Karen Moss – Executive Director and Founder
Karen Moss is a writer, social entrepreneur and businesswoman. From 2000 to 2005, Karen was a magazine columnist and company director. In July 2005, Karen expanded her career portfolio to include pioneering community work when a passionate vision, driven by her son Alex being born with bilateral clubfoot, led her to establish STEPS in South Africa.
Since 2003 Karen has written informative articles and materials for parents on clubfoot that have been translated into many languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Hebrew, Mandarin, French, Italian, Danish, Russian and Bulgarian. Karen wrote a children’s bedtime storybook, My Clever Night-Night Shoes, to encourage brace wear. The book has distributors in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa and is being translated into other languages.
Karen developed and wrote all the material for the STEPS Ponseti for Parents© programme (translated into 6 languages). Karen is a clubfoot spokesperson in southern Africa and gives talks at local and international clubfoot meetings on her work.
Her focus is on the clubfoot patient’s wellbeing, and she provides information and emotional support to families from all walks of life. Karen collaborates closely with doctors, government and organisations to improve clubfoot treatment in the public and private health care sectors in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and the Seychelles. Her ground-breaking work has revolutionised the medical outlook for clubfoot care in Southern Africa. As a direct result of Karen introducing the Ponseti method for clubfoot to the region, the number of babies successfully treated is now in the thousands. Karen also launched STEPS Botswana and STEPS Namibia and mentors local clubfoot champions in Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and other countries.
Connect with Karen on LinkedIn.
Alan Millar – Programme Manager
Alan has worked in health non-profits for over ten years. He has a passion for finding efficient ways to address the legacy of inequality and social injustice in South Africa.
He is currently completing a master’s degree in public health at the University of Cape Town. His undergraduate degree was in English literature, and his honours degree in development studies–so he is equally interested in numbers and the stories behind them.
Much of his previous work was in the field of Tuberculosis treatment adherence, and he loves that clubfoot is such an optimistic area of work, with so many positive, life-changing outcomes.
His time at STEPS is mainly spent devising ways of getting more information with less cost and effort, to identify gaps and opportunities for improving the organisation’s service to children with clubfoot, their families, and the public health workers who do so much for them.
Michelle Dicey – Programme Manager (Training and Clinic Support)
Michelle joined STEPS in January 2017. She has been volunteering at Maitland Cottage Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital’s clubfoot clinic on Fridays since October 2016, and loves the hands-on, multi-disciplinary, Ponseti management of children with clubfoot and interacting with their families. Michelle has a good understanding of the processes and techniques of maintaining a high-functioning Ponseti Clinic. She acts as liaison between STEPS and public Ponseti providers, studies clubfoot research papers, and manages the training of physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals.
Michelle qualified as a physiotherapist at the University of Cape Town. She has worked in both private and state healthcare in South Africa, USA and England, in the fields of paediatrics and sports physiotherapy.
Michelle is from a fruit farm in Wolseley. She is involved in the education and empowerment of the farming community (leave this out – having completed a course in social innovation through the Graduate School of Business). She lives in Cape Town during the school term with her three boys and competes in endurance events.
Janine van Niekerk – Sustainability Manager
Janine joined STEPS in February 2016, and is an enthusiastic team member working on innovative ideas to sustain the organisation’s growth.
Mother of two, Janine has worked in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya, procuring and supplying aid organisations with a range of medical equipment.
Janine loves the impact STEPS has on the lives of babies born with clubfoot. Her passion and kindness drive her work, and she feels very lucky to be in a position to help improve lives.
Janine is actively involved in diversifying STEPS’ income stream while serving our beneficiaries. The clubfoot brace, an essential part of Ponseti treatment is listed 8th on the World Health Organisation top 10 list of Priority Assistive Products. The clubfoot brace is ‘..an absolute necessity to maintain or improve an individual’s functioning and which need to be available at a price the community/state can afford.’
Janine manages the sourcing, distribution and funding of the essential clubfoot braces, contributes to increasing awareness, providing training, knowledge, equipment, and support to the affected children, their families, and the medical community working to treat clubfoot.
Luke Engel – Marketing Manager
Luke has been part of the STEPS team since February 2016.
A recent graduate from the AAA School of Advertising, Luke has really pushed to raise awareness for the STEPS organisation – bringing some much needed youthful guidance in the area of digital marketing.
