Keck Kindness, part of Keck Medicine of USC’s Care for the Caregiver program, recently celebrated a major milestone. On March 24, 2023, the program announced that it had officially provided over $1 million in grants to enterprise employees.

“This is an incredible milestone in the lifespan of our Care for the Caregiver resource,” said Rod Hanners, chief executive officer for Keck Medicine. “Our top priority is ensuring the emotional and physical well-being of our workforce. I’m so grateful for the philanthropic support, as these grants have been essential in enabling our caregivers to support both our patients and their loved ones.”

The Keck Kindness program launched on July 1, 2021, with the goal of providing financial assistance to Keck Medicine employees during hardship. The grants are one-time payments added to an employee’s paycheck. Keck Kindness grants have been utilized for a number of employee acute hardship needs and well-being purposes, including assistance with rent and mortgage payments, car repairs, child care needs and groceries. To date, 2,508 grants have been awarded to employees.

“So often, we forget that our caregivers work in challenging environments,” said Steven Siegel, MD, PhD, chief mental health and wellness officer for Keck Medicine. “These individuals always put the needs of their patients first, often at the expense of their own well-being. We not only want to show our appreciation to these dedicated professionals, but to ensure they have the resources both inside and outside of their work environments to feel comfortable, confident and fulfilled.”

Established in March 2020, Care for the Caregiver is a comprehensive program designed to ease potential work environment stress, create work environments that align with Keck Medicine values and return employees to the same level of comfort and care they supply to patients and families. In 2020, the program won the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Program of the Year” award.

“With Keck Kindness, and Care for the Caregiver in general, our priority is to help create a bright and positive future for our employees,” said Tammy Capretta, RN, MPH, chief transformation and risk officer for Keck Medicine. “In health care, the road can be difficult. But by living the mission and values of our organization, we can strengthen ourselves and the communities we serve.”

— Matthew Vasiliauskas