SOURCE ALERT: USC experts available to comment on health topics presented at the LA Times Festival of Books

April 8, 2013

As part of a multi-year partnership with the Los Angeles Times, the University of
Southern California (USC) will host the LA Times Festival of Books at
the University Park Campus on April 20-21. More than 150,000 people
attended last year’s weekend event, which featured information booths,
author signings, a full food court, live music and film screenings. The
Keck Medical Center of USC Health and Wellness Pavilion will offer
interactive activities such as medical screenings and health education.
The following USC physicians will be at the pavilion during the book
festival and available to discuss the featured health topics.

Adolescent Health

Donna Sprujit-Metz, Ph.D., is associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School
of Medicine of USC. She is an expert in childhood and adolescent
obesity, obesity in minority youth, body image and diet. She will demo
the KNOWME Network, a mobile device that monitors physical activity and
vital signs, at the LA Times Festival of Books. She can address
different methods for improving physical activity in youth, such as the
KNOWME Network. “KNOWME Networks is a Wireless Body Area Network (WBAN)
developed specifically for monitoring physical activity in minority
youth,” said Sprujit-Metz. “The wearable device offers non-intrusive
monitoring of metabolic health, vital signs and physical activity. The
data is then transmitted to the project’s server where it is analyzed
and translated in real-time by observers.” She can be contacted at
(323) 442-8242 or

Bariatric Surgery

Namir Katkhouda, M.D., is professor of surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and
director and section chief of the USC Bariatric Surgery Program at the
Heck Hospital of USC. He is an expert in minimally invasive weight-loss
surgery, especially laparoscopic techniques and treatment. He will host
body mass index (BMI) screening, nutritional evaluations and weight
loss consultation at the LA Times Festival of Books. He can address
surgical weight loss options like bariatric surgery. “Modern bariatric
surgery can safely give patients their life back,” said Katkhouda. “The
best candidates for this surgery are typically morbidly obese, with
diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and have little success with
diet and exercise.” He can be contacted at (323) 442-5831 or

Sleep Apnea

Terese C. Hammond, M.D., is assistant professor of medicine at the Keck
School of Medicine of USC and director of the USC Sleep Disorders
Center at the Keck Hospital of USC. She specializes in sleep, critical
care and pulmonary health. She will conduct sleep apnea screening at
the LA Times Festival of Books. She can discuss symptoms, causes and
treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
remains one of the most under-diagnosed, and readily modifiable risk
factors for serious heart disease,” said Hammond. “The Sleep Disorders
Center at the Keck Hospital of USC unites experts from many medical and
surgical fields to aggressively diagnose and treat OSA in novel and
creative ways.” She can be contacted at (323) 226-2427 or


Keck Medicine of USC encompasses the University of Southern
California’s medical school and clinical enterprise. It consists of the
Keck School of Medicine of USC and the Keck Medical Center of USC.

Contacts: Leslie Ridgeway at (323) 442-2823 or; Molly Rugg at (323) 442-2548 or