Luke has always had a passion for helping others – volunteering on a number of occasions at under-privileged children’s homes in Cape Town, as well as lending his hands to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Luke really believes in the mission that STEPS is trying to advance in enhancing the lives of children born with clubfoot, and enjoys visiting STEPS partner clinics around South Africa to see just how impactful STEPS is in not just the lives of children born with clubfoot, but also in the lives of their parents and families.
Isabel Lynch – Operations Manager
Isabel joined the STEPS team as Operations Manager in October 2016. Mom to three young children, Isabel has been involved for the past few years in various local and international NGO projects focused on early education and literacy in rural areas.
Her NGO work includes the support of six primary schools in rural Zimbabwe, and she is passionate about making a real difference in Africa.
Isabel has a degree in Town and Regional Planning from the University of Pretoria, and an Advanced Certificate in Leadership from the University of Cape Town’s Business school.
Isabel’s role utilises her skills managing large and small projects to coordinate and consolidate STEPS’ programme activities at all levels.
Her contribution to STEPS is to interpret information and ensure accountability so we effectively achieve our programme goals and plans for expansion.
Angela Sutherland – Financial Manager
Angela joined the STEPS team as the Financial Manager at the beginning of November 2013 after a career break to raise two children.
She loves that focus is not on profit, but instead on the care of others, particularly children. Angela believes that it is a truly wonderful charity in that families who have no access to healthcare can receive assistance, thanks to STEPS.
Angela’s previous experience spans the UK and South Africa. She worked in the oil industry for many years and latterly for a export quality certification company.
She is a management accountant (CIMA) with expertise in costing, pricing, budgeting and reporting. She has used her experience since starting with STEPS to aid with budgets, financial reporting, tax and the transition to PBO status.
Connect with Angela on LinkedIn.
Jacque Ludidi – Office Administrator
Jacque joined the STEPS team in February 2016. She is the mom of two boys and has 15 years of administration experience working at the Department of Health. She was working for Community Based Services dealing with the funding of NGOs and NPOs.
Jacque heard about STEPS on a TV programme called Against All Odds. She was touched by Karen and Alex’s story and she called STEPS immediately to volunteer.
She has a passion for working with children, mainly the disabled. Her contribution to STEPS is administration support and the translation of the clubfoot books into Xhosa. She finds working with STEPS extremely valuable and hopes to open an NPO one day in her township: Langa.
Ivy Muffler – Gauteng Clinic Support Coordinator
Ivy Muffler, a mother of two, studied psychology at the University of Pretoria.
She worked in the Research Department of the Pretoria Urology Hospital for many years as a Site Study Coordinator.
Creating deep and meaningful relationships with her patients on the clinical trials had a significant impact on her.
She then went on to work in the financial sector for 10 years and after making the decision to leave that behind and focus more on her children, the opportunity to be part of the STEPS team presented itself.
She finds that being part of the great work Karen and STEPS are doing and to be involved in changing the lives of so many children is extremely rewarding and fulfilling.
Ursula Kibido – Gauteng Clinic Support Coordinator
Ursula Kibido, a vibrant and dedicated mother of two, worked in Public Relations and Communication for many years.
She completed her BA Psychology and Industrial Sociology at UCT and went on to work in PR for 13 years for Old Mutual, Discovery Health and Eskom.
Ursula found her true passion in charity outreach when she was a board member and secretary for REACH (Rural Education Awareness & Community Health) for a few years. Naturally STEPS came next.
Ursula joined the STEPS team in 2014 and now helps counsel and educate parents and families on Clubfoot and its treatment, as well as assisting in running busy Gauteng clinics.
Always ready with a smile, Ursula finds the work at STEPS extremely valuable and gratifying.
Refiloe Khoza – Gauteng Clinic Data Capturer
Refiloe has a diploma in IT and worked as an Account Executive in marketing for a couple of years. In between her working hours she found that her passion was volunteering in social causes that brought her fulfillment.
From as young as six years old, Refiloe always knew that she wanted to work with children, and joining the STEPS team couldn’t have come at a better time.
Her long lived dream has been fulfilled in so many ways.
She loves the interaction and the relationships formed between the parents and the children and most of all, seeing their lives change because of the progress they make through the treatment. Working at STEPS has been a learning, fun and heartwarming experience for her.
Refiloe is always eager to help with a smile and a content heart.
