In 2007 Polio Australia's National Program Manager, Mary-ann Liethof (then Polio Community Officer with Polio Network Victoria), was the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship. In April/May 2008, she travelled to the USA and Canada with the goal of identifying techniques to better manage the late effects of polio.
The nine video segments below total over 3 hours of interviews with eminent North American Post-Polio Specialists.
Those interviewed were: Dr Richard L Bruno, Dr Sophia Chun, Mr Richard Daggett, Dr Marcia Falconer, Melinda Guttry, Dr Lauro S Halstead, Ms Joan Headley, Dr William DeMayo, Dr Susan Perlman, Dr Jacquelin Perry, Dr Darren Rosenberg, Anna Rubin, and Dr Daria Trojan.
As well as the footage that Mary-ann shot, you can read her complete Churchill Report. She also wrote a Daily Blog which kept those back in Australia up-to-date with her progress across North America. Mary-ann’s travelling companion, polio survivor Jill Pickering, also kept readers informed via Jill's Jottings.
In the introduction to her Churchill Report, Mary-ann wrote:
The inspiration for this project was born out of witnessing the courage and determination revealed to me on a daily basis by the ‘community’ of polio survivors I work with, who are now experiencing post polio syndrome (PPS).
Therefore, it is the post-polio community I would first like to acknowledge, along with my travelling companion, Jill Pickering, herself a polio survivor. Jill’s insight as both a trained Occupational Therapist (now retired) and someone living with PPS, proved to be invaluable on my study tour.
The many and varied places visited provided me with a wealth of information on current PPS management techniques provided by individuals and teams of specialists. Everyone I had the privilege of meeting was very welcoming, helpful and generous in imparting their knowledge. I thank them all. I am honoured to be a recipient of the 2007 Churchill Fellowship who provided the means to achieve my goal and will fondly remember the ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity the Churchill Trust has provided.