USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Davis School of Gerontology
Natalie Leland is an outstanding researcher in gerontology with a focus on improving post-acute care services for older adults. Dr. Leland received her BS degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of New Hampshire and her MS and PhD degrees in Gerontology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research at Brown University. Dr. Leland has extensive geriatric clinical experience in a variety of rehabilitation settings.
She has joint faculty appointments in the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Dr. Leland holds leadership positions both within occupational therapy and within the broader discipline of gerontology. She was President of the Rhode Island Occupational Therapy Association, currently serves on the Board for Advanced and Specialty Certification (BASC) for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and is on the Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization (ESPO) Executive Committee for the Gerontological Society of America (GSA). She was named to the AOTA Roster of Fellows in 2012.
Dr. Leland's recent scholarship includes the American Occupational Therapy Association's newly released "Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Productive Aging for Community-Dwelling Older Adults" and trends in access and outcomes of post-acute care for patients post-hip fracture surgery. She has received international attention for her work on falls among new-admitted nursing home patients. She is expert in the use of large administrative datasets, longitudinal data analysis and geographic variation in rehabilitation services. Dr. Leland has received funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as a T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Rehabilitation Research Career Development (RRDC) Program (#5T32HS000011, P.I. Vincent Mor, PhD), and from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NICHD) as a K12 Rehabilitation Research Career Development Program Scholar (K12 HD055929, P.I. Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR). More recently she has received a patient centered outcomes research career development award from AHRQ (1K01HS022907). Dr. Leland's research is focused on understanding and improving post-acute care quality for older adults and with a particular interest in how occupational therapy can contribute to fall prevention. Dr. Leland is an expert in secondary data analysis and evaluating the impact of health services on quality of care for older adults in post-acute settings.