Gina Benavente, DHSc, MPH, OTR

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Occupational Therapy

Dr. Benavente has been a pediatric occupational therapist for 32 years, and in academia since 2016. Over the course of her clinical career, she has specialized in serving preterm infants, children with feeding and swallowing disorders, children with complex neurodevelopmental challenges, autism and neurodiversity, and Sensory Processing Disorder. She maintained an independent, private practice in Tokyo, Japan for two years.


  • Bachelor of Science, Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University
  • Master of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health, University of Hawai’i Post-Graduate Fellowship
  • Public Health: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities, University of Hawaii
  • Doctor of Health Science, Nova Southeastern University


  • Mentored OTD capstone students

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Developmental & Educational Pediatrics
  • Neurodiversity Advocacy & Leadership
  • Global Practice
  • Public Health
  • Cultural Humility
  • Community Practice
  • Assistive Technology
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