The 2011 WCPT award recipients


The Milred Elson Award


Stanley Paris

The Mildred Elson Award for 2011 is presented to Stanley Paris. Stanley Paris has been a driving force in the physical therapy profession across the world. From New Zealand, where he earned his physical therapist entry-level qualification and first awards in the 1950s, to the United States of America where he lives and works today, Stanley has influenced the world of physical therapy through his writing, teaching, clinical practice, and advocacy efforts. His work has furthered the development of the PT profession.

He has played a founding and influential role in various organisations. He was the founding chairman of the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapists, IFOMPT, and also its second president. He was the founder and President of the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. He also founded the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy.

Over his career, Stanley has been equally energetic in the pursuit of excellence as in his own many physical activities and adventures. He has proved to be an inspiration to many and, in common with Mildred Elson, has served as an outstanding role model and leader in the physical therapy profession.


The Humanitarian Service Award


Peta Ann Schmidt

Peta-Ann Schmidt is a longstanding member of the South African Society of Physiotherapy who has continuously reached out beyond the confines of her paid employment to contribute time and services to not-for-profit causes. Peta-Ann has been involved in 12 voluntary medical outreach projects in the past ten years, in countries like Peru, Mozambique, Ghana, Cameroon, Swaziland, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi. More than 2,000 patients have benefitted from these projects, for which she was unpaid and funded herself.

She was appointed the Medical Ministry International Director for Southern Africa – the first ever physical therapist to hold such a position in the organisation – and has demonstrated that she is an able leader of multi disciplinary, multi-national teams.

Peta-Ann’s consistent service, often in the most difficult circumstances, to those who have little or no access to physical therapy services over extended periods, makes her the well-deserving recipient of the 2011 WCPT Humanitarian Award


The International Service Award - administration and policy development


Eckhardt Boehle

Eckhardt Boehle has been loyally and vigorously involved in WCPT and its European Region over many years.

Eckhardt has been pivotal in the development of the European Region of WCPT from its inception in Estoril in 1998 to its General Meeting in 2010.  With Antonio Lopes, he laid the foundation of the Executive Committee and Working Groups of ER-WCPT.

Eckhardt is respected for his skills as a treasurer having undertaken the role for WCPT between 1988 and 1991, for WCPT’s European Region between 1992 and 1996 and for the International Private Practitioners’ Association between 1995 and 2003.  The sound financial underpinning that these organisations have achieved has enabled them to move physical therapy forward.

Eckhardt has taken an important leadership role in his own country as he has helped guide the profession through change.  But he has always looked beyond national boundaries, and his commitment to international initiatives, his problem-solving abilities and his inquiring mind have been great assets to the Confederation.


Elisabeth Haase

Elisabeth Haase is a role model for physical therapists involved in international collaboration. For many years she was the international face of her own professional organisation, Danske Fysioterapeuter, of which she was Chief Executive Officer. She was active across the Nordic countries and in the European Region, where she played a leading role in the merger between the Standing Liaison Committee of Physiotherapists in the EU and WCPT Europe to form the European Region of WCPT as we know it today.

Elisabeth has also supported many new WCPT member organisations and has been instrumental in twinning programmes between African and European physical therapy associations. Her continued commitment to the profession internationally is demonstrated by the fact that, even in retirement, she acts as presiding officer at WCPT regional and general meetings.


António M Fernandes Lopes

António M Fernandes Lopes has been a leader in physical therapy since his student days, helping to gain recognition for the profession after a period of significant change in his own country of Portugal. His leadership carried through onto an international level. Antonio was instrumental in the foundation of the European Region of WCPT in 1998. He chaired the Executive Committee and the Education Working Group between 1998 and 2010.

He has been involved in a large number of European committees, and has enhanced the standing of WCPT within Europe, speaking on behalf of member organisations to government ministers and members of the European parliament on the value of physical therapy in health care delivery.

WCPT has regularly turned to him for his valuable perspective, his wisdom on policy matters and his language skills. He has helped lay the foundation for a successful and thriving Confederation.


Joyce Mothabeng

Joyce Mothabeng serves the physical therapy profession at local, national, regional and international levels. A member of various committees with the South African Society of Physiotherapy, she has also served as Regional Chair of WCPT Africa between 2001 and 2004 and Regional Treasurer between 2004 and 2008. She is currently regional administrator, a role she volunteered for. She has played an invaluable role in bringing WCPT’s Africa Region together and improving communication within the region.

She is a member of the executive committee of the International Society of Educators in Physiotherapy (ISEP) and has contributed to professional development and education in the Africa region through multi-country collaborative projects.

Joyce vividly remembers the uprising of 16 June 1976 in her township home of Soweto – she was there. Her country has changed tremendously since then and as it changed Joyce has grasped every opportunity with commitment – first becoming a physical therapist, a leader in the profession in her own country and on an international level has provided a stable centre for WCPT’s Africa Region.


The International Service Award - education


Ina Diener

Ina Diener has made an important contribution to education and standards of practice in Africa.

A committed contributor to WCPT Africa regional courses and events, she has been instrumental in ensuring that evidence based practice is taught throughout Africa.

Ina has taught extensively in the field of orthopaedic manipulative therapy at the University of the Western Cape. In 2003-2004 she was co-developer of the MSc OMT physical therapy course. She has always been committed to the principle of giving education in South Africa to physical therapists from other areas of Africa, with the aim of raising standards across the continent.


Amélia Pasqual Marques

Amélia Pasqual Marques was presented with this award in the light of her more than 30 years of service to Brazilian physical therapy education, and her contribution to spreading physical therapy knowledge internationally.

