History and structure
Our practice was established in the south of Johannesburg in 1976 by the late Joanne Sklaar. We have a strong core of partners, associates, senior physiotherapists and senior administrative staff that ensure the well-being of our staff and patients.
We pride ourselves in providing an outstanding service. We have a pool of physiotherapists who have developed special interests in the different fields of physiotherapy.
Six of our physiotherapists have obtained Master of Science in Physiotherapy degrees. Several of our physiotherapists have completed Accredited Professional Development Level 2 (APDL2) courses offered by the Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy, Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Physiotherapy, Sport Physiotherapy and Pain Management Physiotherapy Groups of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP).
Promoting and developing physiotherapy
We are passionate about promoting and developing physiotherapy. Several of our physiotherapists are currently serving or have served on various committees of our mother body, the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) and other medical bodies.
Current and past appointments that are highly regarded in our profession are: chairpersons of the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Group, the Sports Physiotherapy Group and the South Gauteng Province of the SASP; treasurer of the World Confederation of Physical Therapy Africa, executive committee member and treasurer of the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists and the physiotherapy representative of the South African Sports Medicine Association.
Our senior physiotherapists have many years of experience in their fields of special interest for example orthopaedics, sports, cardiopulmonary, neurology and pain science. Several of these physiotherapists are leaders in their field in South Africa.
We are keen to share our knowledge and experience with fellow colleagues. Some of our physiotherapists lecture locally and internationally on post-graduate courses and conferences whilst others tutor and supervise under-graduate physiotherapy students.
Our mission statement
Our mission statement is to:
- be one of the most respected physiotherapy practices, managed by highly motivated, skilled, compassionate physiotherapists and supported by efficient administrative staff
- offer the best possible individually designed, evidence-based, holistic physiotherapy treatment programmes to all patients in a friendly, safe, hygienic and non-discriminating environment
- empower patients to have control of their medical condition and regain or improve their level of function and personal independence
- respect the individuality of each colleague whilst recognising the need to operate as a team within a multidisciplinary framework
Our core values
We have used the word “rehabilitation” as an acronym to describe our core values. Rehabilitation is described under “About Physiotherapy”.
R – Respect each other
E – Educate patients
H – Hands on treatment
A – Achieve goals
B – Be proactive
I – Interdependent
L – Loyal service
I – In-service training
T – Total commitment
A – Administrative support
T – Team approach
I – Integrity and trust
O – Organisational harmony
N – Nurture staff
Partners and associates
Natascha is a partner of the practice. She joined the practice in 1998. Natascha practises at our Alberton practice.
Natascha received a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Pretoria in 1994 and a Master of Science in Traumatology from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2010. She is currently enrolled in the University of Stellenbosch’s PhD programme.
In 2007 and 2008 Natacha worked abroad in Australia. She was employed as the project manager of the Cancer Services Networks (CanNet) Project for the Acute Care and Policy Division of the Northern Territory Department of Health.
Natascha has a special interest in the field of intensive care and trauma as well as orthopaedics. She has gained her vast experience in intensive care and trauma in the Cardiac and Trauma Intensive Care Units (ICU’s) of the Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton. Natascha completed a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) in 1999 and in Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy (CPT1) in 2000. She is registered to practice physiotherapy in South Africa, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
Natascha is dedicated to the development of physiotherapy. She shares her knowledge through tutoring and clinically supervising both under and post-graduate physiotherapists on a regular basis. In 2007 Natascha was a clinical facilitator for the University of the Witwatersrand’s third-year physiotherapy students’ medical and surgical rotation at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Since 2002 she had been the clinical supervisor for the University of the Witwatersrand’s fourth year physiotherapy students’ intensive care rotation at the Netcare Union Hospital.
Since 2002 Natascha has presented numerous courses on various topics for the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Group (CPRG) of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) and has lectured on their one-year post-graduate diploma (CPT1). She has presented at several ICU refresher courses nationally between 2005 and 2013. Natascha has lectured and examined students enrolled in the University of the Witwatersrand’s master’s degree programmes.
Natascha regularly presents papers in the field of critical and intensive care at local and international conferences. She was awarded the Discovery Clinical Leadership Excellence Award for the best poster presentation at the 2012 International Critical Care Congress by the Trauma Society of South Africa.
