Colombia Global Grant Report submitted- Ponseti Method Training for the Treatment of Clubfoot in Colombia

October 4, 2020

The first report to The Rotary Foundation for this project has been accepted.  All the initial training sessions were completed and everything went extremely smoothly.  The last training session (the sixth one) was completed late in January 2020.  Yet to be seen is how the Covid-19 pandemic will affect the timing of follow-up visits to trainees.

Many thanks to the clubs and districts who are supporting this Global Grant project:

District 4271 (Colombia)
District 4281 (Colombia)
District 5470 (Colorado, USA)
District 5970 (Iowa, USA)
District 6000 (Iowa, USA)

District 6960 (Florida, USA)
RC of Bogotá Centenario (D4281)
RC of Cedar Rapids Downtown (D5970)
RC of Ibagué (D4281)
RC of Iowa City AM (D6000)
RC of Marco Island Noontime (D6960)
RC of Vail (D5470)
Iowa’s Gift to the World

What was the overall impact of the training on the community?  Include specific results of the training or explain how it has improved the community’s capacity in this vocation.

The directors of hospitals and insurance companies learned about the Ponseti Method as a safe method, of low cost and efficient for clubfoot management. Hospital directors recognized the advantages for the patient and his family, and the reduction in costs for making the correction in a more fast. They realized the importance of creating Ponseti clinics, that means order, discipline and efficiency in the teaching parents and caregivers of children. Thanks to the visit of Dr. Morcuende to the Presidency of the Republic, the work that is being done in Colombia with children with clubfoot. The trained orthopedists had very flattering words as none of them had had a teaching ¨hands on¨ regarding the Ponseti Method. They also congratulated the team and thanked Rotary for providing the tools to carry out this course. Having enough time to learn something new and carrying it out first on plastic models and then on patients was very valuable.

Some phrases from the participants:
“It was a unique experience.”
“It completely changed the way I treat patients with clubfoot.”
“I realized the mistakes I was making with my patients.”
“I want to quickly get to my hospital to change things to make them better now.”

Comments from parents:
So far I really understand the Ponseti Method. ¨I want my son to be well, I am going to do my best to make this happen.”
“Now I know when the splint is wrong.”
“I liked meeting other parents and other children with the same problem as mine.”

Ponseti Method Training in Argentina Global Grant submitted to The Rotary Foundation for review

October 4, 2020

We seek Rotary Districts interested to provide District Designated Funds (DDF) to support this project.  Please contact for more information.

The Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M. (Iowa, USA) and the Rotary Club of Grand Bourge (Buenos Aires, Argentina) have collaborated to write a Global Grant to train orthopedists in the Ponseti Method.  The request has been submitted to The Rotary Foundation and they await to hear their decision.  A summary of the project is given below.

A Ponseti Method (PM) Training Seminar to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its goal is to train pediatric surgeons to achieve the eradication of clubfoot in that country. It was at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) where Dr. Ponseti started and perfected the method that carries his name.

Argentina has a population of 44 million inhabitants and the number of new cases per year is estimated to be 1,000. The number of children and adults who live with clubfoot is not known.

There will be 7 (seven) pediatric surgeons from Argentina’s Pediatric State Hospitals.  The seven hospitals the surgeons represent have committed to dedicate an office for the Ponseti Clinics (PC) where the surgeons will talk to parents of children born with clubfoot, treat patients, and keep a registry of the cases treated.

The Training Seminar will have an 8 (eight) months’ duration, and its Leader will be Dr. Jose Morcuende, PIA Director in Iowa City, Iowa, USA.  The first part of the seminar will last 5 (five) days, during which Dr. Morcuende will inform about and teach the PM to the surgeons. During the second part, the pediatric surgeons will set up a Ponseti Clinic in each one of their hospitals, where they will talk to parents of children with clubfoot, treat the patients, and keep a record of the number of cases they treat. The pediatric surgeons will be invited to participate, every three months, in web seminars for Latin America, organized by the Ponseti International Association (PIA). During the third part, Dr. Morcuende will return to Argentina to check on the PC, to see the patients’ registries, and to answer questions the doctors may have.