She is a leader within WCPT’s South America Region and has been instrumental in advocating for quality education for physical therapists and the inclusion of post graduate programmes. She has contributed to the editorial board of five major Brazilian journals in rehabilitation, and through her research and publications had been a major producer and disseminator of physical therapy knowledge.

Yoriko Taguchi

Having contributed extensively to the development of the Japanese Physiotherapy Association from its earliest days, Yoriko Taguchi continues to work tirelessly as a part-time lecturer and as the Chair of the Research and Training Board of the Japan NGO Network on Disabilities. She performs a crucial role as course leader in rehabilitation training for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Since graduating as a clinical instructor on a WHO fellowship in 1968, Mrs Taguchi has spent time abroad helping some of the most vulnerable people, particularly women and those with disabilities. She brought her international experience back home to Japan, and made new connections between physical therapy in Japan and the rest of the world.

Mrs Taguchi was Vice President for the successful WCPT Congress held in Yokohama, Japan in 1999, and has led the Japanese Physical Therapy Association internationally as Secretary General, Chief of the Education Department and Chief of the Department of International Affairs.

She is honoured for her international bridge-building and her compassionate actions, which continue today in the wake of the Japanese tsunami.


The International Service Award - practice


Jill Boissonnault

Jill Boissonnault has made a great contribution to international rehabilitation through her vision and passion. She created the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Women’s Health (IOPTWH), which was recognised as a WCPT subgroup in 1998. Jill served as president of IOPTWH between 1998 and 2007, during which time she inspired physical therapists in women’s health around the world, helped develop programmes, made international visits and established membership. There are now 17 countries represented in IOPTWH.

Jill’s drive brought about the production of the IOPTWH scope of practice document that is recognised by women’s health physical therapy organisations around the globe. She was also the force behind a position statement on female genital mutilation which was subsequently adopted by WCPT and presented to the World Health Organization.

Jill’s numerous publications have ensured that her knowledge can be shared with those that are not fortunate enough to meet her.


Elizabeth Carrington

Elizabeth Carrington worked for many years as a paediatric physiotherapist in both under-resourced and more advantaged areas of the world. Her extensive international experience was brought to good use as the International Development Advisor for the UK’s Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. She was influential in the development of the UK’s special interest group for physical therapists in International Health and Development (ADAPT) and prepared numerous papers to support physical therapists wanting to work abroad as well as for those seeking work in the United Kingdom.

Elizabeth has a special interest in the role of physical therapists in the field of community based rehabilitation (CBR) and has been involved in teaching and writing on this subject for an international audience. She has also represented WCPT in the development of the WHO guidelines on community based rehabilitation.


Olwen Finlay

Olwen Finlay is awarded the International Service Award for promoting physiotherapy care of older people around the world. It was her vision and leadership that led to the establishment of the International Physical Therapists working with Older People (IPTOP). She supported it in its early days, mentored new leaders, encouraged IPTOP conferences to be organised in association with national events, and brought to fruition the first IPTOP congress in Ireland.

She served as the first President of IPTOP and brought the organisation to recognition as a WCPT subgroup in 2003. Since stepping down as Chair of IPTOP, she has continued to support the international committee as the organisation evolves.

Not only has Olwen given her time and expertise generously, she has also raised funds to support the development of physical therapy around the world.


Prudence Gallery

Prudence Gallery is one of the great unsung heroes of physical therapy. Her influence on the profession has been profound. A physiotherapist from Queensland, Australia, Prue developed and presented the case that the existing system of medical referral to the profession must change. She argued that the profession should accept its moral responsibilities and become independent in providing services to the public.

Her visionary model of “first contact practice” had a major effect. Thirty five years ago the Australian Physiotherapy Association repealed its ethical principle saying that physiotherapists could treat after referral from a medical or dental practitioner. Australian physiotherapy forged a path that has had a global influence as a result of the sound theoretical, historical and philosophical thinking on which Prue based her arguments.

Prue Galley has been wise and courageous in charting a future for our profession, and demonstrated compassion and dedication throughout her professional and personal life.


Gwendolen Jull

Gwendolen Jull has given sustained and continuous leadership in neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) physical therapy over almost four decades. She was one of the early active researchers within NMS physical therapy and ensured that the methods used in clinical practice were robustly tested and developed through research.

Gwendolen has been instrumental in developing research capability within the profession worldwide and has made an outstanding contribution to the evidence base of NMS physical therapy. She has brought highly original and innovative concepts to clinical practice that have altered practice at international level.

Gwendolen has worked tirelessly to promote evidence-based practice within the profession. She has been an inspiration to physical therapists worldwide in advancing knowledge as well as enhancing clinical practice through innovation.


The International Service Award - research


Paul Helders

Paul Helders , Professor at Utrecht University, is passionate about his work with children who have chronic illnesses and disabilities and their families. His many publications have had a global impact on paediatric physical therapy as has his ability to develop collaborative partnerships with clinicians in many parts of the world.

Paul shares his knowledge willingly and openly with others, through his teaching and his extensive travel to conferences. He has served on the editorial boards of many journals, including the Dutch Journal of Physiotherapy, Paediatric Physical Therapy and Physical Therapy.


Ann Moore

Ann Moore , Professor of Physiotherapy at Brighton University in the United Kingdom, is committed to high educational and research standards. Her tireless drive to develop the profession has undoubtedly played a key role in the considerable worldwide development of the profession, particularly in the field of musculoskeletal physical therapy. Over many years Ann has contributed to the International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Physical Therapists through sharing her vast knowledge and leadership skills, and by extending the research base for orthopaedic manipulative therapy.

Her extensive CV demonstrates that Ann has served the physical therapy profession internationally in many roles; lecturer, keynote speaker, reviewer, member of scientific panel, editor, author and membership of conference committees. In 2011 she played a central role in organising the WCPT Congress, as Chair of its International Scientific Committee.