IPTOP Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the Association of International Physical Therapists working with Older People (IPTOP) is elected by the member organisations at a General Meeting, and consists of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Newsletter Editor and Web Manager, as per the IPTOP Constitution.

The Executive Committee hold Skype meetings at least three times a year to conduct the business of IPTOP and can be contacted by email (see IPTOP home page for details).

To be considered for election, members of the Executive Committee must have served on the governing body of a member organisation or one of its subordinate groups.

The President and Vice President are elected at IPTOP’s General Meeting at a WCPT Congress held every four years. Regional members of the Executive Committee are elected by the region and confirmed at an IPTOP General Meeting.

Patron
Jill McClintock FCSP

Jill worked for many years in the National Health Service in Northern Ireland. During those years she was a clinician specialising in older people with a particular interest in neurology, a visiting lecturer at the University of Ulster, Manager of Older People’s Physiotherapy Services and for the last fifteen years was the Deputy Head of the Physiotherapy Services for the Trust. She is now retired from clinical practice.

Jill’s work has been at local, national and international level to promote and represent physiotherapy with older people. She represented both her region and her specialist clinical area while sitting on many committees at the UK physiotherapy professional headquarters in London (CSP).  She was a founder member of AGILE in Northern Ireland and the regional rep to the national committee.  Jill then became the national Vice Chair and ultimately the Chair of AGILE UK. During this time she was involved in overseeing the development of AGILE's first website; and driving through the development and publication of the Undergraduate Resource Booklet, Outcomes and Evidence Based Exercise Manuals and Specialty Standards. Jill was also Chair of the Professional Practice Committee at CSP London representing older people services amongst thirty five other clinical areas. Jill has developed and published with support from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland guidance for physiotherapists in relation to the assessment of risk and management of older patients who fall. She has also published guidance notes for doctors in relation to advice and management of physical activity in patients through all stages of osteoporosis.

Jill was awarded a Fellowship by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in 2011 in recognition of her many contributions to physiotherapy and in particular within the specialist clinical area of older people.

Jill became the first UK rep to IPTOP in 2003, in 2007 she became IPTOP Secretary, and in 2011 she was nominated as Vice President of IPTOP. She relinquished these roles to become the Patron of IPTOP in 2015.

President
Hans Hobbelen PhD, PT

Hans is the Professor in Healthy Lifestyle, Ageing and Health Care at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, The Netherlands. Besides movement disorders in dementia his main field of interest is frailty, in specific the prevention of frailty.  

Hans started his career as a physiotherapist in a nursing home in the city of Eindhoven in The Netherlands. He stayed at this job for 22 years.

In 2001 Hans received a Master Degree in Human Movement Sciences, continuing his studies to be awarded his PhD in 2010 on the topic of paratonia, a distinctive form of hypertonia in dementia.  His expertise in this subject has enabled Hans to be regarded as a leading scientist in the field of paratonia and movement disorders in dementia.

Since 2010, Hans has been a Board Member of the Dutch Association of Geriatric Physiotherapists (NVFG), and he was the Dutch and European representative of The International association of Physical Therapists working with Older People (IPTOP) from 2010 - 2015. In May 2015, Hans was elected Vice President of IPTOP.

Hans is also an active member of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, a platform commissioned by the European Commission. Furthermore, he is Program Leader of the Living Lab Active Ageing Elderly, which is part of the national Centre of Expertise on Healthy Ageing and funded by the Dutch government, and front man of the master study Healthy Ageing at the Hanze University of Applied sciences Groningen.

Vice President
Susan Hunter

Dr. Susan Hunter is Assistant Professor at the School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Hunter’s teaching and research interests include balance, gait, postural stability, falls and fall-related injuries in older adults, and rehabilitation of cognitively impaired older adults. Susan has research affiliations with the Gait & Brain Lab: Parkwood Hospital, London, Ontario; the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University in the Division of Geriatric Medicine (Assistant Professor) and the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (Adjunct Professor) She is also a Senior Research Fellow with the School of Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

She has authored numerous scientific papers and presented at national and international conferences. Susan is also recipient of the Ontario Research Coalition (ORC) Early Researcher Award (2011), the Edmund V. Cowdry Prize, Canadian Geriatrics Society (2010), and AgePlus Prize, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Institute of Aging (2009).

Treasurer
Bernadette Kroon

Bernadette has been a practicing physical therapist in the United States and the Netherlands for the past 32 years. Her area of expertise is in adult rehabilitation with a focus on brain injury, stroke, and complex medical conditions. She has an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) board certified specialty in geriatrics (GCS) as well as Certified Exercise Expert for the Aging Adult (CEEAA). She is also LSVT certified and NDT trained.

Bernadette is a full time lecturer at the University of Southern Maine at Lewiston Auburn College. She lectures and teaches in labs of applied science courses including neuroscience, anatomy, kinesiology, and geriatrics. Bernadette works closely with the occupational therapy program and is interested in inter-professional education.

Bernadette is the APTA geriatric advocate for the state of Maine. She is involved in her local community and is a member of the senior steering committee for the city of South Portland Maine.

Secretary
Janet Thomas

Janet has served as the IPTOP representative from AGILE Chartered Physiotherapists working with older people in the UK. Janet is a former AGILE Secretary and Chair, holding national posts in AGILE from 2006 to 2013 and positions on the AGILE Scotland committee from 2005 to 2019.

Janet has been a practicing physiotherapist for over 30 years holding a variety of posts, in England initially but for the past 30 years in Scotland. Janet is a Team Lead Physiotherapist in the NHS in Fife working as a job share in that role within an older persons assessment and rehabilitation service.

Janet is a part time lecturer in Queen Margaret University where she has a particular interest in practice based learning. Janet also teaches for Later Life Training on their Postural Stability Instructors courses. Janet is the co-founder of Physiotalk, a tweetchat community run by physiotherapists for physiotherapists, and is passionate about the role social media can play in continuing professional development.

Janet's research and subsequent publications have been diverse, going from falls risk through to Twitter based research in recent years.

Newsletter Editor and Web Manager
Helen Johnson

Helen is a registered Physiotherapist with over 30 years of experience, across nearly all sectors of the health care system. She began her career working in intensive care, cardiac and neuro-surgery and rehabilitation. After ten years she moved into outpatient rehabilitation, community care, and specialized geriatric outreach services. Here she also gained management experience, as well as knowledge of emergency room, long term care, mental health care services and comprehensive geriatric assessment for older adults.

Helen completed a Masters’ degree in Health and Rehabilitation Science, Health and Aging at Western University in 2011. Her research involved information exchange and care handoffs by physiotherapists for patients with hip fracture as they transitioned across health care system sectors in their rehabilitation journey. Helen completed the Canadian Physiotherapy Association Clinical Specialty Program in the area of Seniors Health in 2012.

Helen was a Project Co-lead in the rehabilitation system strategic planning project for her health region in 2012, and joined the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance in the role of Rehabilitation Network Lead in January of 2013.

Helen served as Chair of the Seniors’ Health Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as Education Coordinator. At WCPT 2015 in Singapore, she assumed the role of Newsletter Editor and Website Manager for IPTOP.