General Contact Info
POTAC Steering Committee members come from all over California. We would be happy to assist OTs working in mental health in any way we can. We know some OTs work alone in one-person departments, and we are available to discuss questions and issues. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
POTAC Steering Committee Member Bios
Jessica Richman, OTD, MPH, OTR/L
Jessica Richman, OTD, MPH, OTR/L, has been fortunate enough to combine her love for OT practice, program development and advocacy in multiple settings throughout her career. She is currently the Doctoral Capstone Coordinator and an Assistant Professor at Samuel Merritt University, and serves as an occupational therapist at John George Psychiatric Hospital.
Jessica began her OT career working with at-risk, economically disadvantaged youth with serious mental health risk factors in a community based, mental health setting in Los Angeles, California. She then moved internationally to work for the National Health Service in London, United Kingdom as a community based, pediatric clinician. Upon her return home from the UK, Jessica was employed with Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health as a clinician and coordinator of a peer volunteer program. Finally, in 2022, Jessica graduated with a Masters of International Public Health from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. During this year-long intensive program, Jessica worked alongside colleagues from dozens of other countries and incorporated her love for mental health studies into many of her projects and assignments. Jessica is happy to be back in the US and to serve as POTAC’s chair.
Ingrid Leu, OTD, OTR/L
Membership, Treasurer, and Scholarship
Dr. Ingrid Leu OTD, OTR/L has had an interest in mental health since she was a student at the University of Southern California. She obtained her doctoral degree in 2014 which explored the qualifications and barriers of occupational therapy in pediatric mental health. Leu is currently the Director of Occupational Therapy at Exodus Recovery, which provides psychiatric treatment services in hospital based inpatient and outpatient programs in Los Angeles County. She supervises Level I and Level II students from different universities in order to increase exposure and pique interest in mental health. Dr Leu is also an instructor at Stanbridge University.
Bianca M. Doherty, OTD, OTR/L
Dr. Bianca M. Doherty, OTD, OTR/L is an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University. She completed her entry-level occupational therapy education in Cork, Ireland, where she is originally from, and has also worked and studied in Scotland, and the United States, where she moved in 2016 as an international student to pursue her Post-Professional Doctorate. Her doctoral residency focused on pediatric mental health and self-advocacy for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. She then taught in the Occupational Therapy programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, in San Marcos, CA for 3 years, in foundational OT courses, and ones related to mental health and wellness.
In 2019, she developed an occupational therapy service at a transitional housing program for youth aged 18-25 years old experiencing challenges related to homelessness, mental health, and substance use. At this program, she served as the Director of Occupational Therapy and eventually the Program Manager, until her recent move to Colorado. Part of her current role involves developing community partnerships in emerging practice settings with a mental health focus.
Faith Goh, MA, OTR/L
Los Angeles Chapter Representative
Faith Goh MA, OTR/L is a Filipina-American woman born and raised in Los Angeles. She is strongly passionate about working with underserved populations. At Kedren Community Health Center, she worked as the rehabilitation coordinator and occupational therapist on the children’s and adult units. She has served as a guest lecturer educating students during their Psychosocial Foundations Lab course at Stanbridge University. She is now very excited to be serving in her new job at Housing for Health, with LA county’s Department of Health services and is very dedicated and proud of its mission and commitment to homeless services by creating housing opportunities and providing supportive services to our most vulnerable populations. Faith is looking forward to going back to school to earn her OTD with an emphasis in helping develop the role of occupational therapy at various residential care facilities throughout Los Angeles county. She is also excited to be serving as POTAC’s Los Angeles Chapter representative in the hopes of building community and bringing occupational therapists together who are passionate about OT practice in mental health
Dr. Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L
Dr. Karen McCarthy, OTD, OTR/L is an Associate Professor at the Department of Occupational Therapy at Dominican University of California. Dr. McCarthy began her career as an occupational therapist in 2004 participating in the landmark occupational therapy research study: The USC Well Elderly Study II: Health Mediating Effects of the Well Elderly Program. She worked in Orange County CalWorks program at a center for substance abuse and domestic violence recovery. She then completed her clinical doctorate in Occupational Therapy at USC in 2008, focusing on the development of the program Lifestyle Redesign® for the College Student. She then moved from Los Angeles to Ireland to teach Mental Health Occupational Therapy at University College Cork, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy from 2012 to 2016. She started her position at Dominican University of California in fall of 2016, teaching Psychosocial Aspects of Occupation. Karen’s clinical experience is in the areas of mental health, Lifestyle Redesign®, life coaching, dating coaching, older adults, college student well-being, domestic violence, and substance abuse. Her research interests include mental health and Occupational Science.
Susan MacDermott, OTD, OTR/L
Susan MacDermott has more than 15 years of experience as a practicing therapist and educator. In addition to her role as a Doctoral Coordinator at the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos, CA, she currently serves as an occupational therapist at Lasting Recovery, a substance abuse and recovery program in San Diego.
Her past experiences in mental health include being the occupational therapy director for Mariposa Women and Family Center in Orange, California, which provides community mental health services to women who have experienced domestic violence and other mental health concerns. She also practiced in community and hospital-based mental health services in Mullingar, Ireland. During her time at the University of Southern California OT Faculty Practice she worked as part of the chronic pain team providing services with a Lifestyle Redesign® approach.
She is excited to bring together communities of OTs passionate about mental health from the San Diego area to POTAC as the San Diego Chapter Representative.
Dr. Annamarie Sughair, OTD, OTR/L
San Diego Chapter Representative
Annamarie currently serves as the Director of Rehabilitation at a Special Treatment Program (STP). (STP) is a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) that has a mental health program approved by Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). Anna specializes in helping individuals with conditions like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and more to transition to a lower level of care while developing healthy habits and routines to support quality of life. With a background in pediatrics, specifically the SOS Approach to Feeding, Anna brings diverse clinical experience, including program development for adults and adolescents, emphasizing well-being and quality of life. An alumna of the University of St. Augustine, she completed her doctorate project addressing healthy living habits for individuals with symptoms of psychosis. She is passionate about all things OT and all things mental health. Prior to becoming an OT, Anna worked as a behavioral therapist. Mental health has always been a passion of hers throughout her work experiences. She is eager to contribute to the compassionate community of mental health OTs as the San Diego POTAC Chapter Chair.