Virtual Chat: Achieving the Goals of Health Care Reform: An Introduction to Occupational Therapists in Primary Care

The chat was given by Dr. Michelle Farmer, OTD, OTR/L, Dr. Brian Prestwich, MD, and Ms. Sherry Muir, ABD, OTR/L, to discuss their experiences in care delivery settings where occupational therapists are working as part of the primary care teams. A presentation was given followed by an opportunity for questions and answers. The podcast can be downloaded here.

Listen to the Recorded Chat Now

Biographies of Presenters

Michelle Farmer, OTD, OTR/L completed her Master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2010 at the University of Southern California. With an interest in health care system design and legislation, she carried on to pursue her Occupational Therapy Doctorate. The focus of Dr. Farmer’s work was the Affordable Care Act and its implications for occupational therapy practice. While completing her OTD, she began working with the USC Department of Family Medicine on identifying opportunities for the integration of occupational therapy services into primary care environments. Dr. Farmer is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy and practices at the USC Eisner Family Medicine Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center Residency Training Site. She is the lead Occupational Therapist training faculty and providers on the role of occupational therapy on interprofessional care teams for patients across the lifespan. Her efforts focus on designing systematic evidence based approaches to apply occupational therapy practice to population based medicine. Dr. Farmer serves as core faculty on the USC Interprofessional Collaborative along with faculty from the school of medicine, including the physician assistant program, and pharmacy.

Brian Prestwich, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, is a teacher and clinician with 25 years of experience caring for vulnerable populations. Over the last 5 years he collaborated with the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and Communities as Co-Chair of the Early Developmental Screening and Intervention Initiative (EDSI) funded by First 5 LA. EDSI is a redesign of Well Child Care for children ages 0-5 using The Improvement Model described by the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. He is now in the second year of leading a Perinatal Mental Health Pilot using the IMPACT Model to screen for and provide team-based care for women from pre-conception through the first year of their child’s life and featuring primary care-based occupational therapy. In 2011, Dr. Prestwich began collaborating with faculty from the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at USC on the application of occupational science toward patient activation for successful self-management by integrating occupational therapists within medical homes. His work on team-based interprofessional care has included collaborations with the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, USC Physician Assistant in Primary Care Program, USC School of Pharmacy, USC School of Social Work, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and the USC Student Run Clinic, a sustainable interprofessional education and care model for which he has served as primary faculty consultant. Currently, Dr. Prestwich remains involved in projects including primary care clinic transformation into advanced Patient Centered Medical Homes, Population-Based Primary Care, Specialty Access in the Safety Net, and Interprofessional Care/Interprofessional Education. He has served on the Physician Leadership Committees for 3 different emerging integrated care networks in Los Angeles County, and has been selected as the primary care redesign expert on the Keck Medical Center of USC’s Strategic Planning Steering Committee.

Sherry Muir, ABD, OTR/L has worked with patients in a variety of rural acute care, rehabilitation, outpatient, and home health settings for over 20 years. Ms. Muir holds a BA in Biology from the University of Missouri, a Master of Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman's University, and is completing her PhD in Public Policy & Administration from Walden University. She has been a professional educator since 2004, and has served as a full-time faculty member at Saint Louis University since 2006. She has presented at the local, state and national level on a variety of topics related to clinical conditions and injury prevention, documentation of functional activity, and health policies impacting occupational therapy. Ms. Muir has served as an expert witness for the defense in lawsuits based on patient falls. She has received Outstanding Educator awards from both the Missouri Occupational Therapy Association and the Doisy College of Health Sciences at Saint Louis University. In addition to her position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, she holds a secondary appointment in the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. She has been providing direct treatment in primary care at the SLUCare Patient Centered Medical Home for over three years, the Geriatric Clinic for four months, and also provided treatment for six months at a multi-physician family practice and safety-net clinic.