The 2007 WCPT award recipients

The following awards were presented at World Physical Therapy 2007, WCPT's 15th International Congress held in Vancouver, Canada on 2-6 June 2007.

For a full description of each award category please visit the awards page of this website.

International Leadership - Mildred Elson Award

Dr Jules Rothstein

The highest honour that the WCPT can bestow, the Mildred Elson Award for international leadership has been posthumously bestowed on physical therapist Dr Jules Rothstein – a leading and outspoken advocate of evidence based practice.

As Editor in Chief of the profession’s influential journal Physical Therapy for 15 years, Dr Rothstein promoted evidence based practice in all he did. On the journal he established a rigorous peer review system.

He was a pioneer in measurement issues, fostering scientific writing skills among physical therapists worldwide and publishing classic texts such as the The Primer on Measurement and The Rehabilitation Specialist’s Handbook.

His outlook was truly international and multicultural - championing cultural diversity in US physical therapy education programmes, encouraging international submissions to Physical Therapy and giving presentations advocating research and scholarship around the globe. His Editor’s Notes in the journal have been a great source of inspiration to the profession, and will continue to be so. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential physical therapists of his time, and one who has had an international and lasting impact on research in the profession.



International Service Award - practice, education, research, admin and policy development
Dele Amosun Robin McKenzie Isao Nara Amanda Squires
Pedro Mancilla Brian Mulligan Nancy Prickett  


Professor Seyi Ladele Amosun has made a great contribution towards the development of physiotherapy education in Africa. It was his ideas that lay behind the degree programme at the University of Western Cape, which enables physiotherapists to upgrade from diploma to degree in one year followed by a one a year masters programme. Physiotherapists from eleven countries in Africa have been able to acquire Bachelors and Masters degrees through this programme, building up an invaluable human resource base for the profession in Africa, on which new degree programmes can be founded. His input into international projects, for example a collaborative document on community based rehabilitation by WCPT Africa, has also been invaluable to the profession.





Pedro Mancilla Fritis has made a valuable contribution to improving the indicators of infantile and adult mortality from pneumonia in Chile. He created and managed numerous public health programmes on respiratory health within the Ministry of Health. He has also advised ministries in Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay about implementing respiratory health programmes. His programmes have involved national standards, input from specialty groups, centralised buying of medicines and equipment, and the increasing use of physical therapy within primary health care. Around 1000 physical therapists in Chile now work on respiratory health programmes in the community.





Robin McKenzie has made a significant contribution to the understanding and treatment of spinal injuries and disorders. He is the Founder and President of The McKenzie Institute International, which undertakes research and provides education relating to the McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, which he developed following his observation of an event with a patient he was treating in 1956. The method is used to treat back pain in many countries, and the McKenzie Education Programme is presented around the world.



Brian Mulligan is an internationally recognised leader in the field of manual therapy, which has been his special interest since the early 1960s. He developed his own techniques of mobilisation with movement – the Mulligan Concept – on which he has produced two textbooks and four videos. Since 1972 he has taught in many countries, always willing to share the results of his work with other physiotherapists. To meet the ever-increasing demand from those wishing to learn his techniques, he established an international organisation in 1995 to accredit teachers. Currently there are 41 Mulligan Concept Teacher Association members.




Dr Isao Nara was the first Japanese physical therapist to study in the USA, and the first Japanese physical therapist to become a professor by obtaining a PhD. Through his role in bringing the WCPT Congress to Yokohama in 1999, he introduced Japanese physical therapy to the international community, and has encouraged Japanese physical therapists to present papers at international congresses. As President of the Japanese Physical Therapy Association (JPTA) for 16 years he encouraged a system of continuous education for members, and activities to upgrade the standard of physical therapy. He was instrumental in establishing the first doctoral level advanced degree in Physical Therapy in Japan, at Hiroshima University.

