Chantelle Rice OTD, OTR/L, CDE graduated from USC with her master’s degree in occupational therapy and her doctorate of occupational therapy, and completed her doctoral residency at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice, where she created a lifestyle intervention program for individuals living with diabetes. Dr. Rice is the director of the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice, where she also sees patients in the Lifestyle Redesign® programs, including weight management, diabetes, college students, health coaching and pain and headache management. Having witnessed firsthand the power of lifestyle change, Dr. Rice believes in prevention and management of chronic conditions, and her clients exemplify the way wellness approaches to health can increase the quality of everyday life. She recently became a Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE®) and frequently presents at both state and national levels on occupational therapy’s role in diabetes management. Dr. Rice maintains balance in her life by spending free time with her family and friends across the country and enjoying the outdoors as a Southern California native.
Ashley Uyeshiro Simon OTD, OTR/L graduated from USC with her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s degree in occupational therapy, and continued on to receive her doctorate of occupational therapy while completing her residency at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice. Dr. Uyeshiro is a member of the multidisciplinary teams through the USC Pain Center, USC Headache Center, and USC Multiple Sclerosis Center. She also works with clients in the weight management, behavioral health, and college students programs. As a faculty member of the USC Chan Division, Dr. Uyeshiro teaches the Optimal Living with Multiple Sclerosis elective in the graduate program. She is also a certified pet therapy dog handler.
Lindsey Reeves OTD, OTR/L completed her master’s degree in occupational therapy and doctorate of occupational therapy at USC. Her clinical residency was completed at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice, where she practiced Lifestyle Redesign. Her doctoral work consisted of growing the pain management program and creating a 10-week Lifestyle Redesign Fibromyalgia Treatment and Support Group. As a clinical faculty member, Dr. Reeves works with clients in the chronic pain, chronic headache, weight management and ergonomic programs, and is a member of the USC Chronic Pain and Chronic Headache Interdisciplinary Teams. Dr. Reeves received her bachelor’s degree in environmental science from UCLA in 2011, and enjoys spending her free time outdoors going on nature hikes, traveling, camping with friends and doing yoga.
Tracy Jalaba OTD, OTR/L received her master’s degree in occupational therapy and doctorate of occupational therapy from USC. She completed her doctoral residency at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice and focused on development for our program for Adults and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum program. As a clinical faculty member, Dr. Jalaba works primarily with clients in our ASD, college student, mental health and weight management programs. In addition to her work at OTFP, she represents occupational therapy in the USC Office for Disability Services and Programs. Dr. Jalaba is from Northern California and holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise biology from University of California at Davis. Her previous work and volunteer experience includes a year commitment with AmeriCorps working with at-risk youth in Arkansas, as well as non-profit work with Best Buddies, Camp Kesem and Invisible Children. Dr. Jalaba has found balance in LA by joining a local Crossfit gym, cooking with her roommates and getting outdoors as much as possible.
Samantha Valasek MA, OTR/L, received her Master of Arts degree in occupational therapy from USC in 2015 and is working towards her doctorate of occupational therapy at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice and in primary care settings within the USC Keck medical system. As a doctoral resident, Samantha works with clients in the weight management, diabetes management, pain management, headache management, smoking cessation, and mental health programs. She is involved in the expansion of occupational therapy’s role in health and wellness, particularly in primary care settings where she collaborates closely with Family Medicine and Internal Medicine physicians to enhance care. Samantha is from Los Angeles and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in natural science from Loyola Marymount University. Her favorite occupations include climbing, hiking, reading, writing, and creating digital and traditional art.
Rebecca Cunningham MA received her master of arts degree in occupational therapy from USC in 2015 and is working towards her doctorate of occupational therapy at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice. Rebecca works with patients in our college student, weight management, pain management, chronic headache and ergonomics programs. She plans to focus her doctorate work on the Lifestyle Redesign programs for young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnoses and the college student population. Rebecca values leadership involvement and is currently the acting OTD representative on the USC Occupational Therapy and Science Council, as well as the Student Member on the ACOTE Standards Review Committee. She completed her undergraduate work in 2008, receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in human development from the University of California, San Diego. Before returning to school in 2013 she served as the manager of the Developmental Cognitive and Social Neuroscience Lab in the psychology division at UC San Diego and continues to have an interest in research. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys camping, pilates, cross-stitching, reading and spending time with her friends and family.
