University of Southern California

Communities

Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

Health Sciences Campus Neighborhood

Through the years, USC has remained committed to its original University Park neighborhood as well as to its “new” Boyle Heights/Lincoln Heights neighborhood, which has housed the Health Sciences campus since its opening in 1952. Both areas are among the most culturally vibrant and historically significant in the city.  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.

The neighborhoods surrounding the Health Sciences campus are steeped in cultural and historical significance. Once called Paredon Blanco (White Bluffs), Boyle Heights is located just south of the campus and east of Downtown Los Angeles. The area was dominated by vineyards and grazing land until the 1850s, when Andrew Boyle purchased land and built a mansion on what is today Boyle Avenue. His son-in-law, William Workman, a city councilman who later served as mayor and city treasurer, subdivided the land in the 1870s, named the area in honor of his late father-in-law, and fought for an irrigation aqueduct to make the land habitable as well as for transportation to make it accessible. When his efforts paid off, Boyle Heights became one of the garden spots of the city.

Lincoln Heights, to the north of the campus, experienced its first significant development in the 1880s and 1890s. Originally known as the Northeast Area, it acquired its current name after Lincoln High School was founded in 1914 and its principal campaigned to have the area named for the school.

Through the years, both communities have served as gateways for new immigrant groups, reflecting the cultural richness that diversity inevitably brings. In the early 20th century, Boyle Heights attracted large numbers of Armenians, Molokan Russians and Jews, and later Japanese and Mexican Americans. Lincoln Heights was home to Italians and Yugoslavs, who moved in around World War I, later giving way to Mexican Americans and Chinese residents.

Today, Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights are a mosaic of past and present, serving as home to many outstanding historical, educational, cultural and arts resources.

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

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

Meetings and presentations

Featured Programs

Good Neighbors Grantees

Since 1994, USC faculty, staff and friends have donated more than $20 million dollars and issued over 800 grants to support local community programs.  2018-2019 grantees include: NAI, Boyle Heights Beat, BOTS (Murchison Elementary), Med-Cor, STEM after school program at Legacy LA, Comprando Rico y Sano (neighborhood nutrition initiative), Get it Straight (Hollenbeck Police Activities League), Al Otro Lado (LAC+USC Wellness Center), USC PT Fit Families (Bravo High School).

For a full list go here.

USC Family of Schools

Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, Griffin Elementary School, Murchison Elementary School, El Sereno Middle School, Sheridan Street Elementary School.

Neighborhood Academic Initiative
The USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative expanded beyond South Los Angeles, the fall of 2012 saw 100 sixth-graders from the Eastside begin their seven year journey through USC’s premiere college prep program.  They will be the first NAI graduating class from the Eastside in the summer of 2019.  The students hail from the family of schools near the the Health Sciences Campus (HSC) in Boyle Heights and Lincoln Heights.

The students attend Saturday NAI academy 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 PA Pipeline

Once a month, up to 60 high school students from underserved areas of Los Angeles join volunteers from the Primary Care Physician Assistant Program at Keck School of Medicine of USC for the Pipeline Program. Students are introduced to a wide range of health professions while attending workshops and practicing clinical skills. Topics include neurology, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, first-aid and more. Exposing the students to the opportunities in the health care field, Pipeline strives to inspire and guide them to attain their future careers.

USC STAR

Founded in 1980 and formally titled the USC Science, Technology and Research (STAR) /Engineering for Health Academy (EHA) program.  This program brings together USC scientists and engineers with students at Bravo Medical Magnet High School.  Throughout the year, high school students conduct original research projects under the careful guidance of USC postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and laboratory directors. The programs have had a 100 percent success rate of participants going on to college, with a large percentage attending top universities such as USC, Stanford, Caltech, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, MIT, Cornell, Brown and Berkeley.

USC Med-COR

USC’s Med-COR Program, which stands for Medical Counseling Organizing and Recruiting, works with high school students of color to help prepare them for careers in the health professions. Students are provided structured academic enrichment in the areas of mathematics, science, and English as well as academic counseling, SAT assistance, and summer internships at local hospitals. The program serves students from four local schools: Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School, King-Drew Medical Magnet High School, Orthopaedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School and Van Nuys High School.

Annually, the hospital hosts a Minority Outreach Enrichment day, whereby approximately a dozen directors of non-clinical fields at the hospitals shared their career paths and daily job duties with 35 students, offering mentorship and internships.

A high school immersion program engaged 60 local students in a series of lectures about health care. The students heard from hospital staff and toured the hospital. They viewed a surgery and got to see the behind the scenes work of a number of departments, including the laboratory and pharmacy. Additionally, hospital leaders participated in a number of health care career awareness events to increase interest among minority and low-income youth.

Media Archives:

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