Our International Team Leaders

1280px-Simple_world_map.svg.png

N America

Canada

Colleen O'Connell

United States

Lisa Kozden

Maya Newman

Tiffany Pritchett

Europe

Greece

Yannis Dionyssiotis

Christina Rapidi

Norway

Ingebjorg Irgens

Italy

Gianluca Sampogna

Turkey

Belgin  Erhan

Romania

Erika Garnier

Asia

India

Nishu Tyagi

Nepal

Raju Dhakal

Philippines

Carl Leochico

S America

Argentina

Ramiro Mitre

Melina Longoni

Guatemala

Francisco Lee

Mexico

Manuel Viveros

         Nigeria

   Adesola Odola

         Africa

Christina Anastasia Rapidi

MD, PhD, LFEBPRM

Greece

Dr. Rapidi graduated in Medicine from the Patras University of Greece in 1985 and completed her training in Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine (PRM) in 1991. She conducted her PhD in 2002 at the University of Athens. Since 2015 she is working as a senior consultant in the PRM Department of the General Hospital “G.Gennimatas” (NHS) in Athens, and since 2018 she took over as head of the department. Prior to this position, she was working as a consultant in 2nd PRM Department & scientific director of Neurogenic bladder unit of the National Rehabilitation Center, Athens, Greece. Dr Rapidi’s interests include neuro-rehabilitation, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, neurogenic bladder and bowel, pelvic floor rehabilitation. She is also interested in improving the functioning of the rehabilitation team and medical education. Since 2008 she is certificated as European Board Trainer in PRM. She is President of the Hellenic SCI section of the Hellenic Society of PRM, an affiliated member of ISCoS. Since 2014 she is Head of the Special Interest Scientific Committee of the European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM) for SCI. Since 2019, member of the Prevention Committee of ISCoS. During 2013-2016 she was a member of the Editorial Board of “Spinal Cord”, and since 2017 she is associated editor of Spinal Cord Series and Cases, both official journals of ISCoS. During previous years, she had participated in the scientific and organizing committee, and /or as invited speaker in many National, European & International Meetings and Seminars of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine, Neuro-Urology, Intensive Care Medicine and Neurology.

Carl Froilan D. Leochico

MD

Philippines

Dr. Carl Froilan D. Leochico is a physiatrist (or a medical specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) from the Philippines. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor at the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila. 

 

As a research affiliate at the Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila, he was sent as an exchange program research scholar to Italy & Poland, where he collaborated with experts in the field of Information & Communications Technology on researches related to Gerontechnology (or technologies for older adults). 

 

He has several published peer-reviewed articles and ongoing studies both locally and internationally on topics including Sexual Rehabilitation, Telerehabilitation, Academic Medicine, and more. 

 

He is currently affiliated with St. Luke's Global City and Quezon City, Manila Doctors Hospital, and Philippine General Hospital. He is the present Chair of the Telerehabilitation Committee of the Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Nishu Tyagi

OT

India

Nishu is an Occupational Therapist and Telerehabilitation Specialist. Ms. Tyagi introduced the concept of telerehabilitation via common technologies in patient routine care as a community outreach and post-discharge service model in India. She has been instrumental in initiating the telerehabilitation services at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC) and working with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and other esteemed institutes on developing virtual reality, low-cost diagnostics and ICT applications for rehabilitation & healthy living. Awarded more than 20 times for her dedicated efforts and scientific contributions in research, rehabilitation, patient care and service delivery. Ms Tyagi is passionate about thinking out of the box to determine innovative approaches in research and patient care delivery. Ms. Tyagi currently serves as the Research Associate and Coordinator of Telerehabilitation services at ISIC. Ms. Tyagi has produced and successfully provided more than 2000 personalised videos to the individuals on Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Patient/Caregiver education. Ms. Tyagi completed her post graduation from I.P University, Delhi in 2013. In free time, she writes health care and awareness blogs. Ms. Tyagi recently launched ‘We CARE India’ project which supports online rehab services for persons with disabilities, children with special needs, elderly, and transgender communities. Ms. Tyagi is one of the producer of Multidisciplinary International Youtube Channel ‘Sustain Our Abilities’ (SoA) and a representative of India in the same.

