Fall Forum: OT’s Role in Treating the Homeless

POTAC & Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital present

Occupational Therapy’s Role in Meeting the Healthcare Needs of Persons with Experiences of Homelessness


Alexandra Zuck, OTD, OTR/L

Phillip Lee, OTR/L

Stephanie Moon, OTD, OTR/L

Deborah Pitts, PhD, OTR/L, BCMH, CPRP, FAOTA


Saturday, November 16, 2019


Registration 9:00 AM
Presentation 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM


Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital

1001 Potrero Avenue (between 22nd & 23rd Streets)
Building 5, 7th Floor, Rooms 7M30 A & B
San Francisco, CA 94110

Program Description

Citing the HUD Annual Report on Homelessness, the presenters will frame the nature of homelessness and its various health risks, with attention to the policies as described in the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. The presenters will define their practices by describing the role of OT within homeless healthcare in L.A., including their specific practice context (i.e., primary care, recuperative care and permanent supportive housing) and population, as well as approaches to interventions targeting the population’s occupational needs. They will present a case examples and/or engage participants in a hands-on case application activity.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Define elements of homeless healthcare and ‘housing for health’ in Skid Row, Los Angeles and greater Los Angeles as approaches to reducing homelessness.
  2. Differentiate homeless healthcare and ‘housing for health’ from other approaches to reducing homelessness and managing health.
  3. Explore and reflect on the role, takeaways, and challenges for occupational therapists in the three different practice contexts: primary care, permanent supportive housing, and recuperative care.


Alexandra Zuck, OTD, OTR/L completed her OTD residency at JWCH Institute’s Center for Community Health, a designated healthcare for the homeless clinic and health center located in Skid Row, Los Angeles.

Phillip D.H. Lee, OTR/L leads the OT program at the Skid Row Housing Trust, which provides permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless. He is currently enrolled in USC’s Advanced Practice Clinical Doctorate (OTD) in their O.T. curriculum.

Stephanie Moon, OTD, OTR/L is the Director of Behavioral Health and Case Management at MLK Jr. Recuperative Care Center. She has experience working within the continuum of homelessness services in Skid Row, LA and Los Angeles.

Deborah Pitts, PhD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA currently serves as Associate Professor with the University of Southern California’s Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She also currently serves on the California Behavioral Health Planning Council and the California Department of Health Care Services Behavioral Health Stakeholder Advisory Committee.


Light breakfast included, but no-host lunch – Brown bag or eat in the hospital cafeteria


To reserve a space, email Annette Pinto at annette.pinto@sfdph.org or text Annette at (415) 516-6360 by Wednesday, November 13, 2019. Admission cannot be guaranteed without pre-registration.

Pay at the door: $75 for POTAC & OTAC members; $95 for non-members; students $15.

Checks or cash only, no credit cards. Certificates of Attendance will be provided to qualify for PDUs – 6 contact hours. A percentage of all proceeds goes to the Kim Aspelund Memorial Scholarship.


For directions, campus map, public transit, and parking information, click here.

Parking in the 23rd St. Parking Garage: enter from 24th Street

Event Flyer

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Dynamic Cognitive Groups

POTAC presents

Dynamic Cognitive Groups: How to Set Up a Group to Reach Your Population

Presenter: Susan Edelsberg, OTR/L, GCFP

Friday, February 25, 2011, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Laguna Honda Hospital
375 Laguna Honda, Rm. A-300, San Francisco, CA 94116

Description of Program

A range of cognitive group exercises using a variety of sensory strategies will be presented in a hands-on, experiential format. Discussion will address how exercises can be adapted to fit your population. Continue reading “Dynamic Cognitive Groups”

Winter Training: Cognitive Perception

Cognitive Perception: Occupational Therapy Intervention for Clients with Cognitive Perceptual Impairments

with Mary Jo McGuire, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Saturday, March 7, 2009
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Creekside Room
Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue,
 San Rafael, CA 94901

Cognitive Perception: Occupational Therapy Intervention for Clients with Cognitive Perceptual Impairments

with Mary Jo McGuire, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

Saturday, March 7, 2009
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Creekside Room
Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue,
 San Rafael, CA 94901


In this fast-paced, comprehensive course, participants will explore how sensory-perceptual and cognitive impairments contribute to difficulties in occupational performance, while also assessing the auditory, tactile, vestibular, and visual systems. The presenter will review the role of attention, memory, higher level thinking skills and executive skills in cognitive-perceptual function, highlighting critical elements to evaluate and providing direction for therapeutic intervention. Treatment will be categorized into six groups: deficit-specific, compensatory, task-specific/environmental modification, meta-cognitive training, education, and social skills training. Treatment strategies will be presented using lecture, video-analysis, and case study anecdotes.

This course advocates for client-centered, occupation-based OT intervention that supports the development of client factors and skills and focuses on a return to habits, routines, rituals, and roles. The presenter will demonstrate the importance of incorporating the natural environment into the intervention program for people with cognitive-perceptual problems. Evidence based approaches and strategies will be highlighted, and clinicians will be challenged to stay focused on providing services that will make a difference in the client’s and family’s life.


Completion of the course will enable participants to:

  • Explain the importance of designing an OT program for clients with cognitive perceptual disorders which incorporates information from the client’s occupational profile, and integrates environmental factors.
  • Describe how to evaluate and address a client’s sensory processing skills/impairments into the occupational therapy program of a client with cognitive-perceptual disorders.
  • Describe common misperceptions and/or functional deficits associated with various sensory processing disorders.
  • Describe screening tools and standardized tests that can be used to establish a baseline for cognitive deficits and/or to provide evidence of progress in cognitive function.
  • Give examples of each of the following intervention approaches, and describe when it is appropriate/inappropriate to use the following:
    • Deficit specific training
    • Compensatory training
    • Task specific training/environmental modifications
    • Meta-cognitive training
    • Education of patient/family/caregivers
    • Social Skills training
  • Compare and contrast classic and current terminology used to describe different types of apraxia, and describe appropriate therapeutic approaches to use related to the type and severity of the disorder.
  • Describe published resources that can be used as part of evidence based practice in treating clients with cognitive-perceptual disorders.

Speaker Bio

Mary Jo McGuire, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA has over 30 years clinical experience working in acute care, in-patient rehab, out-patient rehab, skilled nursing facilities, and home health care; she is currently in private practice treating clients with traumatic brain injuries.


8:30 am                              Participant Registration. Continental Breakfast.
9:00 am – noon                 Theoretical Foundations
12:00 noon – 1:00 pm      Networking Box Lunch (included) – an opportunity to meet with peer practitioners
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm            Treatment Principles
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm            Practical Applications – applying principles to selected cases and practice settings


$125 for POTAC members & students; $150 for non-members. Certificate of Attendance provided to qualify for PDUs.

Registration & Payment Form

Download Registration Form

Click here for directions, campus map, and parking information.

Contact Information

Sandy Baker
Director, PACE, Dominican University of California
50 Acacia Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901
415-485-3255;  fax 415-482-3575; sbaker@dominican.edu

Event Flyer

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