Community Engagement

young kids packing things in boxes

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Keck medical students have mobilized to help with various efforts to address some of the needs and challenges precipitated by the pandemic. Since March, many students have answered the call to action, volunteering their time, talents, and energy to serve the community in different ways. Our students have translated critical public health flyers into numerous languages, prepared food bags for distribution at mobile food pantries, helped sort and organize personal protective equipment donations, and connected with senior citizens to combat the consequences of isolation and social distancing.

To receive information about volunteer opportunities, medical students should sign up here.

Below are some of the projects in which Keck medical students have taken part.

Age-Friendly Student Senior Connection

Organized by: Keck School of Medicine, Geriatric Healthcare Collective

This project connects USC health professional students with older adults to combat the consequences of self-isolation and social distancing related to the covid-19 pandemic.

CARES-LAC+USC Medical Center-LA Regional Food Bank Mobile Food Pantry

Organized by: The CARES Office at LAC+USC Medical Center

The CARES office provides food and groceries to individuals and families each month through the mobile food pantry. Medical students assist with food bag preparation and food distribution activities, with limited contact with patients and community members. The food pantry serves anywhere from 600 to 850 individuals each month.

Keck Care Connections

Organized by: KSOM Department of Family Medicine and Geriatric Healthcare Collective

KSOM medical and PA student volunteers participate in Telehealth outreach to USC Trojan Health Plan EPO/PPO patients. The goal is to connect primary care providers to patients with increased vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Project focus is on older adults and people with high risk comorbidities.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donation Sorting and Organizing

Organized by: Keck Medicine Materials Management

Medical students, alongside staff and other student volunteers, help sort and organize personal protective equipment donations to Keck. This critical effort takes place Monday-Friday each week, from 10am-2pm. PPEs help keep our frontline healthcare workers safe.

Public Health Information Translation Projects

Organized by: Keck Office of Community Engagement

Medical students assist the Keck Office of Community Engagement with the translation of public health flyers and materials informing the community about appropriate social distancing practices and staying active while staying at home. Translation projects provide valuable public health information to LA’s diverse linguistic communities: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Armenian, Arabic, Russian, Cambodian, Farsi, Tagalog.

Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA and USC Community Engagement Food Distribution

Organized by: The Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA, USC Community Engagement, Keck Medicine, KSOM, and White Memorial

This project helps to address food insecurity among the most vulnerable populations in USC’s neighboring community of Boyle Heights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Special attention is given to seniors, the homeless, and undocumented individuals and families. Medical students assist with food bag preparation for distribution.