Team

DIANE J. ATKINS

United States

Diane Atkins is an internationally recognized occupational therapist specializing in upper limb amputee rehabilitation for the past 40 years. She has worked with over 2000 children and adults with amputations and has lectured extensively throughout the US and abroad in areas relating to the evaluation, treatment, training and functional outcomes of individuals with unilateral and bilateral upper limb loss. Within a research project, she has also compared functional outcomes of patients with hand transplantation and prosthetic fitting. Diane is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She has been involved in several grants and research activities sponsored by the National Institute of Health(NIH), the Veterans Administration and NASA. In advance of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, she was asked by the United States Surgeon General to present several courses for the clinical rehabilitation teams at Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Centers regarding the management and care of soldiers who had sustained upper limb loss. Diane is the co-editor and author of 2 text books relating to the comprehensive management of children and adults with upper extremity amputation, and has written several journal articles as well. She is a Fellow in the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics and Honorary Member in the American Academy of Orthotics and Prosthetics. Diane is currently a consultant with Touch Bionics.  Additionally, Diane is the amputee /prosthetics consultant for Paradigm, the largest catastrophic case management company in the United States.

BIRGIT BISCHOF

Austria

Birgit works for OttoBock HealthCare GmbH as a Clinical Rehabilitation Specialist for upper limb prosthetics.  She is involved in research, product development, rehabilitation approaches and patient treatments for myoelectric prosthesis control.  She is specialized in TMR and in her role she also gives international workshops, lectures and presentations. Birgit is working as a physical therapist since 2010. She has a Bachelor Degree in Physiotherapy and a Master Degree in Telecommunication and Media.

LISELOTTE HERMANSSON

Sweden

Liselotte Hermansson graduated as Occupational Therapist in Örebro in 1979. She has a PhD in pediatric neurology from Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Her thesis title was “Upper limb reduction deficiencies in Swedish children. Classification, prevalence and function with myoelectric prostheses”. Since 2013 she is an Associate professor in Health Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University. Since 2005 she has been a senior advisor in the upper limb team at Department of Prosthetics and Orthotics, Region Örebro County. Since 2016 she has also been a Research supervisor at University Health Care Research Centre, Region Örebro County. She is author of over 30 publications with her research interest in people with limb reduction/deficiency or upper limb amputation, myoelectric prostheses fitting, training and function. Additionally, she is interested in outcomes in terms of quality of life, activity and participation, and long term physical development.

WENDY HILL

Canada

Wendy Hill is an occupational therapist working at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, in the Institute for Biomedical Engineering.

JULIE KLARICH

United States

She graduated from Towson University in 1985. She currently works at Presbyterian /St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in the outpatient therapy department. Her work as an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist includes training individuals with limb loss using the latest technology in prosthetics.  She has many years of experience in hand and amputee care and has lectured at Universities and conferences on evaluation and treatment for upper limb amputees.

DEBRA LATOUR

United States

Debra Latour is a registered occupational therapist, Consultant and Owner of Single-Handed Solutions, LLC, providing consulting services to manufacturers, clinical providers and individuals with upper limb loss/deficiency. She sees patients through her affiliations with Handspring and Attain Therapy+Fitness. Debi graduated from BSOT/Tufts University and earned her M.Ed. (Advanced Practice OT) from Springfield College. Debi is the current co-chair of the Upper Limb Advisory Council to the Amputee Coalition and contributes to the inMotion publication. She is also a member of ACPOC, AAOP, ATA, and AOTA. Debi has a congenital upper limb deficiency, is an active prosthesis-user and shares her experiences and tips through her blog at www.Single-HandedSolutions.blogspot.com. She is the inventor of record of prosthetic technology including the Cutaneous Anchor Technology (patented) and the TAB (patent-pending).

SANDRA RAMDIAL

Canada

Sandra Ramdial is a certified prosthetist. She is the operations manager for the Clinical Technology Department at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital where she leads a group of clinical and technical professionals in orthotics and prosthetics and has direct involvement in client care. Sandra has over 30 years of experience in the field including 14 years at Holland Bloorview. Prior to her role at Holland Bloorview, Sandra was part of the Professional and Clinical Services team at Otto Bock Healthcare Canada from 2002 to 2014 as a key clinical ambassador and educator for upper limb prosthetics. She also managed the Custom Silicone Group where she worked together with health care professionals to create innovative designs for clients throughout North America. Sandra Ramdial is the past president of the International Society for Prosthetics & Orthotics Canada and the Canadian Association of Prosthetics & Orthotics and Secretary-Treasurer for the Association of Children’s Prosthetic-Orthotic Clinics.

KAREN ROBERTS

Australia

Karen Roberts is an Occupational Therapist who has over 15 years of experience working with people who have physical disabilities. She is the Grade 4 Clinical Specialist OT at Caulfield Hospital and works with individuals who have had amputations and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries. Karen has completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy and a post-graduate certificate with a focus in environmental design for people with disabilities.

AGNES STURMA

Austria

Agnes Sturma has a Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy and a Master Degree in Health Assisting Engineering. She has been working at the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Restoration of Extremity Function at the Medical University of Vienna since 2012. There, she is involved in rehabilitation and research projects with individuals with upper limb loss or severe nerve injuries. In 2014 she started her doctoral studies at the Medical University of Vienna. Her thesis focusses on the influence of Targeted Muscle Reinnervation on Phantom Limb Pain. Alongside her work in the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Restoration of Extremity Function, Agnes Sturma is teaching in the master degree program “Health Assisting Engineering” at the University of Applied Sciences FH Campus Wien in Vienna, Austria.

