Five faculty members from the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and one alumna made the pages of the May 2020 issue of OT Practice magazine.

The cover article, “Helping Clients Prepare for and Recover From Lung Transplant,” was written by alumna Wesley Chen, OTD, assistant clinical professor Jamie Wilcox, OTD, and assistant clinical professor Jodie Murakami, OTD. The article outlines the lung transplantation process, explores the goals of occupational therapy interventions throughout its phases and reviews current literature for the population.

“It’s a magical thing to see patients through the continuum of care — to help them fight to maintain quality of life in the midst of end-stage lung disease and, eventually, through to their post-transplant long-term recovery as they work to take back their life,” said Wilcox, who has worked in pulmonary transplant at Keck Hospital of USC for more than six years. The article writing process was led by Chen, a former resident at Keck Hospital, with contributions from Wilcox and Murakami, who also treats this patient population.

Assistant clinical professors Samantha Valasek, OTD, and Rebecca Cunningham, OTD, co-authored “Self-Interventions: Applying Your Occupational Therapy Skills to Your Personal Health.” The article explores resources, strategies and tools that practitioners and students with chronic conditions can use for improving self-management and self-advocacy of their own health needs.

“We were inspired to collaborate with other OTs with chronic conditions after hosting a conversation on the topic during the 2019 AOTA Annual Conference,” Valasek said. “During our discussion, a few of the practitioners and students became tearful as they expressed their concerns about engaging in practice while maintaining their own health and safety, and over the course of an hour, that conference meeting became an impromptu support group. This article is meant to be a conversation starter — we are hoping to inspire grassroots efforts that acknowledge our varying needs as caregivers and human beings.”

The issue also features professor Katie Jordan, OTD, in an article pulling back the curtain on how current procedural terminology (CPT) codes are developed and evaluated. CPT codes are the numbers used to describe, standardize and communicate each and every service provided by a health care professional. Jordan, the division’s associate chair for clinical services and the director of OT and speech services at Keck Hospital of USC, serves as AOTA’s advisor to the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Scale Update Committee. This committee is responsible for recommending values for each CPT code, which insurers then use as baselines for setting their own payment rates for services delivered by providers.

— Mike McNulty