Kristy Payne MA graduated from USC with a master’s degree in occupational therapy after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in sports medicine from Pepperdine University. Kristy is currently completing her doctoral residency at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice where she partners with patients on managing weight, diabetes, chronic pain, chronic migraines, learning difficulties, anxiety, and depression. Kristy has a heart for preventative medicine and health promotion. She has conducted research through the Pepperdine Natural Science Division and served on the leadership team of USC’s Student Run Clinic to help meet the health needs of underserved individuals in Los Angeles. Kristy believes occupational therapy serves as a bridge between the medical world and the everyday lives of individuals. She is passionate about empowering individuals to optimize their health so they can live the life they want.
Stephanie Esgro MS, OTR/L received her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Thomas Jefferson University. Stephanie is currently pursuing the doctorate of occupational therapy at USC, and completing her residency at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice. She works with a diverse population of clients within the various programs offered at OTFP. Having experienced the benefits of Lifestyle Redesign® firsthand, Stephanie is passionate about advocating for expansion of occupational therapy and lifestyle interventions worldwide and has particular interests in mental health and reproductive mood disorders. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in communication and English literature from the University of Scranton. She has previous experience working in skilled nursing, school-based, and mental health settings. Stephanie finds balance by journaling, reading, practicing yoga, and exploring Los Angeles.
Rashelle Nagata MA graduated from USC with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in occupational therapy. She currently works as a doctoral resident within the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice and the USC Kortschak Center for Learning and Creativity. Within both settings Rashelle works toward improving the health, wellness, and productivity of USC undergraduate and graduate students. By utilizing Lifestyle Redesign® at the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice, Rashelle focuses on facilitating behavioral change within the college student population by developing health-promoting habits and routines. Her past leadership experiences include facilitating groups within mental health settings, coordinating afterschool programs for at-risk youth, and advocating for occupational therapy services within interdisciplinary work environments. To create life balance, Rashelle engages in cooking, dancing, journaling and traveling, while exploring ways to deepen her connections with others through meaningful activities.
Kelsey Meinen MA received both her Bachelor of Science degree in health promotion and disease prevention studies in 2007, and Master of Arts degree in occupational therapy in 2016 from USC. Kelsey is currently pursuing her doctorate of occupational therapy in an emerging area of practice – Primary Care. Kelsey coordinates her time between USC Keck primary care sites and the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice. In primary care, Kelsey provides consultative and direct occupational therapy services for chronic condition management, including, but not limited to autoimmune disease, metabolic diseases, and mental health conditions. Within the USC Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice, Kelsey works with clients in the college student, weight management, chronic headache, and pain management programs. Kelsey is eager to expand other health providers’ and patients’ awareness and understanding of the breadth of occupational therapy services. Kelsey’s experiences in life have developed in her a strong passion for serving marginalized and under-appreciated populations. Kelsey has worked closely with adults experiencing homelessness and serious mental illness, as well as older adults with memory impairment. Kelsey experiences joy while running, skateboarding, listening to timeless music, and watching classic films.
Carla Robinson graduated from California State University Dominguez Hills with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is currently enrolled in their Alcohol and Drug Certification Program earning her certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Carla is the Occupational Therapy Faculty Practice receptionist in charge of scheduling, referrals, email correspondence and client contact. She enjoys communicating and interacting with clients and helping them navigate their insurance and scheduling. Her passion for the safety and well-being of animals continue to keep her busy while rescuing dogs and cats in need of a home. She also has four loving pets of her own.
Rubina Azaryan graduated from the University of Armenia with a bachelor’s degree in communications and language arts. Additionally, she holds an AA degree in the science of library arts. Her other notable certificates are medical/dental office management and billing/coding. Rubina is currently an account representative where she manages and holds accounts, completes billing and follow-ups, ensures quality customer service and maintains reports. Her passion for the medical industry has led to mentoring young adults in pursuing careers in billing/coding and terminology. She is currently a member of the Armenian Members of the Youth, which helps children and adults access clothing and food to build better lives. Her passion of creativity continues to keep her active. She uses her skills to design clothing, baby gifts and jewelry, all from scratch.
“All the therapists were great — truly supportive, kind, encouraging and knowledgeable.”
– Participant, Lifestyle Redesign® Weight Management
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