SHAWN SWANSON JOHNSON

United States

Shawn Swanson Johnson is the owner of SSJ Rehab Services, PLLC.  She is an independent consultant and contractor who specializes in upper limb loss rehabilitation. She has been a registered and licensed occupational therapist for 20 years. Shawn was previously the national director of Occupational Therapy for Advanced Arm Dynamics, Inc. and prior to that she was with Otto Bock HealthCare as a clinical specialist in upper-limb prosthetics.  She also was employed with The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in Houston, TX, specializing in traumatic neurological rehabilitation. Her background includes clinical as well as teaching experience in upper-limb rehabilitation and working with the rehab teams at Walter Reed and Brooke Army Medical Centers. Shawn is the chair of the Skills for Life events, which are workshops dedicated to individuals living with bilateral upper limb loss/absence. As a result of her involvement with these workshops, she recently formed and serves as President of the Enhancing Skills for Life Non-Profit which will help provide financial assistance to upper limb loss individuals so they will have the ability to connect with one another in person. Shawn previously served on the board of directors for the U.S. National Member Society of the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (US-ISPO) for 12 years. She is currently serving on the Amputee Coalition’s Upper Limb Loss Advisory Council (ULAC) as well as the Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee (SciMAC).

KRISTI TURNER

United States

Kristi is an occupational therapist and works at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in the research Center for Bionic Medicine (CBM) as well as in the Outpatient Center. She is a member of the AOTA, AAOP, ISPO, and a contributing faculty member at Northwestern University’s Prosthetics-Orthotics Center for physicians and therapists. Kristi specializes in the treatment of upper limb amputations, multiple limb amputations, and burn injury. She’s involved in research, training, and testing patients with upper limb amputations using conventional and experimental prosthetic components and advanced control schemes.

CLAUDIA WINKLER

Germany

Claudia Winkler is a physical therapist specialized in pediatric orthopedics. Since 2003 she has been employed at Pohlig Orthopaedic technology. There, she developed an “in-house training program” for patients coming Pohlig for a prosthetic fitting. She has clinical experience with prosthetic systems from Otto Bock, Touch bionics, Vincent and Be bionic. Claudia Winkler is certified in ACMC. From 2011-2014 she was a member of the project group “bionic hand assist”.

DANIELA WüSTEFELD

Germany

Daniela Wüstefeld is an occupational therapist. She has been working at the Otto Bock Competence Center Headquarters in Duderstadt/ Germany as a Specialist in Upper Limb Prosthetics since 2006. Additionally, to working with upper and lower limb amputees, Daniela Wüstefeld is responsible for clinical seminars for CPOs and therapists, as well as she is developing clinical therapy guidelines.

handsmart group associate members

AYALA NOTA

Israel

Ayala Nota is an occupational therapist from Israel with experience in upper limb prosthetics, hand therapy, burns and orthopedic rehabilitation. She is the manager of OT services at Sheba medical Center, Israel. Since 2010 she has also been the leader of the TMR project in Sheba medical Center. Alongside with her clinical work she is a senior lecturer at the Occupational therapy department at Ono academic college, Israel. Ayala Nota was a founding member of the handsmart group.

EITAN RAVEH

Israel

Eitan Raveh is a physical therapist and clinical specialist in rehabilitation. He has a bachelor degree in physical therapy, and a master’s degree in occupational health, both from Tel Aviv University. Eitan is a PhD candidate at Tel Aviv University. His research areas are sensory feedback for upper limb prostheses and rehabilitation technology. Eitan is a clinical advisor for prosthetics and orthotics at Chemitec advanced medical solutions, Israel. He is also the secretary of ISPO Israel member society.

PAULA WIJDENES

The Netherlands

Paula is an occupational therapist and working as a hand therapist at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the University Medical Center Groningen for almost 20 years now. She is specialized in the treatment of upper limb amputations, congenital deformities, cerebral palsy and rheumatic diseases and involved in upper limb prosthetic care for adults and children.

Since 2013 she has been the coordinator of a nationwide implementation project ‘Prosthesis Prescription Protocol of the Arm’.

AYALA NOTA

Israel

Ayala Nota is an occupational therapist from Israel with experience in upper limb prosthetics, hand therapy, burns and orthopedic rehabilitation. She is the manager of OT services at Sheba medical Center, Israel. Since 2010 she has also been the leader of the TMR project in Sheba medical Center. Alongside with her clinical work she is a senior lecturer at the Occupational therapy department at Ono academic college, Israel. Ayala Nota was a founding member of the handsmart group.

EITAN RAVEH

Israel

Eitan Raveh is a physical therapist and clinical specialist in rehabilitation. He has a bachelor degree in physical therapy, and a master’s degree in occupational health, both from Tel Aviv University. Eitan is a PhD candidate at Tel Aviv University. His research areas are sensory feedback for upper limb prostheses and rehabilitation technology. Eitan is a clinical advisor for prosthetics and orthotics at Chemitec advanced medical solutions, Israel. He is also the secretary of ISPO Israel member society.

PAULA WIJDENES

The Netherlands

Paula is an occupational therapist and working as a hand therapist at the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the University Medical Center Groningen for almost 20 years now. She is specialized in the treatment of upper limb amputations, congenital deformities, cerebral palsy and rheumatic diseases and involved in upper limb prosthetic care for adults and children.

Since 2013 she has been the coordinator of a nationwide implementation project ‘Prosthesis Prescription Protocol of the Arm’.