Dr. McDonald has served as an occupational therapy practitioner, educator, and researcher throughout her 30+ year career. She received her PhD, in Occupational Science and MA in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California (USC) as well as a BA in Education (Special Education) from Arizona State University (ASU). As a lifelong learner, she also holds an MA in Bioethics and Health Policy from Loyola University, Chicago, and is an alumna of Harvard’s Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) Program.
As a practitioner, Dr. McDonald has focused her work with children and families from diverse backgrounds across a wide range of service settings inclusive of Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles (CHLA), UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) as well as homeless shelters, private practice clinics, in-home early intervention, and overseas for the Exceptional Family Member Program (Department of Defense Schools) in Germany.
Dr. McDonald has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on pediatrics, play, and narrative ethics. She is a past Chair of AOTA’s Ethics Commission and presently serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy. She received an AOTA service award for her work on the Standards and Ethics Review Committee and is a past recipient of OTAC’s Tea with a Scholar. Her research is published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy in Health Care Journal as well as the Open Access Journal of Occupational Therapy.
In her spare time, Dr. McDonald enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and many pets.