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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With 2017 already on the way, we are reflecting back on what a great year 2016 was for the Foundation, under the guidance of Chair Kathy Allen.

Education, research and advocacy is the basis of our Foundation. Seminars and speaking engagements have been instrumental in promoting our cause this year. You can read up on some of the things we’ve been up to in 2016 below, but a major highlight for us is that we are very proud to announce that The Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia has received our Australian Charities and Not-for-profit (ACNC) accreditation to classify us as a tax-deductible charity! Thanks to Donna Benge who facilitated this.

Throughout 2016, your generous donations have been able to help us support quite a number of research projects and we’re so excited about the upcoming results. Thank you so much for your support!

FURTHER NEWS FROM 2016

Congratulations Meredith Craigie!

Our Board member Meredith Craigie has a long standing commitment to promoting education about pain among health practitioners. In 2016, we’d specifically congratulated her on two personal achievements.
Meredith ensured that Pelvic Pain be included in the curriculum for all Pain Medicine Trainees. This is a world first. All trainees will learn and be examined in Pelvic Pain, in Men and Women. We’d also like to congratulate her on being elected Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Pain Medicine for Australia and New Zealand in 2016!

Donations & Contributions

None of the wonderful things the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia has been able to achieve would have been possible without the contributions and gifts from our generous donors. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the wonderful generosity of Mr Hans Henkell – Managing Director, Henkell Brothers, Melbourne.

Belinda Loveless (pictured) made a fantastic mosaic and generously donated all proceeds from the sale to the Foundation.
With this support and the active involvement of Anne-Florence Plante, physiotherapist at the Melbourne Womens Hospital, PPFA has been able to donate books on pelvic pain for use by the Victorian Homeless Project to assist homeless women with pelvic pain.

We continue to receive regular donations through our website and we’re so grateful that there are people around the world that share our vision.

The Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia relies on your generous support to be able to continue in our efforts to educate on all areas of pelvic pain.

If you’d like to donate to the Foundation, please visit our website to see how.

New Research to Support Men with Pelvic Pain

PPFA supports all those with pelvic pain and we have a keen interest in improving our resources for mens pelvic pain. Difficult to imagine, but pelvic pain in men is even less researche than pelvic pain in women!

Dr Judith Glover (pictured below), an industrial design practitioner at the Royal Melbourne institute of Technology (RMIT) has received funding from the Foundation to research a male pelvic floor device in assisting in the alleviation of chronic pelvic pain in men.

This research aims to develop a hand held device/ product that male patients can take home and use internally to release Myofacial trigger points in the Pelvic Floor to enhance clinical treatment and help alleviate chronic pelvic floor pain.

We are delighted to assist with the development of devices designed to assist men with pain.

Current Research Projects

The Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia believes that Pelvic Pain is an under-researched area of health care. The Foundation supports research in the area of pelvic pain both financially and through mentorship of researchers. Our aim is to encourage and facilitate research in pelvic pain to achieve better outcomes for teens, women and men with this disabling condition.

Our own Kelsi Dodds (pictured left), research scientist at the University of Adelaide, had an article published in a Nature Journal this year! Kelsi is studies pain in women, and has been supported by PPFA. This article looks at the innate immune system and how it contributes to pain in women through sensitisation by estrogen. The next papers you’ll see will be pain and endometriosis. Congratulations to Kelsi on an outstanding contribution to pain in women!

Tiffany Brooks (pictured right), Psychologist, Mildura, and University of Adelaide, is studying the impact of pelvic pain on the family of those affected. Her Masters thesis has been awarded the Australian Psychological Society Health Psychology Award, and was presented at the Australian Pain Society meeting.

Read more about our current research projects here.

True Seminar in Brisbane

Dr Susan Evans and Dr Tonia Mezzini have been spreading the word about managing pelvic pain.
They visited sunny Brisbane in April on behalf of the Pelvic Pain Foundation to present on pelvic pain, endometriosis and vulval pain.
The seminar was hosted by True (experts in reproductive and sexual health). 65 GPs, gynaecologists, physiotherapists and nurses were in attendance, with specific information on the management of musculoskeletal pain in men.

More Seminars & Speaking Engagements

2016 Was filled with numerous speaking engagements made by a number of our supporting health care professionals. Some of the highlights were:

March

  • Pain Australia and the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia collaborated in Perth to present Illuminating Pelvic Pain at the Australian Pain Society Annual Conference,  followed by a General Practitioner Pelvic Pain Education evening. You can watch a complete video of the seminar on Youtube (specific section on the management of pelvic pain from 2:06 to 2:44 minutes in).
  • The Foundation collaborated with the Canberra Endometriosis Centre to present on pelvic pain in Canberra. 
  • Dr Evans featured on ABC Radio Queensland West with the topic of male and female pelvic pain andwas interviewed on ABC Radio Nightlife, along with Kate Young (a Melbourne based researcher) and Gabrielle Jackson from the Guardian Newspaper on the topic of Quality of Life: Issues for those with pelvic pain. 

April

  • Endometriosis Australia co-ordinated the screening of documentary EndoWhat? Attended and much appreciated by the board of PPFA.

May

  • The Australian College of Surgeons held their annual meeting in Brisbane. Two presentations were delivered at this conference: Management of Pelvic Pain and Pelvic Muscle Spasm.
  • PPFA arranged an educational seminar for School Nurses entitled Periods, Pain and Teens, hosted by Piper Alderman Lawyers, and designed to help nurses recognise pelvic pain symptoms that need attention and effective care.

October

  • PPFA held a spectacularly successful seminar for Health Professionals, once again hosted generously by Piper Alderman Lawyers, to provide practical training for health practitioners in the management of pelvic pain in men and women. In 2017, videos of selected presentations will be available for purchase online by health practitioners who were unable to attend. 

If you are a health professional, maybe you’d like to join us next time? Dates aren’t certain yet but we’ll keep you up to date with planned seminars on our website.

International Engagements

Pelvic Pain is a problem throughout the world. Dr Susan Evans presented at details of her research in Barcelona: Toll-like receptors, dysmenorrhoea and pelvic pain.
She also presented a technique for Botulinum Toxin Injection for the management of Pelvic Muscle Spasm, as published with Dr Justin Porter in the Australia New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2015. 

Website and Social Media

Our website has been a major success for the Foundation and hits continue to grow daily.  As of 3rd June 2016, a total of 346,808 people have viewed the site. As shown on the graphs below, men’s pelvic pain remains one of the most searched topics. Along with the website, our Facebook and new LinkedIn page hits continue to grow.

What is next for us in 2017?

With new projects, new educational activities for health providers and the public, and more research to change your pain planned for 2017, we’re keen to keep in touch with you.Follow us by checking the website regularly, liking us on Facebook and supporting us on LinkedIn.