The 2015 WCPT award recipients

Mildred Elson Award

Kari Bø has made an outstanding contribution to international leadership in the profession through her pioneering, sustained, evidence based and highly influential work in the field of women’s health.

Her contribution to evidence based practice in the field has had a major impact on the scientific community and thousands of women with problems related to the pelvic floor, such as urinary incontinence. Her many key note lectures at international conferences have set an agenda for health professionals, but on a different scale her work with small groups of women in Norway affected by pelvic floor problems continues to transform hundreds of lives.

Kari’s work combines high quality research – she has 210 peer-reviewed publications and more than 230 international key note speeches – with lecturing and awareness-raising for the public and media. Her key note presentations, and her work with the American Urogynecologic Society and the International Urogynecological Association, have led to widespread recognition among medical teams and policy makers of physical therapists’ important role, and the inclusion of physical therapists as contributors to national and international urogynecological bodies.

In the 1980s, she was one of the first people to draw attention to incontinence problems among female athletes. As well as giving countless national and international media interviews to raise awareness of women’s health problems, she has led courses on pelvic training for physical therapists around the world.

Most of Kari’s career has been based at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences, where she became Professor in 1997. She was integral to the establishment of the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Women’s Health which became a WCPT subgroup in 1999.

Humanitarian Service Award

Diana Hiscock has dedicated her career to practice in developing countries and disaster and emergency situations. For over 30 years she has worked with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as a disability advisor and project manager in marginalised communities and areas affected by natural disaster and war.

She has provided technical support in the fields of disability and rehabilitation in Eastern Europe, Middle East, East Africa, South and Central Asia and China, structuring and supporting the interventions of emergency teams, inspiring physical therapists from a variety of cultures and settings, and aiming to empower vulnerable groups such as women and children with disabilities. Diana has worked with people injured, displaced and disabled by conflict in Syria since 2012, most recently as technical coordinator for Handicap International working with refugees in Jordan. In the aftermath of the Yushu earthquake in China in 2010 she worked in sub zero temperatures at 4500m altitude to implement a follow-up plan for earthquake survivors involving coaching to local rehabilitation staff.

A strong advocate of community based rehabilitation, she has built relationships with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government departments to ensure that the outcomes of her work last beyond her departure. She has been engaged as a consultant in a range of CBR projects and developed training materials for NGOs on disability-related topics.

Leadership in Rehabilitation Award

Padmani Mendis has provided leadership in the field of community based rehabilitation (CBR) rehabilitation globally and in her country of Sri Lanka. She was one of the initiators of the World Health Organization’s CBR strategy, led its field validation between 1979 and 1986 and evaluated and evolved the programme over three decades as a consultant and advisor to WHO and other agencies. She co-authored the manual for implementation of the CBR strategy, published by WHO in 1989 and since translated into 60 languages and used in over 100 countries.

Working with other UN agencies and international NGOs, she visited over 50 countries to enhance knowledge about disability and CBR. She served as a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Committee on Disability and Rehabilitation for 25 years. In 1990 she was awarded a Doctor of Medicine Honoris Causa by Uppsala University, Sweden, in recognition of her pioneering role in the global development of CBR.

In Sri Lanka, Padmani Mendis was instrumental in setting up the Disability Studies Unit at the University of Kelaniya, which promoted CBR internationally and nationally. She chaired the committee that prepared the national disability policy and led preparation of the National Action Plan for Disability. Currently she chairs the committee drafting a Disability Rights Bill for Sri Lanka.

