Camille Dieterle Takes Center Stage at USC Women’s Conference
By Kim Hasday
At the 5th annual USC Women’s Conference assistant professor of clinical occupational therapy Camille Dieterle spoke onstage before hundreds of USC alumnae, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends at historic Bovard Auditorium. The March 7th conference, hosted by the USC Alumni Association, included interactive workshops, panel discussions and facilitated networking activities. This year’s theme was about sharing your legacy.
“It was an opportunity for women leaders to share and inspire other professional women,” said Dieterle, who is also director of the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice.
Dieterle was among the distinguished women, including first lady of USC Niki Nikias and provost Elizabeth Garrett, invited to speak at the conference.
In her workshop “Caring for the Caregiver: Wellness for the Sandwich Generation,” Dieterle collaborated with Sherri Snelling, CEO of the Caregiving Club in Newport Beach. Together they addressed dimensions of caregiving for the ‘sandwich generation,’ those middle-aged Americans who simultaneously care for their aging parents and support their own children.
“We targeted the ‘sandwich generation’…the people who are taking care of their kids as well as their parents,” Dieterle said. “They are well, but they’re at high risk for chronic stress, chronic illness and for decreased time and attention to self-care.”
Dieterle focused on six dimensions of wellness—physical, environmental, social, emotional, spiritual and intellectual—and offered strategies for improving each category through occupation and meaningful activities.
“I brought the occupational perspective of what activity can you do, how can you change your environment, or the way you pace yourself to restructure your time,” she said. “It was very occupation-centered.”
The wellness workshop was one of five workshops at the conference designed to empower women to build personal and professional networks, learn new strategies for success in various facets of life and to connect with USC.
“I really wanted to drive home the importance of taking care of yourself,” Dieterle said. “My hope is that people walked away with more knowledge and better self-help tools.”