Trojan Health Volunteers was established in 1985 by USC student, Daniel Potter, who recognized the need for pre-health students to gain exposure to their future occupations outside of their classroom experience. He contacted hospitals all over Los Angeles and ran this program out of his dorm room. When he graduated in 1987, he handed the program over to the Joint Educational Project to administer.
Since its inception, Trojan Health Volunteers has grown at an accelerated rate. Each semester, roughly up to 120 pre-health students participate in THV. Currently, the program partners with eleven different hospitals and clinics in the greater Los Angeles area. These range from large health sites like Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to St John’s, a neighborhood clinic a few blocks away from USC's main campus.
Trojan Health Volunteers is not only a community outreach program, but it also strives to be a forum for discussion about current bioethics topics and related healthcare issues. Every student participating in THV completes several papers ranging from on-site reflections to research topics, and attends group discussions . While the discussion sessions are held very informally, participation is required.
A full-time staff member supervises two part-time undergraduates - the program director and assistant director. These students recruit, train, monitor students and develop/maintain relationships with partnering hospitals/clinics.