Abbey Marterella, PhD, OTRL

CEO & President

Dr. Abbey Marterella is Chief Executive Officer and President of the Center for Innovative OT Solutions (CIOTS). She joined CIOTS in 2017 as the Research and Development Director. Dr. Marterella holds a PhD in occupational science from the University of Southern California. She completed her baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees in occupational therapy at Eastern Michigan University, where she also completed a certificate in business management. She has been involved in several federally-, foundation-, and privately-funded grants. Her publications have focused on intervention development research and theory development in occupational science and occupational therapy.

Dr. Marterella co-authored, together with Anne Fisher, the provocative new textbook Powerful practice: A model for authentic occupational therapy. This book is used by occupational therapy programs and clinicians around the globe. She also designed and implemented a usability study to ensure the AMPS Online course was pedagogically sound. Her research and development work helped ensure that this course met best practice standards to support participant certification and credentialing.

Prior to joining CIOTS, Dr. Marterella held faculty positions at the University of Southern California and Eastern Michigan University. Both positions focused on theory development and research in occupational science and occupational therapy. With over 2 decades of experience, she has been the recipient of numerous scholarly and research awards during her academic career. Dr. Marterella has a long-standing history with developing community research partnerships and has led over 200 graduate student research projects. From the start of her career, she has sought to secure quality occupational therapy services for clients, to teach such commitment to students, and to deliver on this very personal mission to advance powerful and authentic occupational therapy practice.

Dr. Marterella’s personal interests align with her professional interests – finding innovative and creative solutions to perplexing problems. Recently, she created a lamp from an unusable antique Victrola phonograph and built a custom hula hoop from irrigation tubing. These creations arose from a need for inspired lighting and her desire to do more advanced tricks than were possible with a standard hoop.

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