University of Southern California


Working with our neighbors to build a strong community

Health and Safety

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

photo of child at the dentistsA healthy body fuels a healthy and productive mind. Through numerous health and safety programs, USC enhances the well-being of its neighbors and offers abundant opportunities for learning, self-improvement, and personal connections.

The Keck School of Medicine of USC, the School of Pharmacy, the Ostrow School of Dentistry, and programs in the Occupational Sciences and Physical Therapy provide state-of-the-art health care to the communities they serve.

Community programs such as Fit Families, the Oral Health Center and Community Health Fairs increase health awareness in surrounding areas. The Mobile Dental Clinic travels the streets of our neighborhoods, providing free dental services to thousands who would otherwise go without.

Partnering with the L.A. Police Department, the L.A. Unified School District, and local residents, USC promotes a safe environment. We foster a sense of communal responsibility through programs such as Kid Watch.

We are dedicated to creating an environment where our neighbors can learn, grow, and flourish.

Featured program

Dementia Novela

Recognize signs of dementia early USC psychologist urges

When aging grandfather and Mariachi musician Don Memo Valdez becomes increasingly forgetful and irritable, his family starts to worry. Don Memo’s wife expresses dismay at her husband’s memory lapses while his daughter-in-law, a nurse, suggests he should see a doctor. However, his son Guillermo dismisses the changes in his father’s behavior as simply a natural part of the aging process.

The fictional Valdez family appears in Forgotten Memories, a new audiovisual novella developed from a fotonovela — a small pamphlet akin to a comic-book, with photographs instead of illustrations, combined with dialogue bubbles. Targeted at the Latino community, it was co-developed by Margaret Gatz, professor of psychology at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Mel Baron, associate professor of clinical pharmacy at the USC School of Pharmacy. Forgotten Memories aims to inform its audience about the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and encourage them to take action.

“Too often, forgetfulness and other signs of dementia are still being dismissed — even in the medical community — as, ‘It’s just old age and nothing can be done about it,’” said Gatz, who also holds joint appointments in gerontology from the USC Davis School of Gerontology and in preventive medicine from the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Read more here.