Astrid Heppenstall Heger ’64, MS ’65, MD ’72

Astrid Heppenstall Heger

Astrid Heppenstall Heger is a triple USC alumna and a Keck School of Medicine of USC professor of clinical pediatrics. A powerful advocate for all people who struggle with poverty and violence, she founded the world’s first medically based child advocacy center, the Center for the Vulnerable Child (CVC), at LAC+USC Medical Center in 1984. Now known as the Violence Intervention Program (VIP), this multidisciplinary, public-private partnership helps a broad spectrum of clients—from children in foster care to the elderly to members of the LGBTQ+ community—who are experiencing abuse or neglect. Currently serving as VIP’s executive director, Heger received the U.S. Department of Justice Crime Victim Service Award in 1997. Her other honors include the 2014 Elie Weisel Humanism in Medicine Award.