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AwardsNov 15, 2023

Christy Fowler 'honoured' to receive title of Hand Therapist of the Year from her network peers

Christy Fowler has been named as the 2023 Hand Therapist of the Year by the British Association of Hand Therapists (BAHT) at its annual conference last month.

The event was held in Bournemouth from 6-7 October. The speakers’ line-up included Bev Harden, deputy chief allied health professions officer for England, Alex Nicholls, a consultant orthopaedic hand and upper limb surgeon, and consultant hand physiotherapist Kevin Spear, whose presentation was titled ‘The Maia thumb CMCJ Arthroplasty: our Hand Therapy Experience.’

Christy is based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in south London, which congratulated her on her award through X (formerly Twitter). Responding via her @brightchicky name, Christy said: ‘It was such an honour to receive this award,’ and thanked BAHT and the award sponsors.

Photo Credit: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
Christy Fowler is an OT who is based at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

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Teaching Ukrainian hand therapy colleagues 

The BAHT’s annual award recognises a member’s ‘substantial contribution’ to the field. Christy helped to organise the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand and International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy combined congress, which took place in London last year. More than 500 hand therapists from across the world attended the congress.

She also helped to co-ordinate and hosted a series of weekend webinars for hand therapists and surgeons in Ukraine and passed on her advanced practice hand therapy skills in teaching sessions – all in her spare time.

BAHT is unusual in that it is one of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s 29 professional networks, but has a substantial number of occupational therapists (OTs) as members. Its current chair is Leanna Topcuoglu, an OT by background who is based at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

BAHT vice-chair Linda Cornish

The network’s vice chair is physiotherapist Linda Cornish, a clinical specialist/advanced clinical practitioner in hands at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust. She also acts as BAHT’sdirector of communications.

In a post on BAHT’s website, Linda says: ‘I love being on the BAHT Executive Committee and have been a committee member since 2019. I enjoy the team working and networking opportunities it brings. I enjoy teaching and disseminating knowledge from courses and conferences to our hand therapy team members and students.'

Linda adds: ‘I am always interested in relevant current research. I enjoy our links with the BSSH [The British Society for Surgery of the Hand] and more recently with our European Hand Therapy colleagues. I am very keen to promote the future of hand therapy and explore ways we can move our profession forwards over the next few years.'

Author: I A McMillan
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