In 2005 and 2006 Natascha lectured the University of the Witwatersrand’s fifth-year medical students on the role of physiotherapy in surgical, medical and ICU patients.
Natascha has made great contributions to physiotherapy by serving on several committees over the years. She served on the finance committee of the SASP during the periods 2006-2007 and 2010-2012. Natascha was the CPRG’s secretary from 2003-2007 and chairperson from 2011-2016. She was the CPRG representative and the treasurer for the South Gauteng Provincial committee of the SASP from 2005-2007 and 2006-2007 respectively. She was a member of the SASP’s organising committee for the International Physiotherapy Congress in 2005.
Natascha has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Internal Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists since its inception in 2011. She has been the confederation’s treasurer from 2016. Her term as treasurer will end in May 2019.
Natascha enjoys reading and travelling. She has a passion for the bushveld. Natascha trains in the gym regularly and is a keen runner. She has completed six Comrades Marathons.
Barry Laidler is a partner of the practice. He joined the practice in 1991. Barry currently practises in Scottburgh, Kwazulu-Natal.
Barry graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy. In his final year of study, he received the award for the best thesis. His thesis was titled “Choosing and fitting the correct shoe for the athlete”. Barry received a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine (Honours) from the University of Cape Town in 1990, a Master of Science in Physiotherapy from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2002 and a Master of Science in Mindfulness from Aberdeen University, Scotland in 2016. Barry researched chronic headaches, a subject he is passionate about, to obtain this degree.
Barry has gained vast experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal conditions in both an outpatient and hospital environment. He has a special interest in particularly neck and back injuries and pain management (with emphasis on chronic headaches).
Barry completed a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) in 1992. In 2010 he completed a one-month full-time course in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy at Curtain University in Perth, Australia.
Barry enjoys tutoring. He was involved in tutoring within the practice for many years. In the past he did part-time tutoring of third and fourth-year physiotherapy students of the University of the Witwatersrand. He has also done part-time tutoring and examining of post-graduate OMT 1 and the University of the Witwatersrand master students. He is currently assisting on the 2019 OMT1 course in Kwazulu-Natal.
Barry has a special interest in mindfulness and practices daily. He currently tutors on the topic. Barry enjoys strength training and runs several times a week. His pastime enjoyments are metal working and computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining.
Caren is an associate of the practice. She joined the practice in 1993. Caren practises at the Oakdene practice.
Caren received a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy and a Master of Science in Physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1988 and 1998 respectively. She completed a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) in 1996.
Caren has gained her many years of experience in the practice as well as on the sports field. Her special fields of interest are the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal injuries (particularly shoulder and sports-related injuries) and pain management.
Caren has travelled extensively nationally and internationally with various sporting codes and multi-coded events over the years. She was selected as a physiotherapist in the South African medical team for four Olympic Games (Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012), three All Africa Games (Johannesburg 1999, Nigeria 2003 and Algeria 2007) and the Maccabiah Games (Israel 2001 and 2005). Caren was selected as the chief physiotherapist for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India and as a senior physiotherapist for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Caren was the physiotherapist for the South African Women’s Soccer team (Banyana Banyana) and the South African men’s baseball team for many years. She had the privilege of attending the Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox’s spring training camps in 1997. She was selected as the chief physiotherapist for the referees at the Rugby World Cup in South Africa in 1995.
Caren is a familiar face at the Comrades Marathon. She has assisted the runners at the expo and along the route on race day for 20 years. She has been a judge for as equally long at the BSN Medical “Strap 4 Life” competition, an inter-varsity competition for 4th year physiotherapy students assisting at the Comrades Marathon. Caren was the physiotherapy co-ordinator for the City to City marathon for 2011 and 2012.
Caren is passionate about keeping abreast of the latest physiotherapy research and techniques and attends many courses in this quest. She has presented several papers at both national and international congresses. She is often involved in tutoring within the practice and externally. She regularly presents courses and workshops, mainly on the shoulder joint and elastic taping. Caren teaches and examines on the OMT1 diploma. She has previously taught and examined on the post-graduate Sports Physiotherapy diploma (SPT1).
