Keck School of Medicine and SC CTSI give back to community during COVID-19

By Samantha Devapiriam — August 14, 2020

The Keck School of Medicine (KSOM) is working hard to give back to those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to awarding mini-grants to organizations in the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, donations have also been made to LAC+USC Medical Center for COVID-19 related items. Over 5,600 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items were distributed to LAC+USC from generous donations for healthcare workers. Additionally, a total of 1,403 free meals and drinks were donated to LAC+USC health care workers from restaurants including Jalisco Mobile Taco Grill, Hecho en Mexico, Roxy's and Jessy Games, and Aguas by Lucy. For healthcare workers with children, KSOM connected medical students with the children of healthcare workers to tutor them on a variety of subjects, including math, science, and Spanish. KSOM also distributed 4,000 educational materials in 12 different languages and 3,000 hand sanitizers to families in need around Los Angeles. Dean Mosqueda also developed specialized materials for seniors and their families, which were distributed. School supplies, clothing, and games were also delivered to LAC+USC affiliated clinics to give to families in the surrounding community. 

In addition to the many efforts KSOM is undergoing to help community members affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, they also remain committed to broader community outreach. Through various community outreach programs like cancer support networks and free food distribution programs, KSOM demonstrates their commitment to the community. One particular program KSOM is involved in, the IMPACT Program (Improving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials), seeks to increase cancer clinical trial enrollment, retention, minority participation and equitable access. KSOM is also involved in hosting physical activity classes that patients are encouraged to attend when visiting the medical center. With social distancing measures in place, the classes have now transitioned to Zoom. 

KSOM is also involved in many efforts with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Members of KSOM regularly attend the Tobacco Free Los Angeles County, Tobacco Control Coalition meetings, and also provide flyers and program updates to the LAC Dept of Public Health Metro Los Angeles (SPA4) Regional Meetings.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.