 

Currently, serving honorary position of Executive Member at Telemedicine Society of India. Her dream is to expand the Multidisciplinary Research & Development (R&D) globally by creating novel ideas, collaborations, and good teamwork. Her other projects include development of COPE (community health exercises web portal) for SCI individuals with University of British Columbia, telerehabilitation with International Telerehab Organization, U.S., elearn Occupational Therapy with University of Sacranton, U.S., development of artificial muscle, low-cost virtual reality applications for rehab and rural health improvement using telehealth and technological applications.

Lisa Kozden

MOT, OTR/L, CHT, COMT

United States

Lisa is an occupational therapist with 20 years of experience in treating hand and upper extremity conditions.  She holds a Master’s degree in occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Lisa earned two additional specialty certifications as a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT), which is the highest recognition of competency in the profession of upper extremity rehabilitation, and as a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist (COMT) by the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (IAOM).  She teaches full-time as a Faculty Specialist at The University of Scranton and has owned and operated a part-time private practice, Hands For Life Therapy, LLC, over the last 10 years in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  Lisa is currently a Doctoral Candidate earning her PhD in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University.  Her topic of research involves the infusion of occupation in upper extremity rehabilitation.

Ramiro Mitre

PhD

Argentina

Ramiro is a psychologist from Rosario, Argentina. He studied at Universidad Abierta Interamericana (Argentina), where he graduated with honors in two careers: Psychology (manga cum laude) and Higher Education Teaching (summa cum laude). He also holds a Master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Universidad San Jorge de Zaragoza (Spain). 

He is a professor at university, he works as a trainer, supervisor and therapeutic team coordinator, and he is a member of the Advisory Boards for Sustain Our Abilities and the Neurodiversity Foundation (Argentina). 

He runs a postgraduate program on autism in Argentina and has over twelve years of professional clinical and research experience with dissertations, academic presentations, certifications and continuing education courses in Argentina, Canada, Chile, England, United States, Uruguay, and Spain.   

Colleen O'Connell

MD, FRCPC

Canada

Truly an East-coaster, and never far from water, Colleen completed medical school at Memorial University of Newfoundland and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Dalhousie University, Canada. She specializes in neuro-rehabilitation, is Research Chief at New Brunswick’s Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation, and is the Clinical Research Director of University of New Brunswick Institute of Biomedical Engineering. Despite no medical school in Fredericton she holds appointments at Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, as well as the University of New Brunswick Faculty of Kinesiology. Believing in the strength of collaboration, or perhaps having difficulty saying no, she is a member of many networks: Canadian ALS Research Network, Praxis Spinal Cord Institute, Canadian SCI Alliance, Canadian Neurologic Diseases Network, Atlantic Mobility Action Project. She is a past-president of the Canadian Association of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, receiving the associations highest honor, the Award of Merit, in 2015.  Research interests and outputs are broad, and generally reflect tendency to being an early adopter, so include treatments and applied technologies for mobility impairment and function, as well as pain and spasticity management. Development of best practice recommendations are priorities, and she contributes as member of the PVA SCI Guidelines Consortium, Heart and Stroke’s Best Practices Advisory Committee, Canadian SCI Pain Guidelines Committee, MS BEST guidelines group, ALS Canada Best Practice Recommendations Working Group and the Canadian Thoracic Society Home Mechanical Ventilation Guidelines Committee.

 

International health work predates medical training. With few options for rehabilitation professionals to contribute through established organizations, along with husband Jeff Campbell she founded Team Canada Healing Hands in 2002, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing rehabilitation care and training in developing countries. She has had opportunity to work in areas of rehabilitation care delivery, training, and research in Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, and in disaster response in Haiti and Nepal. She is a member of the International Spinal Cord Society External Relations Committee and the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Disaster Committee. She has co-authored numerous publications on and provided technical guidance to the World Health Organization on rehabilitation in the humanitarian field.

 

She is a hockey mom of her teenage sons Sam and Vénel. In another life, she would have been an adventure travel agent.

Francisco Salvador Lee Guandique

MD

Guatemala

Francisco is a doctor from Guatemala. He studied medicine at the University of San Carlos de Guatemala. Then he studied the master's degree in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Guatemalan Institute of Social Security and later made his high specialty in Orthopedic Rehabilitation at the National Institute of Rehabilitation “Dr. Luis Guillermo Ibarra Ibarra ”(Mexico). He has spent almost his entire life in sport, specifically in Olympic wrestling, where he was part of the Guatemala national wrestling team. He currently collaborates as a doctor in the sport of his loves. He is a member of the Guatemalan Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AGMEFYR), of the Mexican College of Electrodiagnostic, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (COMEFYR) and is part of the Advisory Board of Sustain Our Abilities. He has participated as a speaker in national and international courses and has received medical education courses in Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina and Hungary.

