For Health Practitioners

PPFA Annual Health Practitioner Seminar

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PPFA’s Annual Health Practitioner Seminar unites the Pelvic Pain Community in a weekend dedicated to networking and knowledge exchange. Renowned specialists, including Gynaecologists, Physiotherapists, Surgeons, and experts in Pelvic Pain Practitioner mental health, converge to share insights and expertise through presentations and workshops. Join us for a transformative experience, where professionals from diverse fields collaborate to advance the understanding and care of pelvic pain.
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2024 Seminar

Past Seminar Programs & Speakers

2023 - Speakers

Professor Gil Dubernard

Professor Gil Dubernard trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology with a specialization in surgery at the Assistance Publique Paris Hospital from 1997 to 2007. He defended his PhD Thesis in 2008 on the influence for fetal  microchimerism on mammary adenocarcinomas associated with pregnancy.

His clinical work was initially focused on the management of gynecological and mammary cancers, then his focus progressively moved toward the diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis.

He entered the team of Professor RUDIGOZ at Croix-Rousse Hospital (Lyon, France) in 2007. In 2010 he was named University Professor-Hospital Practitioner and in 2015 was appointed manager of the Obstetrics Gynecology department.

Since then, his work has been more and more focused on the diagnosis and management of endometriosis. He has developed a new technique for diagnosing endometriosis, which is known as 3D Rectosonography. The development of this ultrasound diagnostic technique enables him to consider management techniques other than surgery for rectal endometriosis. In 2016 Professor Dubernard joined Lab TAU while supervising the PhD Thesis of Doctor Charles-André PHILIP. They have carried-out their first global phase I study on the treatment of rectal endometriosis with Focused Ultrasound in collaboration with the company EDAP TMS.

 

A/Professor Katy Vincent

Dr Nicki Ferencz is a Clinical Psychologist and the Service Lead of the South Australian Paediatric Chronic Pain Service, Dr Ferencz has dedicated her career to advocating for patients’ needs, and driving advancements in the development of chronic pain care across the State.

Dr Ferencz has extensive experience working with patients with complex health issues in both the UK and South Australia in tertiary and primary care services, supporting individuals in managing chronic pain. She completed her doctoral training at Liverpool University in the UK and now leads a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including paediatricians, psychologists, and physiotherapists.

Dr Ferencz was crucial in implementing the Comfort Ability Program in SA in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital which is now a first-line response in assisting young people with ongoing pain in all hospitals in Canada. Since its successful implementation it has been adopted by the WA Paediatric Chronic Pain Service and is soon to be launched by the Queensland Paediatric Chronic Pain Service.

 

A/Professor Susan Evans

Dr Evans is a gynaecologist, pain medicine physician and laparoscopic surgeon who has cared for women with pelvic pain and endometriosis for over 20 years. Dr Evans founded Alyra Biotech Pty Ltd to develop innovative, neuro-immune, pain management options for pain in women. Dr Evans is a Springboard Life Sciences 2020 Alum. She consults part time in Adelaide, Australia caring for women with chronic pelvic pain.

 

Ms Sonia Scharfbillig

Sonia Scharfbillig is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist and a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist. She is passionate about pelvic health and is a member of the Adelaide Pelvic Pain Network, a multidisciplinary group of health professionals who are dedicated to helping women and men with chronic pelvic pain. Sonia runs Pelvic Floor Health, a private practice in Walkerville, devoted to improving the pelvic floor health of women and men.

 

A/Professor Jill Benson AM

Jill has been a GP for over 40 years, for the last 20 years mostly working in remote Aboriginal communities in the western desert of Australia, with refugees in Adelaide, with Doctors Health SA seeing doctors as patients, and as a Medical Educator and researcher. She is the secretary of the WONCA Working party for Mental Health and a member of the WONCA special interest group for migrant care. She has presented and published nationally and internationally about medical education, refugee health, doctors’ health and mental health. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 2012for her work with Aboriginal people, refugees and in mental health.

 

Dr Marilla Druitt

Dr Druitt is an obstetrician gynaecologist who trained at the Mercy Hospital in Melbourne, rurally in Warrnambool and Wangaratta and overseas in Ireland and Vietnam before moving to Geelong in 2011.
She has completed a fellowship in Advanced laparoscopy at Monash Medical Centre and has a special interest in endometriosis and pelvic pain and minimally invasive surgery including hysteroscopic management of fibroids and total laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Dr Druitt is also the gynaecologist at the multidisciplinary Persistent Pelvic Pain clinic and a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Deakin University.

 

Dr Nicki Ferencz

Dr Nicki Ferencz is a Clinical Psychologist and the Service Lead of the South Australian Paediatric Chronic Pain Service, Dr Ferencz has dedicated her career to advocating for patients’ needs, and driving advancements in the development of chronic pain care across the State.

Dr Ferencz has extensive experience working with patients with complex health issues in both the UK and South Australia in tertiary and primary care services, supporting individuals in managing chronic pain. She completed her doctoral training at Liverpool University in the UK and now leads a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including paediatricians, psychologists, and physiotherapists.

