The message below is written by HW Senior Faculty Member Jennafer Vandevegte and Elizabeth Akincilar, the Co-Program Directors of the Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Program.
I am writing to introduce an exciting new initiative that will create scholarship opportunities for Kenyan physical therapists pursuing a degree specializing in pelvic health physical therapy.
The Jackson Clinics Foundation was formed in 2012 to fund educational efforts in East Africa. To date, the foundation has sent over 100 faculty members from their clinics and from around the country to teach in East and Central Africa. Some of the best and brightest physical therapists in the United States have volunteered their time to travel to Africa to teach these students and upgrade their education.
In 2019 the Pelvic Health Physical Therapy program in Kenya was launched by the Jackson Clinics Foundation and the Kenya Medical Training College with educational content and instructor support from the Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute and Pelvic Health and Rehabilitation Center. As you may be aware, pelvic health issues have become increasingly common in Kenya, with millions of people suffering from conditions like urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction secondary to untreated medical conditions such as vaginal fistulas and the deleterious effects of female genital mutilation and prostate cancer. Unfortunately, there is a lack of trained professionals in this field to provide the necessary care and treatment to those affected. In fact, this program trained the first group of pelvic health physical therapists in all of East Africa.
Due to the enormous success of the initial Pelvic Health Physical Therapy program and the growing need for specialized physical therapists, The Jackson Clinics Foundation has created a two-year degree specializing in Pelvic Health. This program will become available to Kenyan physical therapists in 2024. This advanced degree will provide extensive training in assessing and treating various pelvic health conditions for adults and children. Additionally, graduates of this program will also learn how to teach their medical colleagues about pelvic health issues, bringing much-needed attention to the grossly untreated pelvic health conditions in East and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The tuition costs for this program are the primary obstacle preventing therapists from pursuing this advanced degree; therefore, we have established the Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide financial assistance to physical therapists in Kenya who are interested in pursuing their specialized training in Pelvic Health.
The scholarship fund seeks to raise $36,000 over the next year. We would be honored if you could contribute any amount towards this goal. Your tax-deductible contribution will go directly to the scholarship fund and will be used exclusively for pelvic health program scholarships.
Please visit our website to donate to this fund. Click on the dropdown menu to select Pelvic Heath. We appreciate any support you can offer us.
Thank you for considering this request. The infrastructure is in place, and the programs are ever-expanding and improving. These initiatives have one purpose: To improve human lives. We function under one premise, "Teach One - Treat Many." Together, we can create a healthier and more vibrant future for Kenyan communities.
Elizabeth Akincilar Jennafer Vandevegte
Co-Program Director Co-Program Director
The Herman & Wallace Pelvic Floor Series and the Pregnancy and Postpartum Series course content will comprise the two-year degree and are being adapted for this audience by Senior H&W faculty member Jennafer Vande Vegte, Program Co-Director along with Elizabeth Akincilar. This degree will also include information from other contributors, including H&W faculty members Dawn Sandalcidi (on Pediatrics) and Ramona Horton (on visceral mobilization).
If you would like to learn more about this program, Jennafer and Elizabeth will be at HWConnect 2023, where a booth will be devoted to fundraising and spreading information about this incredible opportunity to bring pelvic rehab education to a greater audience across the globe.