Caren is passionate about her profession. Not only is she willing to share her knowledge through tutoring, but she has also served on various committees of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) over the past years. Caren was previously the chairperson of the South Gauteng Sports Physiotherapy Group (SPG). She was the marketing representative on the National Executive Committee of the Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy Group (OMPTG) from 2004-2008. She is currently serving on the committee of the SASP’s private practice group, PhysioFocus.
Caren has served as the Gauteng physiotherapy regional representative of the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) and the physiotherapy representative on the National Executive Committee of SASMA.
In 2008 Caren was awarded a life-time membership of the OMPTG for exceptional service and contribution to the profession. She received an honorary award from the SPG in 2018, in recognition for her achievements and dedication to sport physiotherapy at the highest level.
In 2006 and 2007 Prof Seftel invited Caren as a guest on his programme “Medically Speaking” on Radio 702. She was invited to give an overview of physiotherapy, the SASP and the role of physiotherapy in the management of lower back pain on Errol Ballantine’s Saturday morning health feature on Radio 702 during National Physiotherapy Back Week in September 2015. Caren appeared on SABC2’s programmes “Women in Sport” in 2011 and “House Call” in 2012.
Caren enjoys travelling. She is a sports fanatic and follows most major sporting events. Caren exercises regularly at the gym. She is a keen reader and enjoys attending the movies.
RENEE DE SMEDT
Renee is an associate of the practice. She joined the practice in 1990. Renee received a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1989. She completed a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) and Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy (CPT1) in 1991 and 2009 respectively.
Renee has gained her experience in both an outpatient and hospital environment. Her special fields of interest are pain management and the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary conditions. Renee attends to patients at our Mulbarton practice as well as to patients in the medical, surgical and paediatric wards and intensive care unit of the Netcare Mulbarton Hospital.
Renee was a competitive swimmer. She swam for Eastern Transvaal while at high school and university. Renee is a keen follower of most major sporting events. She enjoys spending time with her family. She is an avid reader. Renee enjoys taking holidays in the bushveld.
Heather is an associate of the practice. She joined the practice in 1995. Heather practises at the Mulbarton practice. She has served as a trustee of the body corporate of the Mulbarton Medical Centre for many years.
Heather received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1988 and 2005 respectively.
Prior to joining the practice, Heather gained experience in the medical, surgical and trauma orthopaedic wards, cardio-thoracic and respiratory intensive care units and outpatient department of the Johannesburg Hospital from 1989-1990 and 1991-1994. She cared for the elderly in the acute medical wards of the Medway Hospital and rehabilitation wards of the All Saints Hospital in Kent, United Kingdom in 1990 and 1991.
Heather’s special fields of interest are the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal injuries (including sports-related injuries) and pain management.
Heather tutored undergraduate physiotherapy students of the University of the Witwatersrand on a part-time basis from 1992-1996. In 2007 and 2008 she lectured on “The late management of lower back pain” on the Discovery Acute Lower Back Pain Project.
Heather is dedicated to the development of physiotherapy and has served on several committees of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP). She was a member of the South Gauteng Provincial committee of the SASP from 1988-1990 and 1992-1996. She served on the public relations sub-committee of the national executive committee of the Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy Group from 2005-2008. Heather has acted as the chairperson of the South Gauteng Provincial committee of the SASP from 2012.
Heather was invited as a guest speaker at a Women’s Leadership Seminar and the National Secretary and Personal Assistant’s Symposium organised by The Renaissance Network in June 2012 and September 2012 respectively. The topics of the presentations were: “Women and Optimal Wellness: from Ergonomics to effective Stress Management” and “Promoting the Well-being of the Office worker: Ergonomics and Stress Management”. Heather has assisted with physiotherapy stations at several charity sporting events.
Heather enjoys the outdoors. She is passionate about wildlife conservation and the preservation of our environment. Heather is a keen photographer. She exercises regularly in the gym. Heather enjoys following most major sporting events.
Wendy is an associate of the practice. She joined the practice in 2002. Wendy practices at our Oakdene practice. She received a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2001. She completed a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) in 2009.
Wendy’s special fields of interest are the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal injuries (including sports-related injuries) and pain management. She also treats patients at a local psychiatric facility. Wendy has attended several courses in the recent years on the management of chronic pain.
Wendy has obtained a National Certificate in Contemporary Music (N3) for both singing and playing the piano. She has been involved in the recording of two praise and worship albums with her church. She enjoys spending time with her family at various sporting, music and dog show events. Wendy enjoys training and showing her three American Pitbull Terriers. She also has a flare for cake decorating.