The institutions that collaborate to organize this PM Seminar are: 1. In Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Rotary Club Grand Bourg, and Dr. Miguel Paz, Pediatric Surgeon, Malvinas Argentinas Pediatric Hospital; 2. In the USA, the PM International, Rotary International D6000, and the Rotary Club of Iowa City A.M.; Dr. Jose Morcuende, PM Director, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa, USA.

Written by Nenu Piragine, Rotarian of the Iowa City AM Club.

Mexico Global Grant Update April 2020

July 22, 2020

Every year in Mexico, over 3,000 children are born with clubfoot. Clubfoot is treatable with Ponseti Method, a non-surgical technique using gentle manipulations of the foot, followed by the application of 4 to 6 weekly casts. The Rotary Foundation sponsors a global grant to support Ponseti Method training of 29 orthopedists throughout Mexico.

This Project began with a connection between D-5970 (then) DGE Jozif Gitta and a Cedar Valley (Iowa) Rotary Club member with familial ties to Mexico along with the Ponseti International Association (PIA) based at the University of Iowa. For the Cedar Valley Rotary Club, writing a grant proposal was a new experience and so it was through the mentorship of PIA that Global Grant GG1638227 was written.

One goal of the grant is to train 29 orthopedists affiliated with public hospitals from various cities/states of Mexico, in the Ponseti Method, and then the newly trained orthopedist establishes a Ponseti clubfoot treatment clinic at their hospital. Challenges included establishing a base in Mexico, changing leadership both in the Iowa and Mexican Rotary Clubs/Districts, and fluctuating monetary exchange rates. The grant, originally approved in 2017 is now scheduled to conclude in April 2020 .

The proposal outlined a train-the-trainer model enlisting orthopedic professors previously trained in Ponseti Method, who would serve as trainers/mentors to 2-3 trained orthopedists. These “trainers” would support, guide, and provide feedback regarding how to establish a clinic and how to upload data of treated patients into the International Clubfoot Registry (ICR), as well as make observations and suggestions about the manipulation technique and casting.

Dates and locations of trainings:

  • November 2017 Maternal and Child Regional Hospital in Monterrey, Nuevo León (15 trainers trained)
  • December 2017 Maternal and Child Regional Hospital in Monterrey, Nuevo León (11 orthopedists trained)
  • September 2019 The Shriners Hospital for Children, Mexico City (10 orthopedists trained)
  • January 2020 Hospital Regional Marterno Infantil in Monterrey, Nuevo León (14 professors trained)
  • A planned April 2020 training has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The end result of this Project is the expansion of the number of orthopedists, across Mexico properly applying the Ponseti Method to treat clubfoot in their clinics. Already over 200 children have received this life changing treatment. This is just the beginning of a sustainable plan to make the Ponseti Method the main treatment in this region. Global grant GG1638227 has proven to be a good investment in the well-being of the children of Mexico.

Bolivia Ponseti Method training grant approved!

June 30, 2017

Today, The Rotary Foundation approved a Humanitarian Grant in Bolivia with objectives to:

  • provide leadership training to 3 in-country trainers for the didactic aspects of teaching the Ponseti Method and on how to establish an effective nationwide network of clinics that will be recognized by health authorities as providers of the standard-of-care treatment for clubfoot (Ponseti Leadership Training Program);
  • provide training to 6 orthopaedic surgeons that are currently practicing Ponseti Method treatment but they have not received hands-on Ponseti Method mentorship (Practicing Provider Training Program);
  • provide Ponseti Method mentorship to 15 new providers to enable them to treat clubfoot deformity at their respective healthcare facilities (new Provider Training Program); and
  • provide guidance to the in-country trainers and trainees about promoting clubfoot awareness and advocating for the Ponseti Method at the local and national levels.

