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USC Leonard Davis School COVID-19 Expertise


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COVID-19: a special message from Dean Pinchas Cohen

Read a message to the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology community from Dean Pinchas Cohen regarding the COVID-19 crisis and response.
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COVID-19 Updates for USC Community

USC students, faculty and staff should visit the university’s COVID-19 website for the latest updates.

Faculty Tips and Perspectives


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Latinos are more likely to die from COVID-19, underlining racial and ethnic disparities in outcomes

“Even among a population of Medicaid patients who are similarly economically disadvantaged, Latinos are shouldering an unfair burden of this deadly pandemic,” said study co-author Mireille Jacobson.
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Column: How Gerontology Education Is Meeting The Challenges Of COVID-19 And Beyond

Gerontology education programs are uniquely suited to address the challenges emphasized by COVID-19 and to anticipate future areas to focus on, write Senior Associate Dean Maria Henke and Dean Pinchas Cohen in a column for LeadingAge California.
Kingsley Manor resident Conny Van Dyke and Shaun Rushforth MS ’08 outside a bench surrounded by lush greenery

Master’s Graduate Embraces Multidisciplinary, Compassionate COVID-19 Response as Senior Living Executive Director

Shaun Rushforth MS '08, executive director of the Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens in Fresno, California, says the depth and breadth of his USC education aided in responding to the pandemic as well as ideas for "opening anew."
A Red Cross nurse during the 1918 influenza pandemic, and a member of the medical staff in the COVID-19 ward at Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Cairo, Egypt on April 29, 2020.

A century of COVID-19: what history tells us about the long-term effects of a pandemic

USC research showed that people born during or just after the 1918 flu pandemic faced increased heart disease risk more than 60 years later. The legacy of the novel coronavirus could be worse.
Ærtebjerghaven, a senior living community in Odense, Denmark, includes health-promoting design features, including decentralized residential clusters; atriums that provide light, fresh air and safe outdoor access; single-occupancy rooms with private bathrooms; and large, open common spaces that can be reconfigured for physical distancing (photo: Victor Regnier).

Form, function, and fighting disease in senior living

More important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, USC experts teach students how to design and operate senior living facilities that promote public health.
Lifesaver buoy

Caring for Caregivers

Amid challenges posed by COVID-19, recent national attention on the needs of caregivers is long overdue, says Donna Benton, director of the USC Family Caregiver Support Center.
Pregnant African American mother and daughter smiling at home.

How will COVID-19 affect our next generation?

In-utero exposure to the coronavirus pandemic could cause developmental difficulties and accelerated aging in the century ahead, say USC researchers.
Female walking with face mask. Coronavirus concept.

Researchers find evidence of pandemic fatigue; younger and older adults resumed risky social behaviors as COVID-19 progressed

USC study also reveals differences in preventive behavior based on gender, race, education, state of residence, health condition, and trusted news source.
Concept illustration of caring for lonely older adult

The Loneliness Epidemic and COVID-19

Using technology and engaging the senses can help us tackle loneliness among older adults, say USC experts.
Portrait of Nelson Rubio Argueta

An Unprecedented Internship: Living in a Retirement Community during COVID-19

While most USC Leonard Davis students had their internships pivot to a virtual setting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson Rubio Argueta’s internship site, Kingsley Manor Retirement Community in Los Angeles, was also his home.

In the News


COVID, flu, RSV: The benefits of advocating for boosters in the workplace–and how to go about it (Forbes)

Fortune featured a study by Qiao Wu, Jennifer Ailshire, and Eileen Crimmins of USC Leonard Davis on the effects of long COVID.

Omicron Boosters Could Save 90,000 Lives This Winter—But Only if People Get Them (Health)

Health spoke to Mireille Jacobson on COVID boosters and why people should get them. “It's not a strong belief, like ‘I'm not going to get boosted’ is my sense,” she said. “You definitely don't have that kind of ease that you had at the beginning. And I just think a lot…

US life expectancy drops as Europe shows signs of recovery after COVID, study finds (USA Today)

USA Today spoke with Theresa Andrasfay on Americans’ continued decrease in life expectancy due to COVID. "Everyone was hit in 2020 ... 2020 was about policy response and 2021 becomes a story of vaccination, and the U.S. was not a success story," she said.

Money, Good Info Can’t Undo Resistance to COVID Vaccine: Study (U.S. News & World Report)

U.S. News & World Report spoke with Mireille Jacobson about a study that found money, convenience and good info can’t undo COVID vaccine resistance. "There is literature and evidence from other vaccination campaigns like the flu, and even some childhood vaccinations, showing that financial incentives do move the needle. We…

Why are American lives getting shorter? (Vox)

Vox spoke with Theresa Andrasfay of the USC Leonard Davis School about COVID-19 death rates among young people. She said high rates of chronic disease, obesity, and diabetes had not yet affected mortality statistics, but when a disease — Covid-19 — came along that had these as risk factors, “it…

USC researchers identify symptoms associated with increased risk for long COVID (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Times featured a USC study on the rates and risk factors of long COVID. “These people are not able to do necessarily all the activities they would want to do, not able to fully work and take care of their families,” said Eileen Crimmins, a co-author of the…

Who’ll Get Long COVID? Just a Look at a Patient Gives Clues (NBC Right Now)

NBC Right Now (via HealthDay) featured a study led by Eileen Crimmins on the rates and risk factors of long COVID. “What's somewhat more interesting are the things that didn't matter,” Crimmins said. “Gender didn't predict long COVID. Race/ethnicity didn't predict long COVID. And having conditions like hypertension , heart…

Lives Cut Short: COVID-19’s Heavy Burden on Older Latinos (U.S. News & World Report)

U.S. News & World Report featured Theresa Andrasfay and her research on COVID-19 Latino deaths, which showed a three-year drop in life expectancy. “A three-year reduction in life expectancy is huge in historical terms. We usually have not seen reductions this large except during times of war or major pandemics.…

A Very Simple Way to Get America Boosted (The Atlantic)

The Atlantic featured research by Mirielle Jacobson of the USC Leonard Davis School and Tom Chang of the USC Marshall Schoolin a story on using financial incentives to motivate individuals to get vaccinated. “I think there are a lot of people who are in this camp of 'Yeah, I’m gonna…

‘Caregivers Should Be A Priority’: Advocates Fight For Recognition Of Caregivers As Essential, Frontline Workers (Asian Journal)

Asian Journal quoted USC Family Caregiver Support Center Director Donna Benton on the need to recognize caregivers as essential frontline workers. “Many times the care we have here in California the majority of care is done by us: family members and elder caregivers. We are an essential part of the…

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