Cikizwa is an associate of the practice. She joined the practice in 2001. Cikizwa practices at our Alberton practice.
Cikizwa received a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy and a Master of Science of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in 1998 and 2010 respectively. She completed a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) in 2005 and a Certificate in Pain Management in 2016.
Cikizwa’s special fields of interest are the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal injuries (including sports-related injuries), intensive care and pain management. She is passionate about keeping abreast with the latest physiotherapy research and techniques. She regularly attends courses in this quest.
She is dedicated to the development of physiotherapy. Cikizwa shares her knowledge through tutoring and clinically supervising both under- and post-graduate students on a regular basis. She tutors and examines on the post-graduate Sport Physiotherapy 1 (PT1) and OMT 1 diplomas. Cikizwa chaired the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Group for four years.
Cikizwa enjoys spending time with her family, attending gym for her weekly swimming sessions and growing her knowledge in pain management through reading the current research.
HANNES VAN AARTSEN
Hannes is an associate of the practice. He joined the practice in 2012. Hannes was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy with distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2010. He completed a Master of Science in Physiotherapy in 2016 in the cardiopulmonary field of study.
Hannes’ special field of interest is intensive care. He has a passion for the management of patients following cardiothoracic surgery. Hannes attends to patients in the intensive care unit, medical, surgical, paediatric and wellness wards at the Life Roseacres Hospital in Primrose and the Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton. He also provides physiotherapy treatment to patients with acute and chronic neuromusculoskeletal, respiratory and cardiac conditions at our Alberton practice. Hannes leads the cardiac rehabilitation programme offered at our Alberton practice.
Hannes has served as the vice-chairperson of the South Gauteng Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) from 2012-2013. He is involved in supervising and assessing undergraduate physiotherapy students from the University of the Witwatersrand in the cardiopulmonary field. Hannes also lectures on post-graduate cardiopulmonary courses.
Hannes enjoys the outdoor life, both at the coast and in the bush. He is a keen rugby supporter and enjoys mountain biking. He also enjoys spending time with his family and listening to music.
Francesca Bharath joined the practice in 2013. She practices at our Alberton and Lambton practices. Francesca received a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2011. Thereafter she obtained a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) and a Certificate in Pain Management in 2014 and in 2016 respectively.
Francesca has experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic neuromusculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary conditions in both the hospital and outpatient environment. She has experience in the management of pre and post-operative care in the plastic and reconstructive unit at the Netcare Union hospital. Francesca’s special interests are the treatment of neck and back injuries, and the management and prevention of chronic pain. She is currently listed as a graduate on the Train Pain Academy’s Progressive Goal Attainment Programme (PGAP) Service Provider Directory.
Francesca is keen to share her knowledge in her fields of interest which she does through tutoring and mentoring colleagues within the practice. She has recently completed a facilitator’s workshop to enable her to empower others on the knowledge she has gained through the Pain Management Course offered by the Pain Management Physiotherapy Group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP).
Francesca strives to lead an active and well-balanced lifestyle. She believes it is important to care for the mind, body and soul. Francesca is involved in the leadership of her church. She has completed a one-year leadership training course at her church. Francesca trains regularly at the gym. She is adventurous and enjoys spending time participating in outdoor activities with her husband.
A TRIBUTE TO JOANNE SKLAAR
Joanne Sklaar started our practice in Turffontein in 1976 with just two plinths. With great vision and leadership, she helped to grow the practice into what it is today. Her aim was to provide the best patient care possible from a team of motivated, empathetic and highly competent physiotherapists in a warm and caring environment. She achieved this with distinction.
Joanne received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Physiotherapy from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1974 and 2000 respectively. She completed a post-graduate diploma in Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT1) in 1978. From 1980 Joanne, mentored and examined students who were enrolled in the OMT1 diploma.
Joanne was highly regarded amongst her medical peers. She gained vast clinical experience over the 39 years that she practiced. Her special fields of interest were the treatment and rehabilitation of neuromusculoskeletal injuries and the management and prevention of chronic pain. She particularly had a passion for treating and rehabilitating shoulder conditions. She was nominated as a ”Pain Ambassador” of the Pain Management Physiotherapy Group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) in 2010.
