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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Implementation of the Baby Bridge program via telehealth to enhance access to early intervention services in Los Angeles

ReHaB Core ⟩ NICU Lab ⟩

Principal Investigator: Bobbi Pineda PhD, OTR/L, CNT

Co-Investigator: Stacey Dusing; Cynthia Gong

Mentor: Carol Peden

Baby Bridge Therapist, Research Coordinator: Polly Kellner MSOT, OTR/L

Research Assistant: Marinthea Richter OTD

Sep 2021 – Jan 2025

Total funding

The long-term goal of this project is to improve health and well-being of infants and families impacted by neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization through early occupational therapy (OT). High-risk infants discharged from the NICU experience developmental challenges. Early OT: 1) improves early sensory and motor experiences that foster participation in play and meaningful activities, 2) enables education and support of parents, improving early parent-infant interaction and successful engagement in the parental role, and 3) aids in the transition from the complex and supervised NICU environment to the home environment that requires higher levels of self-management. Although an OT referral is often received at NICU discharge, families wait an average of 5 months for services. Barriers are often system-related and especially affect families with social and health inequities who need the services the most. The Baby Bridge program consists of an OT providing specialized in-home therapy until other community-based therapy begins. Telehealth is on the rise and could further increase access to care. This project adapts the Baby Bridge program to a telehealth model and determines its adoptability, acceptability and cost. This project will increase our understanding of telehealth OT for infants and families after NICU discharge.


Type Source Amount
Private American Occupational Therapy Foundation $100,000