For WCPT, Dr Nara was Vice President of the Asia Western Pacific Region for four years and a member of the WCPT Executive Committee for eight years.



For many years Nancy Prickett has led the way in encouraging the profession to address cultural diversity issues and take a truly international outlook. She proposed the American Physical Therapy Association of New Jersey’s Cultural Diversity Committee and became its first Chairperson in 2000. Since then, the chapter has made sure diversity issues are part of presentations and programmes for students considering physical therapy as a career. She has helped make New Jersey’s cultural diversity a celebrated part of the chapter’s work.

Nancy was nominated by the Gerontology Section of APTA to serve as their representative on the steering committee for the International Organisation of Physical Therapists Working with Older People (IPTOP) in 1999. Nancy helped write the constitution, was a delegate to the founding meeting and since then has been the Treasurer of IPTOP. Her diligence in undertaking this job has helped set IPTOP on a sound financial footing. Nancy is highly regarded for her professionalism and integrity and her international experience along with her sound academic and publication record have been invaluable in the development of IPTOP and its annual meetings and conferences.



Professor Amanda Squires has contributed to the healthcare of older people internationally through publications, presentations, staff mentorship and participating in the International Association for Physical Therapists working with Older People (IPTOP), a WCPT subgroup. She is known nationally and internationally and has taught in a variety of industrialised and developing countries.

Her standing in physiotherapy with older people, and her understanding of ethnic elders and international political issues, led to an invitation to tutor the first INIA (UN)/WCPT international course on elderly care for physiotherapists in Malta in 1993. As a result of the course’s success, she was involved in further United Nations initiatives on elderly care. She was instrumental in the founding of IPTOP in 2002. Quality issues have been of central importance to Amanda’s career and she is currently the Quality Assurance Manager for the Healthcare Commission, UK.


Humanitarian Service Award

Alberto Cairo

For 17 years, Italian physiotherapist Alberto Cairo and his team have been helping people who are living with the physical scars of war overcome their disabilities. After three years in Sudan with the International Red Cross, Alberto Cairo was sent to Kabul in Afghanistan where he has lived since 1989, heading the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) orthopaedic project. He has seen five governments in Afghanistan, survived two civil wars and helped countless people disabled by landmines and rockets to rebuild their lives. His centre treats an average of 300 people every day – 80% of them landmine victims. It offers them treatment, training and counselling to help them re-integrate in society. Since 1988, the ICRC programme has helped over 43,000 people, including 25,000 amputees. Around 70% of them are civilians. He was recently quoted by the BBC as saying: "If I had to compare what I give to what I get, I get much more than I give. Sometimes I wait for the weekend to be over so that I can go back to work."



Recognition of Service to WCPT Award

In recognition of their leadership roles in regions and subgroups of WCPT and as members of the Executive Committee for the period 2003-2007, presentations were made to:-

WCPT Executive Committee Regions of WCPT
  • Sandra Mercer Moore, President
  • Inger Broendsted, Vice President
  • Zola Dantile, Africa Region
  • Jini Dastoor, Asia Western Pacific Region
  • Anne Lexow, European Region
  • Marilyn Moffat, North America Caribbean Region
  • Alexis Selios, South America Region
  • Barbara Batesaki, Africa
  • Margot Skinner, Asia Western Pacific
  • Antonio Lopes, Europe
  • Tony Chang, North America Caribbean
  • Mabel Yvonne Espinel Gonzalez, South America


Subgroups of WCPT
  • Karen Keith, International Acupuncture Association of Physical Therapists (IAAPT)
  • Olwen Finlay, International Association of Physical Therapists Working with Older People (IPTOP)
  • Michael Ritchie, International Federation of Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapists (IFOMT)
  • Laetitia Dekker-Baker, International Federation of Sports Physiotherapy (IFSP)
  • Jill Boissonnault, International Organization of Physical Therapists in Women's Health (IOPTWH)
  • Jean Kelly, International Private Practitioners Association (IPPA)