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Renowned physiotherapist on campus for awards presentation

Tuesday 29 November 2022 10:54am

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Dr Ewan Kennedy, Dr Stanley Paris, Associate Professor Gisela Sole, Dr Cathy Chapple

Renowned physiotherapist Dr Stanley Paris was on campus on Tuesday for a special awards presentation of the Stanley Paris Musculoskeletal and Manual Therapy Fund awards.

Dr Paris graduated from the Otago School of Physiotherapy in 1958 and is an international pioneer in manual and manipulative physiotherapy and a noted philanthropist.

The Fund, named after Dr Paris and his father Stanley G Paris who was also an alumnus of the School, was created in 2019. Through a range of scholarships, grants and fellowships for postgraduate students, research staff and visitors, the Fund is intended to support and strengthen activities in the area of musculoskeletal and manual therapy (OMT) at the School, to further enhance its national and international profile and leadership role in research and in clinical practice.

Presenting reports on the day were previous award recipients Gerard Farrell (PhD candidate); Ashleigh Taylor (MPhty by coursework candidate); and Kristina Saul (MPhty by thesis candidate); and Daniel Sela (MPhty completed last year). Callum Law attended via Zoom (MPhty completed this year) and a statement was read out from Michael Peterson (MPhty completed this year).

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Dr Stanley Paris, Dr Olivia Galea (new recipient of a Stanley Paris Fellowship this year)

In a special announcement, the students who have received scholarships for 2023 were also named. They are Miles Saitta, Toni-Marie Blythen , Mitchel Versey and Kathryn (Danielle) Lapointe. All received a Postgraduate OMT Scholarship. Dr Olivia Galea has also been awarded a Stanley Paris Fellowship.

Inaugural Research Fellowship award winner in 2019 and Associate Dean Research at the School, Dr Cathy Chapple, says the awards have allowed the students to pursue their studies. For some it has allowed them time out from their usual clinical practice work to attend residential block courses in Dunedin, and they have found the supervision of their physiotherapy treatment of patients to be particularly beneficial.

For Gerard, his scholarship has provided a PhD stipend, as well as covering research costs, and his development as an academic by funding attendance at an international conference in the United States (US), plus time in other academic institutions in the US working with recognised experts in the field on manual therapy.

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Daniel Sela, Ashleigh Taylor, Kristina Saul, Dr Stanley Paris, Nicole Farrell (master’s scholarship awarded last year, to be taken up in 2023), Gerard Farrell

“The awards from the Stanley Paris Musculoskeletal and Manual Therapy Fund have not only benefitted students with development of their manual therapy skills and practice, but also facilitated research through awards to students and fellowships to academic staff,” says Dr Chapple.

“In a very competitive research funding environment, the Fund has allowed projects to be undertaken providing evidence about the effectiveness and underlying mechanisms of manual therapy for conditions as diverse as knee osteoarthritis, persistent post-concussion syndrome, musculoskeletal chest pain, shoulder disorders, and problems with the voice. Ultimately this will improve provision of care and health outcomes for New Zealanders.”

As a young graduate in 1963, Dr Paris received a scholarship to investigate the treatment of backache in Europe and North America. He then returned to Dunedin and taught at the School and entered private practice with his father.

He began teaching courses in the area to colleagues in New Zealand in 1964 and in 1966 he moved permanently to the US, where he still resides. Dr Paris and his wife, Dr Catherine Patla, sit on the panel that awards the scholarships and fellowships.