Alethea Malan – Cape Town Clinic Coordinator
(Tygerberg and Maitland Cottage Hospital Clubfoot Clinics)
Alethea’s son Craig was born with clubfoot in 2013 and he was treated at Tygerberg Clinic. After experiencing the positive impact STEPS has on clubfoot clinics by offering parent support, Alethea was inspired to join STEPS in 2014.
She was trained as a parent adviser to assist with the Ponseti for Parents © education programme.
In 2015 Alethea was trained to collect patient data, which is an important part of STEPS’ clinic support programme. She is a valuable asset at two busy clubfoot clinics.
Alethea’s personal journey of having a child with clubfoot, and going through the treatment as a parent, makes her a valuable source of encouragement and information for the many families that she meets every week at the two clinics.
Her son Craig is walking, running and playing, and wears his boots and bar at night. Craig’s success story has inspired Alethea to give back to the clubfoot community.
Tsimoloho Lekaota – Bloemfontein & Free State Clinic Coordinator
Tsimoloho is a passionate addition to the STEPS team who loves working with people. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Communications.
What Tsimoloho enjoys most about working for STEPS is that she gets to learn so much. Watching the progress of children from the time they come in for their first casting to when they get their boots and bars is extremely rewarding and encouraging.
She also enjoys seeing and interacting with mothers who come in with the hope that their children will heal and their happiness when they see how effective the treatment is.
Tsimoloho feels so blessed to get to know the children and their mothers on a weekly basis, and walk with them throughout this process. She is a valuable part of the parent education and support that families need for successful treatment.
Adri Rego – Parent On-line Support
Adri was born with clubfoot and had clubfoot surgery as a child. Her children, Daniel and Cristina, were also born with clubfoot. Both children had successful Ponseti treatment.
She has been part of STEPS’ support outreach since 2008.
Because of her close personal experiences with clubfoot, Adri is passionate about supporting babies born with clubfoot and their families. She gives families practical advice and information on the positive outcome of children treated with the Ponseti Method.
She assists with advice on clubfoot care, PMB claims, and organises the annual Ponseti races in Johannesburg. Adri’s hope is to change the lives of future generations of fellow ‘clubfooters’.
Tshepang Seisa-Chilume – Founding Trustee, Secretary STEPS Botswana Trust
Tshepang is a mother of two children – a daughter, and a son who was born with bilateral talipes in 2008. After reaching out to STEPS for help, Tshepang took her son for treatment in Johannesburg. Tshepang was concerned that there was limited help available for children born in Botswana with clubfoot.
Tshepang and Karen Moss worked together to established STEPS Botswana Trust with the approval of the Botswana Ministry of Health. Tshepang’s involvement in changing clubfoot treatment in Botswana has helped to launch Ponseti in Botswana. She was involved in organising the first STEPS Botswana Ponseti training in 2013, which led to the establishment of a Ponseti clubfoot clinic at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone. Tshepang helps parents in Botswana with information on getting clubfoot treatment. Tshepang works as Sales Manager in Global Markets for a local bank. She is an entrepreneur and an alumni of President Obama’s Young African Leaders.
Dr Yash Gureja
Orthopaedic Surgeon (ex Princess Marina Hospital)
Dr Yash Gureja started working with STEPS in November 2012 on the Botswana national clubfoot programme.
He was part of the faculty for the 2013 inaugural Botswana training in Gaborone, and started the first Ponseti clinic in Botswana in July 2013. Dr Gureja studied medicine in India before emigrating to Botswana to work as an orthopaedic surgeon. Dr Gureja is now in private practice in Gaborone, but remains a supporter of the Ponseti method in Botswana.
Dr Kamal Jit-Singh
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Princess Marina Hospital
Dr Kamal Jit-Singh learned the Ponseti method in Oman, and started working in Botswana in January 2013. Dr Singh was part of the faculty for the STEPS 2013 Botswana Ponseti training.
He started the first Ponseti clubfoot clinic in Botswana at Princess Marina Hospital in July 2013, and heads the clinic team. Dr Singh does outreach and training for other clubfoot clinics in Maun and Mahalapye, and supports the development of a national clubfoot programme in the country.
Dr Jacques Jonck
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr Jacques Jonck learned the Ponseti Method with Dr du Toit while studying at Stellenbosch Tygerberg Campus under Dr du Toit.
