As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to expand across the country, Keck Medicine of USC is following guidance from the CDC and the state and county departments of public health, as well as caring for its employees — and the employees’ loved ones.

On the heels of the health system opening up vaccine appointments to the 65-and-older family members of Environmental Health Services employees, cafeteria workers, valet drivers and materials management workers, the 65+ relatives of frontline health care workers had the opportunity to come to the Health Sciences Campus and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital to receive their first dose.

For Tim and Bonnie Salles, whose daughter Katie Jordan, ORD, OTR/L, is the director of occupational and speech therapies at Keck Medical Center of USC and a professor of clinical occupational therapy at the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, the opportunity to be vaccinated was thrilling.

“My mom is a cancer survivor and she was just as excited and happy — ‘euphoric,’ she said — to get her vaccine as when she beat cancer,” Jordan said. “They said the experience was amazing, everyone was so kind and professional. Experiences like this one are what makes our patients so loyal, they are eternally grateful.”

Although vaccine supply currently is limited, Keck Medicine hopes to offer employees more appointment times reserved for 65+ family members in the coming weeks.

“It is so important to us to offer our frontline health care workers, who have risked so much for so long, the opportunity to vaccinate their loved ones,” said Smitha Ravipudi, MPH, CEO of USC Care and Ambulatory Care Services. “We hope that opening these appointments, when we can, will give our employees the peace of mind that their 65-and-older family members will be safe.”

To learn more about Keck Medicine’s vaccination efforts, go to

— Melissa Masatani