IAHT Committee

About the Committee

The committee of IAHT is a group of members elected at the AGM to lead the organisation. The committee’s responsibility is to promote the aims and objectives of IAHT.

The titles of the committee members reflect their specific responsibilities to lead in their area and report to the whole committee at quarterly meetings/ bimonthly meetings.

IAHT is a voluntary organisation and has been very fortunate to have very dedicated, committed and strategic thinking committee members over the last 30 years

Mary Naughton IAHT Chair

Mary Naughton, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist, Certified Hand Therapist is currently practising as a hand therapist in Plastics, Orthopaedics Upper Limb Out patient services in Beaumont hospital and Suite 2, Sports Surgery Clinic, Dublin.

She graduated from the Trinity College, Dublin in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, honors. In January 2000, she was awarded the prestigious Evelyn J. Mackin fellowship in Hand Therapy at the Philadelphia Hand Center, USA. Mary went on to become a Certified Hand Therapist in 2000, and has successfully renewed these credentials in 2005, 2010, 2015.

Mary has been very proactive in the development of hand therapy nationally and internationally, she is currently the Irish representative to the IFSHT and a corresponding editor for the Journal of Hand Therapy.

Mary is very involved in education locally and nationally and has held numerous stand alone splinting workshops since 2001, presented at national and international conferences as a guest lecturer for the Discipline of Occupational Therapy and the MSc program in Sports and Exercise Medicine, Trinity College Dublin

She formed Hand Dynamics with three other hand therapists in 2003 and runs BAHT accredited hand therapy courses for Occupational Therapist’s and Physiotherapist in Ireland and the UK.

Michelle O’Donnell Education Officer

Michelle O’Donnell BSc Hons OT, Dip COT, CHT, qualified from the University of Ulster in 1984. Michelle is a certified Hand Therapist (CHT), achieving certification by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission (USA) in 2012. She practices as a generic hand therapist combining the skills of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.

Michelle has worked as a Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist in St James’s Hospital Dublin since 1994 and has over 20 years experience in the treatment of hand and upper limb trauma and in the rehabilitation of burn injuries.  Currently she also spends one day per week working privately at the Hand Clinic, BRC and in the Beacon Hospital

Michelle’s particular areas of interest are in the treatment of complex hand injuries and in the rehabilitation of burn injuries, specifically quantifying the functional outcomes of burn injuries to the hand. She is also interested in developing community reintegration programmes post burn injury.

She has been actively involved in service development, clinical audit and education of surgical, nursing and therapy staff within SJH for many years and regularly lectures on the undergraduate Occupational Therapy programme in TCD.

Michelle has also been an active committee member of the IAHT for the past 23 years

She formed Hand Dynamics with three other hand therapists in 2003 and runs BAHT accredited hand therapy courses for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists in Ireland and the UK.

Emma Carr   Educational Officer

Emma Carr is a Chartered Physiotherapist having graduated from Trinity College in 2000. Emma has over 13 years experience working in hand therapy in both Ireland and Australia in the private and public sectors. Emma completed a Masters in Physiotherapy in 2008 from the University of Sydney and became a Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) in 2010. Emma has lectured for the Irish society of Chartered Physiotherapists and has presented at the Irish Hand Surgery Society annual conference.  She has research published in the Cochrane Library on arthritis of the thumb. Since 2011 she has worked as the Senior Physiotherapist in Hands and Plastics in St Vincent’s University Hospital. Emma has a particular interest in treating flexor tendon injuries and PIP joint injuries.

Olga Hill

Olga Hill Secretary

Olga Hill BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Certified Hand Therapist

Olga Hill graduated from University of Ulster, Jordanstown in 2002 with a first class honours degree in occupational therapy. Olga also holds a National Certificate in Applied Physiology and Health Science, which she completed in 1998. 