After a fellowship in the USA, he returned to Africa to work in Namibia.
He lives in Windhoek with his wife and two children.
Dr Jonck co-founded the first Ponseti clubfoot clinic at Windhoek Hospital and is actively involved in clubfoot outreach and raising awareness.
Ponseti faculty doctors (training, mentoring, outreach)
STEPS has a long-standing relationship with the best Ponseti doctors in Southern Africa. These doctors take time off from their schedule at no cost to the programme to train healthcare professionals, do follow-up visits to clinics for refresher training and mentoring, and to assess complex cases.
Dr Jacques du Toit
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon STEPS Medical Director Head of Division of Orthopaedics, Tygerberg Hospital, University of Stellenbosch Head of Lady Michaelis Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit, Tygerberg Hospital. Ponseti faculty trainer (FT).
Better known as ‘Dr Vaatjie’, Dr du Toit attended Ponseti training in 2006 and 2007 and started the Ponseti clubfoot clinic at Tygerberg Hospital. He assists secondary hospitals to set up clubfoot clinics in Worcester, Paarl and George. Dr du Toit attended the 2011 STEPS South African planning meeting in Uganda.
In 2012 he was co-organiser of the SAPOS 2012 Ponseti instructional course at the Stellenbosch Tygerberg medical campus. He was the chairman of the faculty for the 2013 Ponseti training in Botswana and Namibia. Dr du Toit has published research and presented papers on clubfoot treatment on the Ponseti Method. Dr du Toit works closely with STEPS on clubfoot treatment using Ponseti as the treatment of choice. He advises on medical protocol, and collaborates on training and planning for capacity building at the various clinics STEPS supports in the region.
Dr Stewart Dix-Peek
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Acting Head: Paediatric Orthopaedics Red Cross Children’s Hospital Clinical Head: Maitland Cottage Home Dr Stewart Dix-Peek attended Ponseti training in 2006, and was Chairman of the 2012 SAPOS Ponseti instructional course. Dr Dix-Peek was part of the faculty at the first Namibia Ponseti Training in 2013. Dr Dix-Peek is a Ponseti faculty trainer (FT).
Dr Dix-Peek oversees and manages a dedicated weekly clubfoot clinic using Ponseti management at Maitland Cottage, a specialised paediatric orthopaedic facility, affiliated to Red Cross Children’s Hospital. The clubfoot clinic’s team includes a specialist consultant, registrars, physiotherapists, nurses and orthotists. Children with clubfoot are referred to the clinic from hospitals and clinics in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Maitland Cottage is an 85-bed facility, so patients who travel far are sometimes admitted until their clubfoot treatment is complete. Dr Dix-Peek oversees all the paediatric orthopaedic clinical services provided by the hospital, and satellite services. He does regular outreach visits to Worcester and Tembaletu, Eros.
Dr Mark Eltringham
Paediatric Orthpaedic Surgeon
Dr Mark Eltringham is in private practice at Sunninghill Clinic, Johannesburg. He was the first South African orthopaedic surgeon to train formally in the Ponseti Method, with Dr John Herzenberg in Baltimore, USA, in September 2003.
Dr Eltringham started a dedicated weekly Ponseti clubfoot clinic at his practice in November 2003. As one of the early Ponseti providers in South Africa, Dr Eltringham was supportive and influential in raising awareness of the treatment, influencing the change from surgical treatment to the Ponseti Method of clubfoot management. He has supported STEPS in the medical community and been featured as an expert guest on radio and TV.
Dr Eltringham worked with STEPS to assist patients from neighbouring countries when there were no treatment alternatives available to them. Dr Eltringham was part of the faculty for the STEPS South African Ponseti training in 2006 and 2007.
Dr Eltringham was part of the faculty for the SAPOS 2012 Ponseti instructional course held at Tygerberg Stellenbosch Medical campus, and helped to coordinate the Johannesburg visit and practical training by the faculty.
Dr Gregory Firth
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Dr Greg Firth heads the Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg, where he runs a dedicated Ponseti clubfoot clinic. The clubfoot clinic is the busiest in Southern Africa, and sees about 50 patients weekly, where Ponseti casts are applied and follow-ups done.
