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University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Health and Wellness

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Peace garden, narrative research study selected for post-pandemic initiative funding >
February 25, 2022

Awards Community and Partners Health and Wellness Pandemic Research

Innovative community-focused projects are part of USC Chan’s $2.5M ReSPONs Initiative.

By Mike McNulty Future site of the University Park Peace Garden (Photo/Courtesy of Camille Dieterle) Peace and understanding have been in relatively short supply throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To help restore them both in the wake of the past two tumultuous years, the USC Chan Division is funding…

Work-from-home survey reveals pandemic’s impacts upon employees’ physical and mental health, productivity and daily routines >
November 17, 2021

Faculty Health and Wellness Pandemic Research

How to support office workers’ health and wellness, when the “office” can be located anywhere.

By Jamie Wetherbe MA ’04 In the spring of 2020, Associate Professor Shawn Roll and his research collaborators from across USC were two years into developing the next generation of intelligent workstations that can optimize employee productivity in the office. The team has diverse yet complementary…

Back in My Day: Bridging the gap between Grandpa and Grandpaw >
November 3, 2021

Chan in the Media Community and Partners Health and Wellness Students

By Lois Angelo / Daily Trojan Angelo holding maltipoo Toby. (Photo/Courtesy of Lois Angelo) While my straightforward personality can be broken down into three simple categories — my love for gerontology, my grief for my exes, my obsession with TWICE — I rarely talk about my interest in…

A Different Kind of USC Summer Internship >
September 28, 2021

Clinical Faculty Health and Wellness

A patient of Dr. John Margetis reflects on her GBS diagnosis

Charisma Mangahas is a third year student at Cerritos Community College. She has been living with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) for over 3 years now and recently wrote a reflection on her experience with her diagnosis for her website mindful-lei thinking. Charisma Mangahas in 2018, the year of her…

USC Chan, Momentum PTN to introduce faculty practice model at sensory integration clinics >
August 11, 2021

Clinical Community and Partners Faculty Health and Wellness

(Courtesy of Momentum PTN) The USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (USC Chan) has entered into a formal agreement to implement a faculty practice model at Momentum Pediatric Therapy Network (Momentum PTN). This unique partnership ensures that Momentum PTN…

Ten Ways Occupational Therapists Can Support New Moms >
May 7, 2021

Alumni Community and Partners Health and Wellness

By Dr. Carlin Daley Reaume ’02, MA ’06, OTD ’07 Dr. Carlin Daley Reaume The saying goes: when a baby is born, so is a mother. It is no secret that the transition into motherhood brings a lot of significant life changes along with it. A new role, new daily routines, and let’s not forget new…

New project aims to increase trust for future autism research >
April 2, 2021

Autism Awards Community and Partners Diversity, Access, Equity Faculty Health and Wellness Research

Two-year project will build formal alliances that accentuate perspectives of autistic people, their family members and caregivers, service providers and researchers.

By Mike McNulty For too long, too few autistic people have had a say in how autism research is designed, developed and disseminated, and researchers have not tapped into the expertise that only autistic people and their families have. A new USC-coordinated project looks to upend that disparity by…

Support children’s mental health by embracing failure >
February 7, 2021

Clinical Health and Wellness

This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is February 1-7. The week focuses on the importance of children and young individuals’ mental health. Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy Dr. Shelby Surfas is a specialist in the area of pediatric mental health, and currently serves as the Director of Occupational Therapy at the USC University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) based at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. There, she has primarily addressed a nationally prevalent gap in occupational therapy services for children with mental health needs, while providing awareness and education, along with direct and consultative services, which have grown more than 500 percent since she became director. Dr. Surfas (interviewed by Student Ambassador Lamoni Lucas ’21) talks about pediatric mental health, the importance of children experiencing failure, and the crucial tips to support young individuals’ mental health.

In occupational therapy, we encourage our students, our families and ourselves to be authentic, take risks and fully experience life. Treatment goals in pediatric intervention highlight the success of occupational engagement and participation. These may include learning to ride a bicycle, performing…

Celebrating unsung heroes during National Family Caregivers Month >
November 25, 2020

Clinical Faculty Health and Wellness

November is National Family Caregivers Month, a nationwide observance that recognizes those who dedicate their time and effort towards caring for family members in need. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of family caregivers and praise their strength and support. Within occupational therapy, including the family in treatment provides a wealth of benefits, and families can also act as a catalyst for further healing and engagement.

Six members of the USC Chan Division — faculty members Allison Chu, Celso Delgado, Janet Gunter, Stacey Schepens Niemiec, and students Delaney Smith MA ’21 and Adam Strizich MA ’21 — discuss the importance of including families in occupational therapy.

By Calvin Lee MA ’21 Allison Chu OTD, OTR/L Chu: It’s often been said that when you get married, you’re not just marrying that person but you’re marrying their family as well. Similarly with OT, when you’re working with a client, you’re not just working with the client but you’re also…

How to cope with a complicated winter amid COVID-19 >
November 17, 2020

Chan in the Media Faculty Health and Wellness Pandemic

Days are getting shorter, the pandemic continues and the holidays may be more isolating than ever. USC experts offer advice on how to make the best of it.

By Gary Polakovic and David Medzerian / USC News Months of being in isolation can take a toll on your psyche, especially during the holiday season. (Illustration/iStock) "Winter is coming, and it will be challenging," said Ashley Uyeshiro Simon, an associate professor of clinical occupational…

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