International Service Award - Practice

Hua-Fang Liao is a leader in paediatric physical therapy nationally and internationally who has worked with and for children with developmental delay for nearly 40 years. She pioneered the establishment of the paediatric rehabilitation unit at the National Taiwan University Hospital in 1979, and established an interdisciplinary team approach for services in rural Taiwan, bringing together physical therapists with occupational therapists and special educationists in the school system. She has actively promoted early intervention programmes for young children with disabilities and their families, and has devised several developmental screening tools and tests. She has promoted the ICF in four countries, through clinical practice, teaching and research. One of the first physical therapists to be trained in Taiwan, she was Head of the School of Physiotherapy in 1998-2001 and helped put in place the first PhD programme for the profession in the country. Her research has resulted in 73 publications in international journals. She has provided ongoing education and training to clinical professionals in the People’s Republic of China and was President of the Chinese Association of Early Intervention Professional for Children with Developmental Delays between 2008 and 2014.

Jill McClintock was instrumental in setting up and supporting WCPT’s subgroup International Physiotherapists working with Older People (IPTOP). She was its first Secretary, has served as its Vice President and continues to assist the Executive Board. Jill has continued to guide actions and mentor new leaders to take IPTOP forward. She encouraged the organisation of IPTOP meetings in association with national events and was responsible for congresses in Ireland, Ankara, Turkey, and Boston, USA. She spent much of her professional life working with older people in Northern Ireland, where she was one of the pioneer founders for her specialty during a time of civil unrest in the 1970s and 80s. She encouraged continuing professional development and helped establish the Northern Ireland branch of AGILE (the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Clinical Interest Group for Physiotherapy with Older People) during the 1980s. She later was elected as Chair of national AGILE. Until 2009 she was Deputy Head for Physiotherapy Services at Green Park Health Care Trust, responsible for older people, special schools and spinal injuries.

Michel Landry has been an advocate for physical therapy for over 20 years and his work has covered humanitarian aid in disaster and post-conflict zones, global health and rehabilitation, and health services research. Currently an Associate Professor and Division Chief of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Duke University in the USA, he earned his PhD and a postdoctoral fellowship in Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina.  He was head of the International Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) and then CPA President between 2008 and 2010. As Project Manager of the International Center for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation, he worked on projects for the rehabilitation of war victims in Bosnia Herzegovena and Kosovo and he has developed community based rehabilitation programs on several continents including South America, Europe and Asia. He led a team of rehabilitation professionals into Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Most recently he developed a course in global health at Duke University for students from Canada, Norway, Ireland and the US.

International Service Award - Education

Donald Neumann, Professor at the Department of Physical Therapy, Marquette University, United States since 1986, has made a lasting international contribution to physical therapy education through his innovative teaching. The author of numerous textbooks and teaching instruments, he became internationally known for his book “Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System: foundations for rehabilitation”, translated into six languages. Through Fulbright Scholarships and teaching visits, he has helped develop physical therapy education in Lithuania, Hungary, and Japan. He was instrumental in major reviews and updates of the teaching of kinesiology at Shinshu University and other universities in Japan. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education in 2007. His international teaching has extended to El Salvador, Haiti, Korea, Nepal, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Celia Tan contributed to the shaping of physiotherapy education in Singapore and regionally. She was President of the Singapore Physiotherapy Association between 2000 and 2010, and negotiated with government ministries to gain registration recognition and upgrade the physiotherapy programme to a university Bachelors entry level. She set up a post-graduate allied health institute at Singapore General Hospital. On an international level, she has teaching and consulting positions in Australia (Melbourne and Curtin universities), Malaysia (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman), the UK (London South Bank University) and China (Liao Chen’s People’s Hospital, Shandong). Since 2002 Celia has worked as team leader with Singapore Volunteers Overseas and participated in missions in Cambodia, Laos, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam and China to provide advice to local health leaders and help health professionals to be more effective within limited resources. She has worked to develop the physical therapy profession in Cambodia through mentoring, learning modules and support.

