Faculty / Staff Resources Student Resources
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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Center for Occupational Science-Based Leadership Training in Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Principal Investigator: L. Diane Parham

Jan 1997 – Dec 2003

Total funding

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau, this grant responds to recent statistics which indicate that in the United States mothers and children often fail to receive basic health care services. This lack of care has led to unacceptably high rates of teen pregnancy, low birth weight, infant mortality, inadequate maternal and child nutrition, maternal substance abuse during pregnancy, and HIV positivity in mothers and their infants. These problems, in turn, increase the risk of disability, chronic illness, difficulty in school, and delinquency in later childhood. The resulting burgeoning need for services, in combination with marked inequalities in the availability of health care across different ethnic and socioeconomic strata, calls for the recruitment and training of health professionals who will fulfill leadership roles both in the development and administration of community-based care programs for at-risk mothers and their children and in the enactment of needed health care policy changes.

The goal of the project is to prepare master’s and doctoral student fellows for future leadership roles in the field of pediatric occupational therapy, and thereby meet key MCH and Healthy Children 2000 goals such as increasing access to appropriate and high quality development programs for children with disabilities, and developing culturally competent community-based systems of health care delivery for mothers and children.

The program objectives include:

  1. To provide an intensive program of interdisciplinary training to postprofessional occupational therapy students, as well as to occupational science doctoral students, that will equip them with the leadership abilities to initiate and improve health-related service programs for mothers and children.
  2. To recruit master’s and doctoral fellows from ethnic minority backgrounds in order to equip them with the clinical, academic, and leadership abilities to provide and improve health-related programs for mothers and children.
  3. To educate pediatric occupational therapy clinicians and leaders concerning the importance of cultural sensitivity in the planning and delivery of health care services to mothers and children of ethnic minority backgrounds.
  4. To foster research and theory development in pediatric occupational science that will both stimulate improved occupational therapy service provision to mothers and their children and support the enactment of beneficial policy reforms in the maternal and child health care system.
  5. To disseminate on a local as well as a nationwide basis, the scholarly products that result from the training experience so as to positively influence professionals who provide services for mothers and children.

Master’s and doctoral student fellows will receive training in the areas of exemplary service provision, advocacy and policy change, teaching, and research and all project fellows will receive specialized instruction concerning the importance of cultural sensitivity in the planning and delivery of community-based health care services to underrepresented populations. In addition to completing coursework and research requirements associated with the general USC Occupational Therapy curriculum, fellows will receive clinical supervision and specialized instruction in pediatric occupational therapy at the USC-University Affiliated Project and associated satellite settings. The fellows will also be required to participate in ongoing service delivery, program administration, collaborative research, and/or policy change efforts in local Title V agencies.


Type Source Number Amount
Federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration 5 MCJ-009048-18 $756,162