Olga worked in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 2005 where she was senior occupational therapist for 6 years in burns and plastic reconstructive surgery.  Here she devised specialised skills in upper limb assessment, treatment and the fabrication of custom made static, static progressive, serial and dynamic splints to suits any upper limb diagnosis.

Olga now works in Tallaght Hospital and treats both trauma and elective upper limb injuries within orthopaedics. 

In 2012 she successfully passed her certified hand therapy exam.  This certification supports her competence to practice hand therapy.  She continues to complete a number of accredited courses specific to upper limb trauma and has made a lifelong commitment to hand therapy.  She is an active member of the Irish Association of Hand Therapists and has been since 2004.

Michelle Spirotas  Research

Michelle Spirtos, BSc OT, MSc, PhD

Michelle is an Assistant Professor in the Discipline of Occupational Therapy, Trinity College Dublin since January 2003. Prior to this she practiced both in Ireland and the USA in childhood disability and hand injuries. Her current teaching and occupational therapy practice is primarily related to children and young people. Teaching modules which Michelle co-ordinates include Occupational Therapy for Children, Applied Anatomy- Clinically Applied Upper Limb and Splinting. Her research interests include childhood and young adulthood and interventions to facilitate successful participation and engagement. In 2008 Michelle completed a Research Masters which examined the effect of Kinesio Taping to the hand and wrist in children with cerebral palsy. Michelle has completed a PhD study which explored the transition to adulthood for young people with hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Michelle was a past member of the IAHT committee in 1995 to 1997 and has been a current member of the committee since 2004.

Simone Derham

Simone Derham. BSc Curr Occ (Reg), PG Dip Hand Therapy, Dip HSM.

Simone qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 1991.  In 1995 she received a diploma in Health Service Management from Trinity College and in 2006 she received her post graduate diploma in Hand Therapy from Derby University.

On qualification she worked in St James Hospital for 5 years moving to the Adelaide Hospital Dublin in 1996, then moved to the Adelaide, Meath and National Childrens Hospital in Tallaght in 1998 (now Tallaght University Hospital) and has been there since.

She is the Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist in Hand Therapy and Trauma Orthopaedic.

Simone has lectured on Hand Therapy to the Limerick University MSc OT program annually and has been a guest lecturer on BAHT accredited courses and at national conferences.

TALLAGHT outpatient Hand Therapist Led Clinical (HTLC) route through the Orthopaedis Trauma Clinic was a finalist in the 2017 Irish Times Irish Healthcare Awards and received one of only 5 commendations awarded on the night.

Her specialist interest is in the management of elbow trauma and reconstructive surgery.

Una Mc Carrick  EFSHT Representative

Una graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2001 with a degree in Occupational Therapy. In 2009 she completed a Masters in Healthcare Management in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Following graduation Una worked in the Mater Hospital gaining experience in hand therapy before travelling to Melbourne, Australia where she took up a post as hand therapist in a busy hand therapy unit treating adults with a vast range of conditions.

Returning to Ireland she began working as a Senior Occupational Therapist in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin in the area of Paediatric Burns and Plastic Surgery in the National Burns Unit. She has a special interest in monitoring the changing trends in paediatric burns presentations as well as in the area of congenital limb anomalies. She enjoys engaging in regular continuing professional development applicable to her clinical areas.

She is a member of the of the Burns Therapists Interest Group (UK and Ireland) and the Irish Association of Hand Therapists

Estelle Kronn Treasurer

Senior Physiotherapist, The Mater Hospital, Dublin.

Estelle graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 1990. She joined the staff of The Mater Hospital shortly after qualifying and apart from an 18 month stint in The Hospital for Special Surgery, New York has been there ever since!  She is working  in the area of Hand Therapy for over twenty years and has been a member of the IAHT for a similar length of time.

Her caseload consists of patients referred from Plastics, Orthopaedics and the Emergency Department with a small number of referrals from Pain Clinic and Rheumatology.

Her patients might suggest that she specialises in inflicting pain but she would say “I specialise in mobilising the chronic stiff hand and wound management”