Archbold (Archie) Hinchcliffe is a British physiotherapist who has made a substantial contribution to the development and application of physical therapy internationally, through developing innovative ways of supporting children and families, promoting cultural competence and culturally-appropriate technology, pursuing excellence as part of a rights-based approach to disability, and sharing her knowledge through international lecturing and publication. She has trained physical therapists and rehabilitation workers in Jordan, Syria, Kuwait, Dubai, Oman, Afghanistan, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Poland and helped develop a physical therapy university degree programme in Jordan. She created the charity Cerebral Palsy Africa (CPA) to extend the provision of services for children by training therapists and community workers and providing cultural preparation for UK volunteers. She is author of the internationally recognised book Children with Cerebral Palsy: a Manual for Therapists, Parents and Community Workers. She was an Executive Committee member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s ADAPT international support group. She has shared her vision for excellence at national and international conferences.

Mary Martin gains an International Award (awarded posthumously) in recognition of her service to education and advocacy, particularly in Nepal.  A Canadian physiotherapist, she began working in Nepal in 1983, where she started the first formal physical therapy training course at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu – which she subsequently helped develop into a Bachelors programme at Kathmandu University Medical School. Having worked as a physical therapy trainer at a children’s rehabilitation centre in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1995, she returned to Nepal in 2000, working at the United Mission in Kathmandu for nine years. There she advocated for the most disadvantaged people in Nepal and promoted to government and non-governmental organisations the important role of physical therapy in improving health outcomes. She worked closely with the Nepal Physiotherapy Association as it worked towards WCPT admission in 2003, and assisted local physiotherapists in forming committees and understanding the nature of leadership and advocacy for the profession.

In 2010 she worked in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, providing training as part of Operation Mercy, in response to the Tajik polio epidemic. After retirement, she continued to be involved in the Kathmandu University education programme as an advisor.

International Service Award - Management & administration

Toshihiro Morinaga from Japan served as a WCPT Executive member for nine years from 1982 to 1991. He contributed to the development of WCPT and international physical therapy at a time when member organisations from non-English speaking Asian countries needed new and strong representation, and the profession in East Asia was developing rapidly.  Serving as the Director of International Affairs for the Japanese Physical Therapy Association (JPTA) between 1981 and 1991, he promoted the importance of an international perspective at a time when many physical therapists in Japan were not interested in global issues. Currently Dean and Professor at Shijonawate Gakuen University in Japan, he was Vice President of the WCPT Congress in Yokohama in 1999, an Executive Committee member of the Asian Confederation for Physical Therapy between 1989 and 1993, and a JPTA Executive Committee member between 1977 and 1991.

WCPT International Service Award - Research

Dina Brooks is recognised for her contribution to high quality research which has influenced health policy, education and clinical practice. A full Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, Canada, she is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in pulmonary rehabilitation. Her research has focused on cardiopulmonary health and its effect on function and quality of life, and she has more than 200 peer reviewed publications. Her research has contributed to pulmonary rehabilitation being a standard of care for people living with COPD. She has been a leader in evidence based practice, especially in conducting systematic reviews and developing clinical practice guidelines in the area of pulmonary rehabilitation.

Her mentoring of hundreds of physiotherapists and student physiotherapists over her career was recognised in 2008 with a Canadian Physiotherapy Association Mentorship Award. She has presented at numerous WCPT congresses, and is a member of the International Scientific Committee for the WCPT Congress 2015.

Alan Jette receives an award for his international contributions to the areas of geriatrics and public policy research. He was instrumental in the early and developmental phases of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section on Geriatrics and participated in the development of the International Association of Physical Therapists working with Older People (IPTOP). He has written over 207 journal articles and 16 book chapters and his research has influenced models of care in geriatric physical therapy. He has continually promoted research in the area of geriatric physical therapy and his influence has extended beyond the profession to affect public policy and administration. He is also a grant reviewer, featured speaker, mentor and educator of physical therapists around the globe. In April 2013 Alan Jette presented the keynote address at the joint IPTOP-IOPTWH (International Organization of Physical Therapists in Women’s Health) International Congress in Boston, United States, addressing the future needs of the physical therapy profession in light of the aging population. He is currently Director of the Health and Disability Research Institute at Boston University