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 graduated from USC with a BS degree in occupational therapy and a BS degree in health promotion and disease prevention. She continued at USC to earn her MA degree in occupational therapy and Doctorate of Occupational Therapy degree with a focus on research expertise. As part of her doctoral work she conducted a study that investigated the perspectives of various stakeholders in a clinical encounter and the role that linguistic and cultural differences played in client care. Dr. Martínez's clinical experience and research interests are constantly integrating to mutually reinforce her academic and clinical commitment to improving the lives of individuals through the delivery of patient-centered culturally responsive care. Specifically, her interests are centered around improving health status, health outcomes and quality of care for adults from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds, as well as 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. She has also provided management support for research initiatives within the USC Chan Division and has been involved in teaching, most recently developing an elective course in medical Spanish for occupational therapy students.


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.