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Cardio-Respiratory Special Interest Group

The Cardio-Respiratory group boasts an extremely active membership and a passionate committee dedicated to advancing cardiothoracic physiotherapy.

TAGS: Cardiothoracic Special Interest Group

The Cardio-Respiratory Special Interest Group (formerly Cardiothoracic SIG) boasts an extremely active membership and a passionate committee dedicated to advancing cardiothoracic physiotherapy.

The group was formed in 1985 after physiotherapists attended a post-basic course in respiratory physiotherapy in Auckland. The inaugural AGM was held in 1986 and the 20-strong group was recognised by the NZSP (now PNZ) at their 1987 AGM.

In 1988 members contributed to the NZSP conference and a Wellington Hospital Board workshop. In 1989 membership dropped to 11 and in 1990 to 15 despite an enthusiastic committee driving a need to attract and maintain a viable membership. The committee’s base shifted from Auckland to Christchurch in 1992. The committee began with 5, then 4, and finally 3 members despite unsuccessful overtures to attract other members. The group remained in Christchurch, managed by a minority committee, for the next 8 years. Membership soared to 40 in 1993 and a number of meetings and courses were held throughout the year. The largest attendance was at the Pulmonary Rehabilitation course in Christchurch, the first cardiothoracic course to be approved for College accreditation. Between 1992 and 2000 the Christchurch committee organised high quality seminars most years, conducted by international physiotherapists. These were well received and contributed to a growing interest in the cardiothoracic area. Where possible, courses were run in two locations to cater for each island. A growing number of members also began attending the biennial Australian Special Group Conference to gain exposure to international trends, as the NZ group was too small a speciality to host a conference.

In 2000 the Waikato area submitted nominations for a full committee and the Christchurch group handed over in very strong heart. As had their predecessors, the Waikato group continued to foster interest and provide high calibre courses, often linked with the NZSP conference. With renewed interest in the group, membership doubled in 2001. Membership numbers continued to grow, reaching 56 members in 2004. The evolving committee was now geographically spread and this necessitated communication via teleconference.

The CTSIG Education Scholarship Fund was introduced in 2005 with a high standard of applications, reflecting the increasing levels of cardiorespiratory postgraduate work and research. In 2011 the CTSIG welcomed the opportunity to support both schools of physiotherapy in an achievement award for “The fourth year student who demonstrates best all-round clinical practice whilst undertaking a cardiorespiratory placement”, through a certificate and $150 cheque.

Membership numbers of 101 in 2012 demonstrate a thriving group, with the committee dedicated to providing high quality educational courses. Amongst this group there are many pioneering and dedicated physiotherapists in their field – Dinah Bradley and Tania Clifton – Smith (Hyperventilation Syndrome work and authors of several books on the subject); Fy Dunford and Dr Julie Reeve (jointly established CRED - Cardiorespiratory Education Services - in 2004, completed research in the field and held CTSIG leadership positions); ); Hilary Godsall (Chair of Physiotherapy Board 2003 – 2010 and CTSIG leadership position); Dr Jennifer Pryor (ACBT, research and Fellowship awarded by NZSP in 1982); Dr Margot Skinner (deputy of University of Otago School of Physiotherapy, WCPT Executive Member and Deputy Dean, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, immediate Past President, WCPT Asia Western Pacific Region, Past President of PNZ, Honorary Life Member of PNZ and Fellow of New Zealand College of Physiotherapy); as well as a true pioneer of physiotherapy, Bernice Thompson ( work on asthma , FET and Fellowship awarded by NZSP in 1977). The CTSIG looks forward to celebrating the centenary year of physiotherapy.

Victoria Donoghue
CTSIG Treasurer

On behalf of the Cardiothoracic Special Interest Group


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