Dr Firth completed his orthopaedic training at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008. He completed two post-graduate fellowships in paediatric orthopaedics – 12 months in Ontad commitment to the clubfoot kid Melbourne, Australia. During this time, amongst many other conditions, he treated children with clubfeet using the Ponseti Method. He was part of the faculty on the 2012 SAPOS Clubfoot Course and the 2013 STEPS Ponseti Botswana training, 2014 Mahikeng training and 2015 Maun training. Current Secretary of South African Paediatric Orthopaedic Society (SAPOS). Dr Firth is a Ponseti faculty trainer (FT). He does training, outreach visits and follow-ups on complex cases for the Botswana clubfoot programme and has a weekly private clubfoot clinic in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Professor Anthony Robertson
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Current President: South African Paediatric Orthopaedic Society (SAPOS) Ponseti faculty trainer (FT).
Professor Tony Robertson started in paediatric orthopaedics in 1993 at Baragwanath Hospital where he performed many surgical corrections of clubfoot up until 2005 when he moved to the Johannesburg Hospital. It was then that he became interested in the Ponseti Method. Prof. Robertson attended the STEPS Ponseti course in 2006, and started the Ponseti clubfoot clinic at Johannesburg Hospital.
He was fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Dr Ponseti in Iowa for a week early in 2007. He returned to Iowa later in 2007 for the International Clubfoot Symposium, and at that time attended a Ponseti technique course run by Dr Jose Morcuende. Prof. Robertson was part of the faculty for the STEPS 2007 Ponseti training at Johannesburg Hospital. Dr Robertson motivated for the STEPS 2007 Steenbeek training workshop, which was successful in providing a sustainable source of braces for three hospitals in Gauteng, with a continuing production of 50-70 braces per month. He was part of the faculty for the 2012 SAPOS Clubfoot Course, and the 2013 STEPS Ponseti Botswana training. Prof. Robertson heads the dedicated clubfoot management clinic at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, providing Ponseti treatment to 30-40 patients weekly.
Dr Paul Rollinson
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Chief Orthopaedic Specialist, Ngwelezana Hospital and Region Four in KwaZulu-Natal Dr Paul Rollinson’s interest in the Ponseti technique started in September 2004 after a short paper delivered at the SA Orthopaedic Congress in Pretoria. He followed this up and read widely about the technique before implementing it at the Ngwelezana Hospital in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, which is the referral centre for 13 district hospitals from the North coast and inland Kwa-Zulu Natal. In 2005, Dr Rollinson presented his early experience with Ponseti at the SA Orthopaedic congress.
Dr Paul Rollinson attended the 2006 South Africa Ponseti training. By October 2009, over 200 children had been treated at the Ngwelezana Hospital’s clubfoot clinic using the Ponseti Method. The provincial orthotic service based at Wentworth Hospital in Durban attends Ngwelezana Hospital every month to provide braces for patients treated there. More than half of the clubfoot cases are from rural district hospitals. Dr Rollinson trains junior doctors in the Ponseti technique, and has been a major influence in his region in changing the treatment protocol for clubfoot.
Dr JPJ (Kobus) Smit
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Paediatric Orthopaedic Consultant and Lecturer: University of Free State and Free State Health Department Established: Paediatric Orthopaedic Service for Central South Africa (PAEDOS) in 1995, an outreach programme for the provinces of the Free State and Northern Cape Dr Kobus Smit became interested in the Ponseti Method in 2004 and attended the first STEPS Ponseti training in 2006. He was part of the faculty at the 2007 STEPS Ponseti training and the 2012 SAPOS Ponseti instructional course. Dr. Kobus Smit established weekly dedicated clubfoot clinics at Bloemfontein National District Hospital and Pelonomi Regional Hospital. Dr Smit is a Ponseti faculty trainer (FT)
Dr Smit travels to the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape to do clubfoot outreach at various clinics, including Kimberley Hospital, which has the only clubfoot clinic in the Northern Cape, and Frere Hospital. The Bloemfontein clubfoot clinics treat many Lesotho patients, since there is an inter-government agreement that any Lesotho child with a referral letter can be treated at a South African hospital. Dr Smith has daily contact with the Orthopaedic Registrars and supervises professional development, assessment and research projects. He is involved in clinical orthopaedic research on the management of clubfeet. This research has been presented at SAOA and SAPOS meetings, and in the South African Orthopaedic Journal. Dr Smit has been part of STEPS faculty at Ponseti workshops in Seychelles, Tanzania, and Botswana.