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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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This is an OTD residency opportunity in the Advanced Clinical Practice track.

JWCH Center for Community Health

About the organization

JWCH Center for Community Health is located in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. JWCH CCH is the largest health care for homeless primary clinic in the US. It is part of the JWCH Institute Inc., a private non-profit health agency that was established as the Attending Staff Association of the John Wesley County Hospital in 1960 by concerned LA County physicians. These staff physicians sought to establish an agency that could obtain additional funds to support and augment patient care, education, and research at the John Wesley facility. When the hospital was demolished in 1979, the agency continued its efforts to assist LA County patients, but the name was no longer relevant and was subsequently changed to JWCH Institute Inc. Prior to 1979, medical research and education at county facilities were the paramount functions of the agency. However, after 1979, medical services and patient education took priority with a focus on community-based health education and social support programs.

The agency’s current mission is to improve the health and wellness of under-served segments of the population of Los Angeles County through the direct provision or coordination of health care, health education services and research. The mission is being accomplished through a variety of programs and activities, such as: medical outreach and referrals for medical care, HIV services and drug treatment; health education; psychosocial assessment and intervention; primary medical care; family planning services; and research.

About the residency

As an occupational therapy doctoral resident in this setting, you will be responsible to collaborate with other members of JWCH’s primary care team to support optimum health for persons experiencing homelessness. Patients seen by the JWCH Center for Community Health are experiencing complex behavioral and physical health problems resulting from long periods of homelessness, as well as both substance use and mental health disorders. Understanding the impact of these on the patient’s health and capacity for self-care is important so that individually tailored supports can be delivered and coordinated. The occupational therapist will conduct assessments, consult with other team members and deliver services directly targeted at behavioral and physical health needs. In addition, the occupational therapy resident serves as a Housing Navigator to ensure that JWCH primary care patients who need housing have been enrolled in the Los Angeles Coordinated Entry System (CES).

Priority selection will go to students who have successfully completed a community mental health fieldwork, preferably Level II, and completed the OT 500 Primary Care course, and are available to complete their final Level II fieldwork with JWCH. Interviews will be with JWCH OTD Residency Faculty Mentor and Dr. Gregerson, JWCH Chief Medical Officer and site preceptor.

Financial support

The opportunity offers a Chan Division financial award of 24 units tuition support plus a JWCH CCH stipend. Information regarding the stipend amount will be provided at the time of the interview.

Contact information

Interested students should contact Dr. Deborah Pitts at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).