Raju Dhakal

MBBS, MD

Nepal

Raju is the Medical Director and Consultant Rehabilitation Medicine Physician (Physiatrist) for the Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre, Nepal. He has been trained in Spinal Cord Medicine and Rehabilitation in Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, and other countries. Below are a list of other attributes:

  • Honorary Clinical Fellow - Rehabilitation Medicine, RMH, Australia

  • Advisory Board – Cochrane rehabilitation and Tele-rehabilitation International

  • Expert – WHO, Package of Rehabilitation Interventions for Spinal Cord Injury

  • Recipient of 2020 –Global Sports Mentoring Program, U.S Department of State, USA

  • Team lead Physician and principal Investigator – Telerehabilitation in Nepal, IDAPP project

  • Team Lead and expert for the development of Training on Trainers manual, National Health Training Center, Ministry of health and population(MoHP), Nepal

  • Consultant, LCDMS, DHS, MoHP, Nepal- National Guidelines on Disability inclusive health services – 2076(2019), Rehabilitation Clinical Protocol

  • International Faculty and an Expert – Spinal Cord Injury

  • Chaired the session and Presented Paper-national level

  • Chaired the session, Presented paper-International level

  • Invited speaker and faculty-International

  • WHO experts, Package of Rehabilitation Intervention(Sept 2019-April 2020)

  • Research and Publications: 6 article published in national and international journal

Yannis Dionyssiotis

MD, MSc, PhD, SFEBPRM

Greece

Yannis is specialized in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He worked as Physiatrist in Greece and Germany in a variety of clinical settings as clinician, researcher, clinical instructor and consultant.           

 
He completed his Thesis in Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Diseases in the Laboratory for Research of the Musculoskeletal System at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He also holds a senior European Board Certification in PRM (certified 1/2006, recertification 1/2016) and a Master Thesis in Aging and Chronic Diseases (Hellenic Open University & University of Thessaly). He worked as locum Physiatrist in the Rehabilitation Department of KAT Hospital in Athens, Head of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department in Rhodes General Hospital, Medical Director of Rehabilitation Center Amyntaio of Florina General Hospital and Head of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of European Interbalkan Medical Center in Thessaloniki in Greece and as Stationsarzt in the Klinik für neurochirourgische - neurologische Frührehabilitation, Westpfalz-Klinikum, and privately as Physiatrist in Munich, in Germany.

       
Currently, is Senior Consultant in the 1st Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in National Rehabilitation Center EKA in Athens, Greece.
Dr. Dionyssiotis has an extensive list of professional presentations and publications in the areas of rehabilitation, sarcopenia, geriatrics, osteoporosis, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis. He has served as reviewer for several international, pubmed and peer-reviewed journals. Co Editor in Chief in Journal of Frailty, Sarcopenia and Falls (JFSF), President of the Geriatric Section of the Hellenic Society of PRM (HeGeS), Head of Geriatrics and movement disorders outpatient clinic EKA and member of the Board of: International Society of Prevention Committee of International Society of Spinal Cord (ISCOS), Hellenic Institution of Osteoporosis (HELIOS), Hellenic Spinal Cord Section PRM (HeSCOS), and Scientific & Biomedical Information Centre (SBC) and Musculoskeletal & Neuronal Interactions (ISMNI).

          
He won the Heim Ring Silver award during the 8th Mediterranean Congress of Rehabilitation in Limassol, Cyprus (October 2010) and the European Board award in the 16th European Congress of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine in Bruges Belgium (June 2008) and the Petros Aposkitis award during the 14th National Rehabilitation Congress, Athens (February 2016).

Maya Newman

MD

United States

Maya has a masters in Global Health Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco and attended medical school at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, WA. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and is currently in fellowship training to specialize in pediatric rehabilitation at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Growing up in the Northwest of the United States she learned the importance of recycling, composting, decreasing food waste, honoring nature and the environment. Maya loves travel, learning about different people and cultures and taking care of our planet. She lived through earthquakes, hurricanes and forest fires, which are becoming ever more present over the past five years. For her children, friends, family and vulnerable pediatric patients with disabilities, she is passionate about taking action to help combat the climate crisis.