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Occupational Therapy Physical Rehabilitation Fellowship

Casa Colina’s Occupational Therapy Physical Rehabilitation Fellowship Program provides advanced knowledge and skill in a focused clinical environment. The coursework offers training in clinical examination, decision-making, and treatment skills. It is designed to accelerate a therapist’s professional development while allowing them to achieve clinical excellence in all aspects of patient care.

The Casa Colina Occupational Therapy Physical Rehabilitation Fellowship is an Approved Site by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The program offers a full year of advanced clinical and research practice with extensive mentorship, education, and reflection.

The mission of the program is to provide clinical training that accelerates the occupational therapist's professional development in becoming a resource, educator, mentor, consumer, and contributor to the scientific literature and profession, as well as being a specialist to the community they serve.

Casa Colina's' Occupational Therapy Physical Rehabilitation Fellowship Program achieved full 10-year accreditation status from AOTA in March 2018.

The program offers:

  • Mentored 1:1 clinical practice
  • Structured learning opportunities, including research
  • Didactic coursework
  • Participation in physician specialty clinics
  • Preparation and training for AOTA advanced practice and board certification
  • Paid compensation for all hours of clinical practice as well as time being mentored

This 52-week program enrolls 3 fellows every July. The application and selection process includes an observation of the applicant performing an initial evaluation and treatment on a patient. (Program FAQs.)


The foundation of the program is over 340 hours of one-on-one mentoring with expert clinicians, interdisciplinary education, teaching, leadership, and ongoing professional development, including:

  • 18-week rotation in inpatient rehabilitation
  • 17-week rotation in transitional living center
  • 17-week rotation in outpatient neurology

This occurs concurrently with clinical practice as a treating therapist, as the fellow moves through several clinical rotations for 1,600 hours of clinical practice across the continuum of care (32 hours per week).

Fellows also receive didactic face-to-face education provided from our expert faculty on clinically relevant occupational therapy topics, including:

  • Biweekly education sessions lead by clinical experts on relevant occupational therapy clinical topics

  • Monthly patient handling sessions with mentors

  • Participation in learning opportunities in conjunction with physical therapy residents including: Grand Rounds, Journal Club, Motor Control Case Studies, Gait Rounds

Fellows also get active participation in clinical research within the Casa Colina Research Institute, helping them gain specialized knowledge in research skills.

Program graduates are eligible to sit for the AOTA Board-Certified Physical Rehabilitation Exam.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Must obtain a California occupational therapy license by July of the year they are seeking admission into the fellowship.
  • Must meet all eligibility requirements to be hired as a practicing occupational therapist at Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare. (OT Fellows will be hired as employees of Casa Colina with full benefits, including health insurance and paid time off.)
  • Maintain a current CPR/AED/ First Aid certification
  • “New graduate” OTs are eligible to apply
  • Being a member of AOTA recommended, but not necessary

Application Instructions

Download the application form.

The following items are required to apply for the program:

1. Curriculum Vitae/Resume

2. Complete the 3 questions provided

3. Two letters of recommendation: If a recent graduate, one should be from a fieldwork coordinator and one from an individual of your choice. We suggest that the letters of recommendation be from individuals who are able to comment on your clinical practice and research capabilities or potential.

Applications are due April 1.

Your application and supporting documentation must be received by April 1 of the year you are applying for the fellowship. Applications should be sent to:
Debra Ouellette, MS, OTR/L, BCPR, SCLV, FNAP
Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare
255 E. Bonita Ave.
Pomona, CA 91767

Our team of occupational therapy mentors will review each application carefully. Applicants will be notified if selected for an interview by April 30. Those considered for the acceptance will be invited to Casa Colina for an in-person interview that will take place in May.

Candidates will receive an acceptance notification by the end of May.


Program Director: Debra S. Ouellette, MS, OTR/L, BCPR, SCLV.

For more information, email or call 909/596-7733, ext. 3500.

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