University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Redesigning Lives Globally
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Jenny Martínez OTD, OTR/L

Jenny Martínez

Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Room: CHP 101B
Phone: (323) 442-2285
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Jenny MartÍnez's clinical practice, teaching experience and research interests are guided by commitment to improving the lives of individuals through patient-centered, culturally sensitive care. Specifically, her interests center on improving health status, health outcomes and quality of care for adults from diverse backgrounds, meaningful stakeholder engagement in research and practice, preparing clinicians to deliver culturally sensitive care and health promotion and disease prevention within occupational therapy.
Dr. MartÍnez's clinical experience spans both inpatient and outpatient settings with a focus on physical disabilities rehabilitation for adults across the life continuum. Her doctoral work investigated language discordance in occupational therapy care from multiple perspectives, including patient and provider. Within the USC Chan Division, Dr. MartÍnez's work centers around meaningful academic-stakeholder research partnerships and enhancing health outcomes for older adults and individuals from diverse populations, with a focus on Hispanic/Latino communities. To this end, she is involved in research examining best practices for fall prevention in post-acute care and in work investigating lifestyle interventions for racially and ethnically diverse populations. Additionally, she teaches courses in developing occupation-based community programs and has developed a course on communication strategies with Spanish-speaking clients.
Dr. MartÍnez is an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Emerging Leader (2015-2016) and Chairperson of AOTA's Gerontology Special Interest Section (2016-2019).


Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Occupational Therapy
University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
University of Southern California


Journal Articles

Schepens Niemiec, S. L., Carlson, M., Martinez, J., Guzman, L., Mahajan, A., & Clark, F. (2015). Developing occupation-based preventive programs for late-middle-aged Latino patients in safety-net health systems. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6906240010p1-6906240010p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.015958. Link to full text Abstract →← Abstract 

Latino adults between ages 50 and 60 yr are at high risk for developing chronic conditions that can lead to early disability. We conducted a qualitative pilot study with 11 Latinos in this demographic group to develop a foundational schema for the design of health promotion programs that could be implemented by occupational therapy practitioners in primary care settings for this population. One-on-one interviews addressing routines and activities, health management, and health care utilization were conducted, audiotaped, and transcribed. Results of a content analysis of the qualitative data revealed the following six domains of most concern: Weight Management; Disease Management; Mental Health and Well-Being; Personal Finances; Family, Friends, and Community; and Stress Management. A typology of perceived health-actualizing strategies was derived for each domain. This schema can be used by occupational therapy practitioners to inform the development of health-promotion lifestyle interventions designed specifically for late-middle-aged Latinos.

Martinez, J., & Leland, N. (2015). Language discordance and patient-centered care in occupational therapy: A case study. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/1539449215575265. Link to full text Abstract →← Abstract 

The accumulative burden of a growing non-English speaking minority population and health disparities in the United States demonstrate the urgency of examining occupational therapy practices and defining care that is timely, effective, safe, and patient-centered. In this context, we investigate an occupational therapy episode of care from the perspectives of patient, caregiver, and primary occupational therapy care provider. Treatment sessions were observed and one-on-one semistructured interviews were conducted with the participants. Several themes describing areas of concern in communication and care delivery emerged, including expectations for care, the therapy relationship, professional identity, and pragmatic constraints. The use of untrained interpreters compromised treatment effectiveness and safety. This case highlights potential areas of concern in therapy when working with a diverse patient population. Abundant opportunities exist for occupational therapy to situate itself as an equitable, responsive, valuable, and essential service.