Location of Ponseti Method Trainers & Trainees

June 29, 2017

View a map that locates Ponseti Method trainers (yellow) and trainees (red) in Brazil:

Ponseti Method Training in Passo Fundo

April 24, 2017

Rotarians are planning a five day Ponseti Method Training in Passo Fundo during May for ten physicians. During the training, trainees first practice the casting technique on plastic foot models many times before they actually apply a cast to a patient’s foot. A Ponseti Method trainer is paired with each trainee to offer guidance and instruction while learning the skill

Look Who’s Walking!

April 13, 2017

Ana Clara (22 months old) looks pretty proud showing us her new skill! A year ago, Ana Clara’s caregivers were living with worry about her future. They were not even sure if she’d be able to walk, run and play. Ana Clara was born with clubfoot and the healthcare professionals only offered surgery as the treatment option but she would have to wait until she was two years old. In August 2016, the family learned of a clubfoot clinic at Casa da Esperança, a hospital run by the Rotary Club of Santo André in São Paulo, Brazil. Rotarian, Dra. Tatiana Guerschman treated Ana Clara successfully with Ponseti Method and she is now wearing a foot brace to maintain the correction. Ana Clara’s caregivers are so happy and grateful to The Rotary Foundation and the Rotarians in Districts 4420, 5300, 5970 and 6000 for their support of a Ponseti Method training grant to train 50 physicians in Brazil.

Members of Rotary Club da Bahia Provide Housing for a Child Receiving Ponseti Method Treatment

April 13, 2017

From March 29 – April 2, 2017, a Ponseti Method mentorship training for 9 physicians was held in Salvador, Brazil. While in Salvador, Rotarians Dra. Monica Nogueira and Dra. Tatiana Guerschman visited the Rotary Club da Bahia (D4550) where they explained the prevalence of clubfoot in Brazil and how Rotary is helping training an additional 50 physicians nationwide. Rotary Club da Bahia expressed interest in the clubfoot training project and they even offered assistance to one of the patients receiving Ponseti Method during the training. A young boy, 6-years-old had received Ponseti Method in the past but he’s not been able to complete the castings because the clinic is so far away and there are many other children at home making it difficult for the caretaker to be away from home. The Rotarians of RC da Bahia were so touched by his story that they offered to pay for housing for the young boy and a caretaker to remain in Salvador for the several weeks to complete the casting phase. In addition, RC da Bahia will help finance the printing of the children’s book, The Magic Book – which is a story about a child wearing the brace at night to maintain the foot correction. Proceeds from the sales of the book will go to help the Brazil parents association, Primeiro Passo.

Planning and drafting a Ponseti Method training grant in Bolivia

March 29, 2017

Rotarians in the La Paz Rotary Club and the Iowa City A.M. Rotary Club, along with several Bolivia PIA representatives are in discussions with Ponseti International Association to plan and draft a Ponseti Method training grant.

To reach the ultimate goal of training enough local doctors in the Ponseti Method so that every baby born with clubfoot in Bolivia can receive the most economical and effective treatment available, this project proposes to:

a) provide leadership training to In-country Trainers for the didactic aspects of teaching the Ponseti Method and on how to establish an effective nationwide network of clinics that will be recognized by health authorities as providers of the standard-of-care treatment for clubfoot (Ponseti Leadership Training Program);

b) provide advanced training to 6 orthopaedic surgeons on the more complex aspects of clubfoot and the Ponseti Method (Advanced Ponseti Method Program);

c) provide Ponseti Method mentorship to 15 new providers to enable them to treat clubfoot deformity at their respective healthcare facilities (New Provider Training Program); and

d) provide guidance to the In-country Trainers and trainees about promoting clubfoot awareness and advocating for the Ponseti Method at the local and national levels.

The grant is still being drafted.   Please visit Contact Us or email if your district is interested to assist with funding.