Joanne’s accomplishments in the field of physiotherapy were many. Some of these being: an honorary undergraduate physiotherapy lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand from 1980-2000, a supervisor of the University of the Witwatersrand’s M.Sc. Physiotherapy programme from 2000–2007 and an external examiner of the University of Stellenbosch’s M.Sc. Physiotherapy programme from 2006-2008.
Joanne presented many workshops, courses and congress papers nationally and internationally from 1980. She was passionate about continuing education for her staff and physiotherapy colleagues. Joanne always encouraged physiotherapists to perform to the best of their ability and act with integrity, professionalism and empathy. She will be remembered by many for her inspirational shoulder courses, excellent clinical reasoning and great wisdom. She made treating the shoulder joint seem so easy!!
Joanne always promoted the physiotherapy profession with pride and served it with distinction. She served on various committees of the SASP over the years. Most recently she chaired the National Executive Committee of the Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy Group (OMPTG) from 2004–2007. In 2002 Joanne was awarded a life-time membership of the OMPTG for exceptional service and contribution to the profession.
Joanne also found time to travel to the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1986 and 1990 to attend to the South African athletes.
Despite Joanne being a hard worker, she also made time to have fun. She loved to escape to either the bush or Ballito Bay. She also visited her son in New York on several occasions. She had some amazing bush experiences and always came back with such entertaining stories.
Prior to falling ill, Joanne loved playing golf, bridge, going to gym and walking, and like everything else, she did them with great enthusiasm. Joanne was an avid reader and enjoyed going to dinner or the movies with her family and friends.
Joanne always gave of herself wholeheartedly and radiated such a positive and calming energy. She was loved by all who met her. She had an uncanny ability to see all sides of a problem and help solve it.
Joanne took her illness in her stride and handled it with dignity, courage, grace and inner strength and showed love and appreciation for everyone around her throughout. She passed away in November 2016. She will always leave a gaping hole in the lives of her family, friends and colleagues.
In honour of Joanne’s significant efforts in building a successful practice and the great influence and mentorship that she bestowed on many of us, we have retained her surname in our practice’s name.
Rest in peace Jo.
Career opportunities and development
We pride ourselves in having a comprehensive in service training programme. Our aim is to enhance our physiotherapists’ knowledge and skills and keep them abreast of new developments in physiotherapy through continued education.
In-service training is in the form of either two-hourly tutorials or patient presentations. The training sessions are presented by either a senior member of our staff or an invited guest. The techniques and approaches of many well-known international physiotherapists are presented at the training sessions.
We encourage our physiotherapists to attend accredited lectures, courses and conferences regularly. Weekend courses are periodically held at our practice at a nominal fee. We also encourage our physiotherapists to enrol in post-graduate courses and degrees. Our in-service training is also tailored to support physiotherapists enrolled in post-graduate study. New staff members are mentored and nurtured by highly qualified physiotherapists in order to assist them to develop to their full potential.
Our physiotherapists receive experience in both an outpatient and hospital environment. In the hospital setting our physiotherapists attend to patients in the intensive care units, medical, surgical, paediatric and wellness wards. In the outpatient setting our physiotherapists attend to patients with chronic pain, neuromusculoskeletal, respiratory and neurological conditions and sports injuries.
Supporting our local and neighbouring communities is something that has always been close to our hearts. Over the years we have supported several local community-based non-profit organisations and been involved with the following events:
Race for Victory
Race for Victory is a well-recognised cycling event that is held annually in September. Many cyclists ride this race in preparation for Gauteng’s major cycling event in November, the 947 Cycle Challenge. Proceeds from the Race for Victory go to the Francis Vorwerg School, a special needs school situated in the south of Johannesburg.
We have volunteered to assist the Frances Vorwerg School’s physiotherapy department for several years by attending to cyclists at the end station of the race.
94.7 Cycle Challenge
Our voluntary physiotherapists are regulars at the “Heal the Burns” (charity cycling team of the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital Paediatric Burns Unit) hospitality tent at the finish of the annual 947 Cycle Challenge. They have provided some much-needed relief to many of the team’s fondly named cyclists, the Flame Riders.
Membership of professional bodies
All our professional staff are members of:
Some of our professional staff are also members of one or more of the following: