of El Sereno’s Eastside Café. Flores has helped to turn the café into a creative oasis. (Photo/Michael Becerra/Elefante Collective)

Angela Flores and local residents stand outside of El Sereno’s Eastside Café. Flores has helped to turn the café into a creative oasis. (Photo/Michael Becerra/Elefante Collective)

For USC Thornton School of Music graduate student Angela Flores, every weekend begins the same way.

Early Saturday morning, she opens up the Eastside Café and welcomes an enthusiastic crowd of local residents to their weekly music lesson. She leads the group in a son jarocho fandango, a traditional jam session from southern Mexico that focuses on rhythm and guitar.

The morning gatherings not only bring joy to Flores, but they provide a musical sanctuary for the Los Angeles neighborhood of El Sereno, where gentrification is looming and resources for art, education and community-building are few and far between.

Surprisingly, the Eastside Café isn’t actually a coffee shop, but a community gathering space, hosting everything from ESL classes to jiu jitsu, meetings, exhibitions and, of course, music.

Such is the beauty of the café, founded in 2002 by artist-activist community members, including the Flores family, and supported by volunteers.

“It’s the only space for art for blocks,” Flores said. Through her work with USC’s Arts Leadership program, she is helping to ensure that the café thrives into the years ahead. More here.

Job Van

The USC Health Sciences Campus Office of Community Partnerships (HSC CP) launched a USC jobs awareness on a mobile computer technology van provided by Southeast Community Development Corporation on July 9th at the Abraham Lincoln High School.

The employment program’s goal is to build awareness of available jobs at USC both on the Health Sciences Campus and the University Park Campus. More here.

Promoting Entry-Level Job Opportunities in Health and Biotechnology
Through a partnership between the Worker Education and Resource Center (WERC), an initiative around promoting entry-level jobs in health care and biotechnology has begun. A convening with large health care, education and training organizations was held at USC’s Health Science Campus on March 19, 2015 to discuss entry-level jobs created as a result of the Affordable Care Act and the potential of new jobs emerging from the proposed biotechnology corridor also on the Eastside. The discussion centered on the types of changes required by business, education and economic development sectors to attempt to align and meet the demand for these jobs. In addition, all agreed to create a local pipeline to ensure various sectors are engaged at all times and coordinated to meet this emerging demand. More about the partnership here.

Good Neighbors Grantees
A number of community organizations around the Health Sciences campus have received funding by the Good Neighbors Campaign, USC’s employee giving program. For a full list go here.

Neighborhood Academic Initiative
For the first time in its history, the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative has expanded beyond South Los Angeles to include more than 100 sixth-graders near the university’s Health Sciences Campus (HSC) in East Los Angeles.

All 66 sixth-graders at Murchison Elementary School will participate, and another 35 will join the program from nearby El Sereno Elementary. The students will attend Saturday NAI classes, tutoring and other workshops at HSC in Boyle Heights. Eventually the program will ramp up to serve about 600 students from sixth through 12th grade. More here.

USC School of Pharmacy

Pick-up the latest edition of the Fototelenovela on second-hand smoke. Fotonovelas—small booklets that portray a dramatic story using photographs and captions—represent a powerful health education tools on  topics such as asthma, diabetes, breast cancer prevention.


USC News: Fit Families program has healthy focus, from exercise routines to eating right

USC News: Farmers market creates healthy new connections in local community

USC News: All the global health news that fit to print–for kids, by kids

USC News: Community celebrates completion of Hazard Park improvements

Communities: USC Civic Engagement hosts community members at Special Olympics Ceremony

Communities: Health sciences staff partner with Variety Boys and Girls Club

Communities: Los Angeles leaders discuss biotech at roundtable discussion with Asst Secretary of the US Department of Commerce

USC News: Trojans get new charter high school ready for students 

Communities: USC Penny Harvest is wrapped up its third successful year

Boyle Heights Beat:Boyle Heights residents learn the keys of health coverage

HSC News: Group convenes to fosters community engagement at HSC

HSC News: Radiology grant to fund lung cancer screenings in local neighborhoods

USC News: Good Neighbors initiative brings health care enrollment to Boyle Heights

USC News: Neighborhood residents serve as community advocates 

USC News: Elementary pupils become advocates at Penny Harvest Leadership Academy

USC News: USC Supports Upgrades at Neighborhood Park 

USC News: Local cancer survivors move forward in wellness class

Communities: Mariachi Festival in Boyle Heights

USC News: Community Wellness Center Opens

CBS 2: New skate park at Hazard Park

USC News: A penny for the thoughts of young philanthropists 

USC News: Health Sciences Science Expo and Competition

Boyle Heights Beat: USC college program comes to Ramona Gardens