4/17: Connecting with the USC Student Community

Dear Trojans,

We hope you are staying healthy and well amid all the disruptions from COVID-19. We know this is not an easy time for any of our students. When I think of everything that is vibrant and joyful during spring, all of it centers around the energy and activities of our students. Our community is our strength, and we share ours with you as we face the next weeks ahead.

Our medical services continue through TeleHealth, and in-person visits when required, as well as ongoing public health information for the campus communities. The monitoring, testing and notifications process continues, and we are hopeful for the continuing “flattening” of coronavirus fatalities that we have seen in California. Your sacrifices have made a huge difference and undoubtedly saved lives. Stay the course with us, don’t give up on this effort or yourselves. How we endure – and the people we become as we emerge from hardship – becomes part of us for years to come. 
Finding Support
There are no right or wrong ways to have reactions to world we find ourselves in. We may find that disappointment and grief color our days, and it’s very normal to feel anxious about the things we have little control over right now. Finding ways to talk about these emotions can empower us to navigate our reactions and help us move forward.

Know that you never have to struggle on your own. Counseling and Mental Health Services is continuing to be available through TeleHealth counseling visits; distance offerings include workshops on strategies to cope with sleeping issues and anxiety; therapy groupsLet’s Talk drop-ins (30 minutes with a counselor, no appointment necessary, available to all students in any part of the world); support through Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services. We’re here for you, even when we’re not in the same room.
We have also worked with The Jed Foundation to develop content for a Mental Well-Being for Students online module, available to all USC students, that guides you through some of the ways to enhance your emotional and mental well-being.

Additionally, campus partners are also offering a world of services to support you:

If you need additional help navigating the university during these disrupted times, call or email the COVID-19 response team, at 213-740-6291, or email covid19@usc.edu , to get connected to a university resource office.

Summer Months — Operations

As we move into the summer months, Student Health services will continue to be in operation for all our services, including all the TeleHealth care that has recently been launched — primary care, injury/illness care, mental health services, and continuing public health monitoring, prevention, and care for COVID-19 patients. For continuing students, USC Student Health (Counseling and Mental Health Services, Medical Services) can continue to be your provider from May 23 through August 14, 2020; sign up for summer coverage. Students residing in California who are enrolled in summer courses are automatically charged the summer health fee. The 2020 summer health fee is $180 and includes access to all services. 

All matriculated students are eligible to sign up whether or not they are taking classes this summer. Students residing near campus are especially encouraged to sign up; all students in California can receive care from our medical and counseling providers.

Graduating Students: Class of 2020

You are especially in our thoughts during these upheavals, and we want to make sure you have as smooth a transition to post-graduate life as can be possible in these difficult days, and so are sharing these important reminders.

  • Eligibility for Services: please note that your last eligible day for services is May 22, 2020, including providing prescriptions. Please be sure to contact us if you need to see a provider before that day. Please note providers cannot refill medications 1) for controlled substances; 2) that have not been prescribed by a Student Health provider in the past 12 months; or 3) that require a clinical exam before a renewal. If you would like to extend services at Student Health, please sign up for the summer health fee.
  • Health Insurance: We wanted to make sure you are aware of your options for health care after you graduate. If you are enrolled in the USC Student Health Insurance Plan (through Aetna Health Insurance) for the Spring 2020 semester, your insurance coverage will end on August 18, 2020. We recommend beginning to look for new a health insurance plan at least 6 weeks prior (the end of June/beginning of July) to avoid any lapses in coverage. Aetna Student Health can provide proof of coverage (termination letter) by calling (877) 626-2299. Insurance options for California residents through state exchanges can be researched on coveredca.com.
  • Medical Records: We will be happy to transfer your medical records to a new medical provider upon receipt of a signed authorization to do so. You can do this by contacting the Health Information Management team at (213) 740-0206.

Bridging the Gap

As our time this year has ended without a chance to continue some of our in-person work, I’d like to share with you a guide on Mindfulness Skills for Daily Living from Dr. Yong Park on our Counseling and Mental Health team. Although nothing can quite replace the warm presence our providers express in person, we hope this extension of their work helps bridge the gap until we can be together again.

We will continue to work together with our students and campus partners, through turbulent and unexpected times, to build toward better days. We are the Trojan Family, and we fight on together, always.


Sarah Van Orman, MD
Chief Health Officer, USC Student Health

Broderick Leaks, PhD
Director of Counseling and Mental Health Services, USC Student Health