University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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OT Practice Magazine Highlights Division’s Efforts in Primary Care

Apr 28, 2014, by Mike McNulty, in General News

Excerpted from the April 28 issue of OT Practice.

—Andrew Waite

Occupational therapists are breaking new ground in working with other medical professionals within a key emerging health care model—primary care.

As Michelle Farmer, OTD, OTR/L, described the patient who was 12 weeks pregnant, extremely disorganized, anxious, depressed, and hallucinating, Brian Prestwich, MD, wanted to offer his perspective.

“So what do I see as a physician?” asked Prestwich, the then medical director at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) affiliated with the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. “The patient is functioning well enough, and her low-grade hallucinations are not an immediate threat to her or others. So, medically, I understand how to take care of her. I know how to treat her depression and her hallucinations. But I have no idea how to get the chaotic life around her to calm down so she can actually execute a treatment plan. That’s where I turn to [Farmer].”

Farmer, an assistant professor of clinical occupational therapy in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC, and Prestwich have been part of the same primary care team and represent a model that could elevate occupational therapy’s status in the health care world.

Continue reading “Prime Models: Showcasing Occupational Therapy’s Role on Primary Care Teams” (AOTA membership log-in required).