Nurses working long shifts in a busy unit at Keck Hospital of USC will now have a comfortable place to rest and relax before getting back to what they do best — delivering world-class compassionate care.

A new break room has opened on the seventh floor of Keck Hospital, thanks to a $50,000 gift from USC alumna Christine Marie Ofiesh, ’74. The area is home to the neurosciences ICU, where nurses care for patients with serious head, neck and spine injuries.

The break room features new paint, doors, furniture and framed artwork. There is a new refrigerator and microwave, along with a separate room with lockers for storage. Large clear windows overlook the Health Sciences Campus and let in natural sunlight.

Ofiesh is a noted philanthropist and volunteer with a long history of giving to USC, Keck Medical Center of USC and charitable causes across Los Angeles County. She received the Alumni Service Award in 2014.

“I’ve always wanted to try and make a difference,” Ofiesh said. “I deeply value the important work being done by the nurses of Keck Medicine of USC. So when I learned the new break room was an important need for them, I jumped at the chance to contribute.”

The room was dedicated during a May 6 ceremony as the Christine Marie Ofiesh Staff Lounge. Chief Nursing Officer Annette Sy and Keck Medicine of USC CEO Tom Jackiewicz, MPH, and many nurses joined Ofiesh in the room .

The improvements to the break room coincide with an effort across Keck Medicine of USC to build a workplace environment and culture that values, engages and supports staff, Jackiewicz said.

“All of our nurses work tirelessly and exceptionally hard every day to provide the best possible care and healing environment to our patients,” Jackiewicz said. “It is only fitting that we provide an appropriate resting environment for them, where they can relax and recharge during their breaks, before getting back to their life-saving work.”

He continued, saying, “Something as simple as a remodeled, comfortable break room can make the world of difference for a nurse who has just spent nine hours caring for some of our most critically ill patients. That is why we are so excited to unveil this refreshed break room, which of course would not have been possible without the generosity of Christine Marie Ofiesh.”

— Douglas Morino


Christine Marie Ofiesh, ’74, joins nurses and nursing leaders in celebrating the new break room at Keck Hospital of USC.