Epstein Family Gift Helps Student-Athletes and Weekend Warriors Stay in the Game

A $10 million gift names the USC Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine to advance research and orthopedic care.

September 26, 2018 Eric Lindberg

Trojan student-athletes have long had a strong ally: the Keck School of Medicine of USC. As the official doctors of USC Athletics, experts at the school’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery treat all kinds of sports injuries. These physicians also work with specialists from the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy to prevent injury or get struggling athletes healthy again.

Now their pioneering work is getting a major boost thanks to a $10 million gift from USC Trustee Daniel Epstein ’62 and his wife, Phyllis, through the Epstein Family Foundation. The donation helps the newly named USC Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine bolster its world-class research, education and treatment.

“We are thrilled that this new gift will strengthen and advance two of the university’s signature areas of excellence — sports medicine and intercollegiate athletics,” Daniel Epstein says.

USC’s many student-athletes aren’t the only competitors to benefit from the generous support. The sports medicine team also works with other elite performers, from Olympic and professional athletes to local youth and recreational sports participants. Athletes of all levels call on the center’s experts to repair damaged knees and complex fractures. Others seek care for nagging injuries like rotator cuff problems, shoulder stiffness and tennis elbow.

The new funding will help USC recruit more experts in ligament and tendon repair, launch a national search for a dynamic leader to serve as director of the center, and encourage collaboration across the university — from stem cell researchers and tissue engineers to robotics and neuroscience specialists.

Educating future sports medicine clinicians is another priority. Plans are in the works for an advanced training facility with a surgical simulation laboratory that will allow fellows, residents, medical students and other professionals to hone their skills.

“This is going to be a game changer in how the next generation of specialists in sports medicine is trained,” says Jay R. Lieberman, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine.

The Epstein family has long-standing ties to the university. Daniel Epstein earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and serves on the school’s board of councilors. He has been a member of the USC Board of Trustees since 2002 and holds advisory roles with the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate and USC Viterbi’s Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Phyllis Epstein is a board member of the USC Roski School of Art and Design and the USC Shoah Foundation—The Institute for Visual History and Education. Both of the Epsteins’ children are USC graduates.