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Health Sciences

Placement leads to Southampton podiatry alumna appointed president of national Canadian federation

Published: 14 February 2018
Dr Rees diagnoses foot pathologies
Dr Rees specialises in the treatment of foot pathologies

A Health Sciences’ alumna has been appointed president of a prestigious national federation in Canada, thanks to a connection forged during her undergraduate studies at the University of Southampton.

Dr Helen Rees first came into contact with the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine (CFPM ) when she went to work in Canada for its CEO Stephen Hartman on a placement arranged by the University of Southampton’s podiatry team.

The team’s contacts with the CFPM also ensured she met the former president of the Federation, and she ended up moving to Canada to work when she graduated from her BSc Podiatry programme in 2011.

Now Helen, who has been a CFPM board member since 2014, has been appointed President of the Federation which was established to unify and support all independently practising podiatrists across Canada.

Dr Helen Rees, President of the CFPM
Dr Helen Rees, President of the CFPM

She said: “As President, I would like to provide a collaborative approach and professionalism, along with leadership to grow the podiatry profession in Canada. I will ensure the CFPM and its team of professional negotiators works with the Government to secure the best outcome for individual Canadian podiatrists through a unified CFPM.

“There is increasing demand in Canada for podiatric services, and as President I will work to ensure our profession develops and grows. I envisage a Canada that is viewed by others as having a world class leading podiatric profession with futuristic policies that engages in people centric services with clinical excellence at its core.”

CFPM CEO Stephen Hartman said: “The CFPM is honoured to have Helen as our President. Presently in Canada there is podiatric title consolidation, unification and scope of practice opportunities paralleled with an ever increasing demand for podiatric services. Helen’s appointment is perfect timing because her passion, collaborative approach and professionalism are leadership skills capable of growing podiatry in Canada.”

Professor Alan M Borthwick , OBE, from the University of Southampton’s podiatry team, is a life member of the CFPM. He said: “Helen was an outstanding undergraduate student who was keen to take the opportunity of a placement in Ontario and our contacts with the CFPM also ensured she met the former President. She was very taken with the location and now owns her own practice in New Brunswick.”

Helen is a licensed podiatrist who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of foot pathologies and has worked in private practice for the past six years. Her role involves working as part of the High Risk Diabetes Foot Clinic Team promoting podiatry and excellence in patient care.

She said: “The University of Southampton is renowned for its excellence in its podiatric programmes and is the only Russell Group podiatry course available. The podiatry and associated subject matter lecturers are knowledgeable in their subject fields, with some being global leading lights within their specialist spheres.“A Skype interview led me from the University of Southampton directly to Ontario, Canada, where I worked in a private podiatric practice for my first year as a newly qualified podiatrist. The University provided me with the knowledge I needed to become a highly successful practitioner and the background and confidence to succeed in my vocation in Canada. To summarise my time at Southampton: Great! My springboard into the future.”

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