USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Patient Centered Services at USC Norris

The Ronnie Lippin Cancer Support and Navigation Program at USC

The Ronnie Lippin Cancer Support and Navigation Program (also known as the Lippin Program) was established in late 2015. It is funded by Tower Cancer Research Foundation (TCRF), in partnership with the Lippin Family. It provides cancer patient lay navigation services, resources, one-on-one and family support for patients and their loved ones, caregivers and people at high risk of developing cancer. The mission of the Lippin Program is to address health equity gaps and reduce the number of social barriers for people impacted by cancer or at risk of developing cancer.



Navigation services may include, but are not limited to, conducting assessment of the patient or caregiver needs, accompanying a patient to major medical appointments in person or remotely, making referrals to address mental health issues, identify internal and external resources, explaining in lay language important aspects of their treatment regimen, connecting patients to support groups, connecting patients to government agencies and nonprofit organizations that may provide wigs, housing assistance, welfare, immigration, nutrition, physical activity programs and other services. As of the summer of 2020, the Lippin program has helped approximately 600 people impacted by cancer. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, services have continued to be offered by phone, email, text message, or video call. For more information regarding this program, please contact Rosa Barahona  at

The Sailors Project

The Sailors Project was first envisioned by Dr. Ghecemy Lopez under the mentorship of Dr. Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati for the benefit of the Spanish and Korean speaking patients from the LAC+USC County Hospital and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC Norris). In 2019, the Sailors Project was officially established as a partnership between the USC Norris Office of Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) and Dr. Heinz-Joseph Lenz, with the goal of developing and testing a pilot project consisting of a multilingual/multicultural community outreach and engagement intervention to be offered at the Los Angeles USC (LAC+USC) Medical Center.  

The USC Norris COE has developed the content in a culturally and linguistically sensitive way. They have conducted outreach and recruitment of Hispanic and Korean American cancer patients and their caregivers who have an interest in participating in these six-week evidence-based educational seminars that will be led by patient navigators, promotoras de salud (health promoters), and leading experts. The goal is to enhance existing individual and group support options that the hospitals can provide with interactive educational activities, cultural enrichment practices, a comprehensive lifestyle redesign approach, sustainable self-care, and health literacy in a bilingual competent manner.

The start of the program has been delayed and revamped due to COVID-19. Instead of an in-person format, the weekly sessions will now be offered remotely for the safety of all participants. For more information regarding this program, please contact Rosa Barahona  at

Lazarex Program for Patients

The Lazarex Cancer Foundation (LCF) provides financial assistance to advanced-stage cancer patients who want to participate in U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved clinical trials. Prior to financial assistance, a program coordinator from LCF’s Improving Patient Access to Cancer Clinical Trials (IMPACT) educates eligible patients on open trials, how and why they are conducted, and how they can be viable treatment options. USC Norris supports LCF’s mission and is one of 20 national comprehensive cancer centers currently facilitating the IMPACT program on-site. If you have any questions related to this program, please contact Elena Nieves at

NeighborGood Program for Community Members

The Lazarex NeighborGood is a community based, bottom-up program that addresses the continuum of cancer care with a focus on prevention, screenings, early detection, standard of care, leveraging community cancer assets and treatment pathways, and connecting patients to cancer clinical trials.

The NeighborGood program aims to develop partnerships within the community, coordinating efforts on behalf of patients by building a more complete network of support and cancer care resources. 

This program promotes clinical trials at the community level with a focus on prevention as well as understanding family history of disease, comprehending cancer along with other concomitant conditions, and promoting healthy lifestyles with improved nutrition and increased physical activity. Through a series of activities, they engage community and patient groups to inform and educate individuals about clinical trials.  COE also promotes clinical trial education through Vision y Compromiso, a network of over 5,000 community health workers (Promotores de Salud) who meet on an annual basis bringing together over 900 promotores each year. For more information regarding this program, please contact Elena Nieves at