Dr Ferencz was crucial in implementing the Comfort Ability Program in SA in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital which is now a first-line response in assisting young people with ongoing pain in all hospitals in Canada. Since its successful implementation it has been adopted by the WA Paediatric Chronic Pain Service and is soon to be launched by the Queensland Paediatric Chronic Pain Service.

 

Dr Jane Chalmers

Dr Jane Chalmers (PhD, B.Physio) is a Senior Lecturer in Pain Sciences at the University of South Australia. She is the leader of the pelvic pain theme under the Innovation, Implementation And Clinical Translation in Health (IIMPACT)research concentration at the University of South Australia.
Her research focuses on understanding pelvic pain in both women and men. Her work ranges from basic science through to implementation research and she is particularly interested in the role of pain education and other physiotherapy interventions in recovery from pelvic pain.
Jane has a passion for science dissemination, regularly writing pieces for The Conversation, giving media interviews, and presenting at conferences on the topics of pelvic pain and women’s health.

Ms Polly Levinson

Polly Levinson is a physiotherapist and SeniorClinical Educator at PPEP Talk with the PelvicPain Foundation of Australia. She worked formany years at the Royal Hospital for Women,Sydney in the Pelvic Pain Clinic and as anAdvanced Practice Physiotherapist inUrodynamics and Urogynaecology Clinics. Shecontinues to work in private practice women’s health physiotherapy helpingwomen through all life stages reach theirgoals.

Ms Liz Lush

Liz Lush is a physiotherapist who has workedin pelvic health and pain for 25 years. She is aClinical Educator for the Pelvic PainFoundation of Australia and is on the board forthe Qld and NSW Pelvic Pain Networks. Lizhas guest lectured for Sports MedicineAustralia, the Australian PhysiotherapyAssociation, multiple community groups andsteered clinical education for undergraduateand graduate physiotherapists. When she isnot discovering people’s power to transformpain, Liz is learning from her four kids or beingspoiled by her husband and dog!

2024 - Program

Day 1

08:30 - 09:00
Registration  and Coffee
09:00 - 09:10
Welcome and Opening  Address
Ms Kirsty Mead
09:10 - 09:45
Creating a New Inclusive National Approach to Endometriosis Pelvic Pain: Framing Pain, Language and Management for the entire Pelvic Pain Community. 
Associate Professor Susan Evans
09:45 - 10:15
HIFU treatment of rectal endometriosis using  Robotic Focal One®: a new conservative approach  
Professor Gil Dubernard – Online from France
10:15 - 11:00
Practical ways to incorporate relaxation therapies in the  management of patients with pelvic pain  
Sonia Scharfbillig
11:00 - 11:30
Morning Tea
11:30 - 12:30
First take your own pulse…  
Associate Professor Jill Benson AM
12:30 - 1:00
Addressing Hidden Barriers to Pain Management 
Dr Nikki Ferencz
1:00 - 1:45
Lunch
1:45 - 02:30
Everything, Everywhere, all at once-managing complex cases 
Dr Marilla Druitt
02:30 - 03:00
Scientific Bases and Practical Use of Testosterone Therapy in Women with Pain and Fatigue 
Associate Professor Susan Evans
03:00 - 3:45
Advances in Sonography to Minimise and  Optimise Endometriosis Surgery 
Professor George Condous
03:00 - 3:45
Advances in Sonography to Minimise and  Optimise Endometriosis Surgery 
Professor George Condous
03:45 - 04:00
Afternoon Tea
04:00 - 04:30
Is Pain Education Different for Pelvic Pain 
Dr Jane Chalmers
04:30 - 05:00
Proteinomics of Pelvic Pain and What It Can Tell Us About the Mechanisms Involved in Pelvic Pain
Dr Katy Vincent – Live Online from the UK
04:30 - 05:00
Proteinomics of Pelvic Pain and What It Can Tell Us About the Mechanisms Involved in Pelvic Pain
Dr Katy Vincent – Live Online from the UK

Day 2

08:40 - 08:55
Assessment of PPP, the best tools of the trade for sustainable practice and effective management
Alex Diggles
8:55 - 9:15
GP Care Plans for PPP – Holistic Management and Streamlining Practice
Mary-Jane Stanley
9:15 - 9:50
Resolving Barriers for Best-Practice Assessment and  Care Plans
Panel Discussion
9:50 - 10:40
Refining Best Practice Assessment Tools, Techniques and  Care Plans for PPP and  Endometriosis
Case Studies and Group Work
10:40 - 11:00

Morning Tea

11:00 - 11:30
BioPyschoSocial Treatment in  practice – A Broader Scope of Options for Patients in Metro or Rural Settings for Desensitisation, Graded Imagery, Graded Exposure and  Supported Independence
Polly Levinson and Liz Lush
11:30 - 12:15
Exploring BioPsychoSocial Treatment Options in a Range of Clinical Specialities and  Settings
Panel and Large Group Discussion
12:15 - 1:00
Expanding Referral and Self Management Options for Improved Outcomes and Client Satisfaction
Complex Case Studies and Group Work
1:00
Closing Comments and  Farewell

2019 - 2023 Programs

2023

2020

2019