By Elizabeth Akincilar, MPT, Cofounder, PHRC Merrimack
PHRC is going back to Nairobi, Kenya!
The Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center is returning to Nairobi, Kenya to teach a pelvic health course to a second cohort of physical therapists in October 2022. We taught the first cohort of physical therapists in February 2020 and unfortunately COVID has delayed our return until now. Several members of the PHRC staff have contributed to the development of the comprehensive curriculum in this course, including Jandra Mueller, DPT, Melinda Fontaine, DPT, Jillian Giannini, DPT, Kim Buonomo, DPT, Molly Bachmann, DPT, Shannon Pacella, DPT, Melissa Patrick, DPT, and Elizabeth Akincilar, MSPT. Elizabeth Akincilar, MSPT, Kim Buonomo, DPT, and Molly Bachmann, DPT will have the privilege of traveling to Nairobi for the in-person portion of the course through the Jackson Clinics Foundation and the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Nairobi, Kenya. Liz, Molly and Kim will spend the first week teaching manual skills and the second week in the clinic serving as mentors for the students from the first cohort.
The course PHRC will bring to Kenya will truly be in our wheelhouse. The focus of our course is on the physical therapy management of pelvic pain, including male pelvic pain, and an introduction to pediatric pelvic health.
The program at KMTC was started approximately eight years ago by physical therapist Richard Jackson and the Jackson Clinics Foundation. Initially the program’s focus was to teach orthopedic manual therapy but shortly after they also began offering a neuro based program. In the spring of 2019 they offered the first women’s health program. This program consists of three, two week courses. PHRC was fortunate to be part of teaching the first cohort of physical therapists in this program. Pelvic health education for physical therapists in Africa is extremely limited. This program is the first of its kind in east Africa. The goal of all the programs the Jackson Clinics Foundation offers is for the KMTC faculty to eventually teach all of these specialty courses. The orthopedic program has transitioned to being entirely taught by KMTC physical therapists. This transition has begun for the Women’s Health program. We are excited to include students from the first Women’s Health cohort as Teaching Assistants in the second cohort of students.
When Richard Jackson presented this opportunity to PHRC in 2019 we immediately knew we wanted to be a part of this program. Educating the community and our fellow professionals is a primary tenet of PHRC’s Mission Statement. We’re grateful for the many opportunities we’ve been given over the years to participate in educational programs across the western world. To be given the opportunity to share our knowledge and skills with a professional community that has such limited resources to this type of education is especially exciting and meaningful.
Our first experience teaching this course at KMTC was more meaningful than we could have ever imagined. The students were excited and eager to continue their education in pelvic health. They were such gracious hosts, making us feel truly welcomed in their country. We quickly learned from the students the severe need for pelvic health services in Kenya as well as in the rest of east Africa. We were very honored to be a part of making those services newly available in Kenya. Some of the students from the first cohort have even begun educating other physical therapists about pelvic health in Kenya and surrounding countries!
This project is a significant undertaking and humanitarian effort. All instructor time, course materials, and supplies are donated. Donations can be made online at the Jackson Clinics Foundation and are tax deductible. Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehab Institute has graciously agreed to support the women’s health program with curriculum and instructors. We’re proud and very grateful to announce that our friends at Good Clean Love, KT Tape, and RockTape have donated supplies for our course!
PHRC would like to thank all who donated their expertise, time, and resources to make this happen. We are forever grateful.
Are you unable to come see us in person in the Bay Area, Southern California or New England? We offer virtual physical therapy appointments too!
Virtual sessions are available with PHRC pelvic floor physical therapists via our video platform, Zoom, or via phone. For more information and to schedule, please visit our digital healthcare page.
In addition to virtual consultation with our physical therapists, we also offer integrative health services with Jandra Mueller, DPT, MS. Jandra is a pelvic floor physical therapist who also has her Master’s degree in Integrative Health and Nutrition. She offers services such as hormone testing via the DUTCH test, comprehensive stool testing for gastrointestinal health concerns, and integrative health coaching and meal planning. For more information about her services and to schedule, please visit our Integrative Health website page.
Melissa Patrick is a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher and is also available virtually to help, for more information please visit our therapeutic yoga page.
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