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

Jenny Martínez OTD, OTR/L, BCG

Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Room: CHP 101E
(323) 442-2285
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Jenny MartÍnez’s expertise center on bridging the gap between science, policy and practice with the goal of improving quality of care and diminishing systemic health disparities. Specifically, she is interested in best practices for stakeholder engagement, knowledge translation and implementation, qualitative inquiry and culturally sensitive care for older adults and marginalized populations.

To this end, Dr. MartÍnez has a history of disseminating research on how stakeholder engagement within post-acute care research can improve health outcomes for older adults and distinguish occupational therapy’s distinct value amidst changing legislation. She has investigated the role of language discordance within a rehabilitation episode of care and developed a tailored, occupation-based intervention for older Latino adults. In addition, Dr. MartÍnez actively mentors current and future students to promote workforce diversity, inclusive practices and cultivate agents of change.

Dr. MartÍnez’s clinical experience spans both inpatient and outpatient settings with a focus on adults across the life continuum. Within the Chan Division, she teaches courses in developing occupation-based community programs and communication strategies with Spanish-speaking clients.

Dr. MartÍnez is an American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Emerging Leader (2015-16), Chairperson of AOTA’s Gerontology Special Interest Section (2016-19) and recipient of the 2016 AOTA Gary Kielhofner Emerging Leader Award. She holds an AOTA Board Certification in Gerontology.


Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2011 | University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
2010 | University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Occupational Therapy
2009 | University of Southern California

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
2009 | University of Southern California


Journal Articles

Schepens Niemiec, S. L., Blanchard, J., Vigen, C. L., Martínez, J., Guzmán, L., Fluke, M., & Carlson, M. (2018). A pilot study of the ¡Vivir Mi Vida! lifestyle intervention for rural-dwelling, late-midlife Latinos: Study design and protocol. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health. Advance online publication. Show abstractHide abstract

Older, rural-dwelling Latinos face multiple health disparities. We describe the protocol of a pilot study of a community health worker–occupational therapist-led lifestyle program, ¡Vivir Mi Vida! (¡VMV!), designed for delivery in primary care and adapted for late-midlife, Latino rural-living patients. Using mixed methods, we collected feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy data on ¡VMV!. Forty 50- to 64-year-old Latinos participated in a 16-week lifestyle intervention led by a community health worker–occupational therapist team. We conducted pre- and post-intervention assessments to evaluate the efficacy of ¡VMV! in improving psychosocial and clinical health outcomes. Focus groups and interviews were held post-intervention with participants and key stakeholders to assess feasibility and acceptability. This is the first trial designed to evaluate a lifestyle intervention that includes collaboration between occupational therapists and community health workers within primary care. The detailed description of methodology promotes research transparency and reproducibility of a community health worker–occupational therapist-led lifestyle intervention.

Schepens Niemiec, S. L., Blanchard, J., Vigen, C., Martínez, J., Guzmán, L., Concha, A., Fluke, M., & Carlson, M. (2018). Evaluation of ¡Vivir Mi Vida! to improve health and wellness of rural-dwelling, late middle-aged Latino adults: Results of a feasibility and pilot study of a lifestyle intervention. Primary Health Care Research & Development. Advance online publication.

Schepens Niemiec, S. L., Carlson, M., Martínez, 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(6), 6906240010p1-6906240010p11. Show abstractHide 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.

Martínez, J., & Leland, N. (2015). Language discordance and patient-centered care in occupational therapy: A case study. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 35(2), 120-128. Show abstractHide 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.