IOPTPWH Executive Committee

The IOPTPWH executive committee is elected by delegates of the member organizations every four years at the Organization’s general business meeting. The committee comprises a president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and member at large, as detailed in the IOPTPWH constitution.

The executive committee meets face-to-face every two years, and holds Skype meetings every three months. Day to day IOPTPWH business is carried out by email, so that matters can be dealt with in a timely manner.

President
Melissa Davidson, New Zealand

Melissa Davidson is a Physiotherapy Specialist in Pelvic Health registered under the Specialist Scope of Practice with the Physiotherapy Board of New Zealand. Since graduating in 1990, Melissa has worked clinically both in hospital and private practice settings, covering a wide range of areas of interest including respiratory, manipulation, acupuncture and pelvic health. She is currently completing her PhD at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and working privately in the pelvic health field. From 2015 to 2019 Melissa was the Secretary for the International Organisation of Physical Therapists in Women’s Health and has now stepped into the role of President of the newly renamed International Organisation of Physical Therapists in Pelvic and Women’s Health. Since 2009, she has been involved as a committee member in various roles in Physiotherapy New Zealand’s Special Interest Group - Pelvic, Women’s and Men’s Health, and she is a current member of Physiotherapy New Zealand National Executive, the governing body of the national society.

 

Vice President
Sonia Roa, Chile

Sonia is a physiotherapist with 20 years of experience in the field of university education, both undergraduate and postgraduate. Master's Degree in University Teaching. Today she is Master in Public Health´ student. She has 17 years of clinical experience in the area of women's health, especially in pregnancy, postpartum and pelvic floor. Since 11 years, she is Director of Physical Therapy in Pregnancy and Postpartum Diploma. In recent years, her work as researcher has focused on the physical activity and women´s health, especially in primary health care under quantitative and qualitative methodology. She is currently Postgraduate Coordinator of School of Physical Therapy at Del Desarrollo University in Santiago, Chile, where she has implemented university training programs in different fields of Physical Therapy, including the Master in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation. She has organized numerous international trainings in Women's Health area with academics from United States, Europe and Latin America, face to face and bi-learning modalities. One of her most important achievements has been to lead the implementation of "Physiotherapy for Women's Health" program at Del Desarrollo University Clinic, which provides free treatment to low-income women with specific life cycle dysfunctions, mainly obstetrics and pelvic floor disorders. She has been an active member of the Chilean PT Association Colegio de Kinesiólogos de Chile since 1998. She was one of the founders of the Chilean group of physiotherapy in women's health, which brings together different physiotherapy specialties that want to address the women´s perspective. She is currently the President of the Chilean Organization for Physiotherapy in Women's Health.

 

Secretary
Heather Pierce, Australia

Heather’s professional history encompasses clinical, academic and research positions. Early career (1983-1999) she worked the broad spectrum of physiotherapy, in private and public sectors, developing a special interest in pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PGP). Between 2000-2018 she was a senior Women’s Health physiotherapist in a large teaching hospital in Sydney NSW Australia. Heather undertook a Bachelor of Midwifery (2006-2009), maintaining Women’s Health physiotherapy (part-time), completing Honours (2011) with research on Australian women’s experiences of PGP. Heather taught Anatomy and Physiology (Pregnancy and Childbirth) to undergraduate midwives at the University of Technology Sydney (2007-2016). In 2014 she attained a research training scholarship, completing her PhD (2018). Her research training included mixed methods, providing new perspectives on the socio-ecological influences on pelvic floor health for women in the workforce. Heather has been an active member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, serving as National Chairperson for the Continence and Women’s Health Group (now Women’s Men’s and Pelvic Health) 2014-2016, and Chief International Delegate to IOPTWH 2016-2019. She currently works in research at the University of Technology Sydney and Western Sydney University.

 

Treasurer
Meena Sran BSc (PT), MPhty, PhD, Canada

Meena Sran graduated from The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada with a BSc (PT) in 1995, followed by a Masters in Physiotherapy Studies from the University of Queensland, Australia in 1998 (Manual Therapy). In 2005 she completed in PhD at UBC in the area of manual therapy and osteoporosis (Thesis title: Manual Therapy and the Osteoporotic Spine), followed by 3 years of postdoctoral training in fall biomechanics and fracture prevention at Simon Fraser University. She is a Past President of the Physiotherapy Association of BC and current Treasurer of the International Organization of Physical Therapists in Pelvic and Women’s Health. Meena has previously served 4 years as Member at Large, 8 years as Vice-president, and 4 years as Treasurer. Meena currently practices in Victoria, Canada.

 

Member at large
Annelie Gutke

Annelie Gutke is a physiotherapist and certified specialist in Women’s Health by the Swedish Physiotherapy association. Annelie is working part-time as a clinical specialist at a primary health care center where she mainly sees women with pregnancy-related pelvic girdle and low back pain, incontinence and pelvic floor (pain) disorders. She completed her PhD in 2007, at the University of Linköping, Sweden with the thesis ‘Pelvic girdle pain and lumbar pain in relation to pregnancy’. Since 2008, Annelie is a senior lecturer at the physiotherapy program at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her teaching focus is Women’s health, primary health care and scientific methodology. She is supervising physiotherapists for Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees. Her research focus is physiotherapy in women’s health with various projects running e.g. pelvic girdle pain, the postpartum period including physical activity, rectus diastasis, incontinence problems and obstetric anal sphincter rupture. She has written profession specific national guidelines for treatment of pelvic girdle and low back pain and has presented as keynote speaker on international congresses.