History of the IFSHT and the Hosting Organization CATM


History and Purpose of the International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy

Following an invitation from Dr. Alfred Swanson on behalf of the IFSSH, the participation of therapists at the IFSSH Congresses in the Netherlands in 1980, USA in 1983, and Japan in 1986 helped to lay the ground work for the founding of IFSHT in 1987.

The International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy (IFSHT) was founded for the purpose of coordinating activities of the various national societies for hand therapy and increasing and enhancing the exchange of knowledge of hand therapy.  The first IFSHT President, Evelyn Mackin was instrumental in founding IFSHT.  When founded IFSHT had 12 member societies, since then IFSHT has grown substantially and now has members from 49 countries.

The first IFSHT Congress was held in Tel-Aviv, Israel in 1989. Since then IFSHT has met triennially around the world, a listing of the congresses and their locations can be found below.  IFSHT continues to enjoy the co-operation and support of IFSSH.  IFSHT and IFSSH frequently hold simultaneous congresses in the same location with some joint sessions. 

IFSHT is a voluntary organisation and currently does not maintain a central office.  Communication within the Executive committee is facilitated by electronic correspondence and conference calls. Funds for the activities supported by IFSHT come from the annual membership fee, direct donations, and a triennial silent auction.  The IFSHT membership fee $50.00 (US) per annum plus one dollar per member of the member organisation has remained unchanged since inception. This low fee allows even the smallest society to participate in IFSHT. The Triennial IFSHT Silent Auction helps raise funds for therapists to attend the next IFSHT Triennial Congress.  Goods from all over the hand therapy world are donated for this fun event. 

In addition to our Triennial Congresses, IFSHT continues to seek ways in which we can provide networking and educational opportunities to further the practice of Hand Therapy throughout the world. IFSHT supports the development of Hand Therapy worldwide, with the dynamometer program, the voluntary teaching program with the IFSHT visitors’ program and with a triennial congress.

To date there have been 9 Presidents of IFSHT from 7 different countries:


President /  (Country) Term Triennial Congress Location
Evelyn Mackin (USA) 1987-1992 Tel Aviv, Israel
Jean-Claude Rouzaud (France) 1992-1995 Paris, France
Victoria Frampton (United Kingdom) 1995-1998 Vancouver, Canada
Corrianne van Velze (South Africa) 1998-2001 Istanbul, Turkey
Annette Leveridge (United Kingdom) 2001-2004 Edinburgh, Scotland
Margareta Persson(Sweden) 2004-2007 Sydney, Australia
Judy Colditz (USA) 2007-2010 Orlando FL, USA
Lynne Feehan (Canada) 2010-2013 New Delhi, India
Sarah G. Ewald (Switzerland) 2013-2016 Buenos Aires, Argentina


IFSHT Past Presidents (L) to (R): Victoria Frampton , UK, 1995-98;  Maggi Persson, Sweden, 2004-07; Jean Claude Rouzaud, France,1992-95;  Evelyn Mackin, USA,1987-92; Judy Colditz , USA, 2007-10; Lynne Feehan, Canada, 2010-13.


                  The Argentine Chapter for  Hand Therapy (CATM) was  created by the Argentine Association for Surgery of the Hand (AACM) on 22nd May, 1997 in view of the need for integrating the different professionals who are dedicated to the hand rehabilitation throughout Argentina.

From its beginnings, the CATM has pursued the purposes of: 

  • Contributing to the progress of the hand and upper limb rehabilitation.  
  • Promoting the professional hierarchy, teaching and research.


In 1997, the Executive Council of the Argentine Association for Surgery of the Hand requested of occupational and physical therapists with a renowned scientific background in hand rehabilitation that their curriculum vitae and the certification of their work experience with hand surgeons be submitted. Therefore, the AACM appointed the First Executive Council of the Argentine Chapter for Hand Surgery and their first twenty Founding Active Members.

This Committee was in charge of drawing up the Bylaws of the CATM and validating the scientific background of the professionals aspiring to become active or adherent members.

On 30th October, 1997, the Argentine Chapter for Hand Therapy in conjunction with the Brazilian Association of Hand Therapists decided to constitute the  South American Association of Hand Therapists, in the framework of the VI Congress of South American Federation for Surgery of the Hand (FSCM), Buenos Aires, Argentina. On such occasion, Chilean professionals attending the meeting were invited to create the Chilean Association of Hand Therapists and to join this scientific endeavour.

In 2002, the Argentine Chapter for Hand  Therapy fostered and encouraged the creation of the Bolivian Chapter for Hand Therapy in Cochabamba City, Bolivia. In the last years, the CATM has summoned the Colombian Association of Hand Therapists as well as the Venezuelan Association of Hand Therapists to join the South American Society.

This year the Past Presidents Council of the CATM initiated contacts with the presidents of the Hand Surgery Societies of Mexico and Perú, to provide support and promote the formation of Associations or Chapters that join the professionals of the Rehabilitation (physical and occupational therapists)

Current situation  

Currently, the Argentine Chapter for Hand Therapy of the Argentine Association for Surgery of the Hand is composed of more than 149 Members including  from all over the country. Each Active Member must recertify every five years.

The CATM belongs to the International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy since 2002 and its Delegate is the Professor  Beatriz Inés Piso, P.T. MS.

The CATM participates scientifically in:

  • organising an Annual Argentine Congress in conjunction with the AACM
  • organising an Annual Updating Course in conjunction with the AACM
  • being part of the Teaching Staff of the AACM Post-graduate  Specialisation in Hand Surgery.
  • offering courses and workshops throughout the country to foster the development of Hand Rehabilitation.
  • offering since March 2014 The Biennial Course.