A Birmingham Children’s Hospital physiotherapist from Dudley has received global acclaim for her work in caring for young people who have undergone major transplant operations.
Jemma Mears’ dedication has been recognised by her peers with the International Rehabilitation and Transplant Association’s (IRTA) Allied Health Professional Outstanding Achievement Award.
The 41-year-old, from Sedgley, who previously studied at High Arcal Secondary School, has been part of the expert team at the Children’s Hospital for almost two decades. She has a special interest in the rehabilitation of patients who have undergone liver and intestinal transplantation.
Throughout her career Jemma has led the way in developing methods of improving physical and functional outcomes for young people post-transplant and has become a world leader in this field; regularly presenting across the globe.
The proud winner recently travelled to New York, USA, to pick up the prestigious award from the IRTA’s President, US Professor of Surgery and Paediatrics, Dr Debra Sudan.
Ms Mears, who is Principal Physiotherapist for Hepatology and Transplantation at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“I’m extremely proud and humbled to receive this award. To be recognised in a field that is mainly dominated by nurses and doctors is amazing and it really helps to raise the profile of physiotherapists and the important work we do.
“Over the years the survival rate of children who receive intestinal transplantation has increased thanks to the advances in the expert care and treatment that can now be provided. It’s so important that part of their rehabilitation includes physiotherapy as it’s integral to their recovery and also helps improve long-term physical outcomes.”
Jemma’s nomination was submitted by Beverly Kosmach–Park, Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Department of Transplant Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She said:
“I enthusiastically support Jemma for the International Rehabilitation and Transplant Association’s Allied Health Professional Outstanding Achievement Award. Through her dedication to patients and families, contributions to the profession of physiotherapy and active participation and engagement in the IRTA, I believe that she is truly deserving of this distinguished award.”