Karen Moss – Executive director and founder
Karen Moss is a writer, and entrepreneur with qualifications in marketing, and public relations. From 2000 to 2005, Karen was a magazine columnist, TV presenter, and company director. In July 2005, Karen expanded her career to include pioneering community work when a passionate vision, driven by her son Alex being born with bilateral clubfoot, led her to introduce the Ponseti method and establish Steps Clubfoot Care in South Africa.
Since 2003 Karen has written informative articles and educational materials for parents on clubfoot that have been translated into many languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Swedish, Hebrew, Mandarin, French, Italian, Danish, Russian, Hungarian, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Setswana, Sesotho, Swahili, and Bulgarian. Karen wrote a children’s bedtime storybook, My Clever Night-Night Shoes, to encourage brace wear. The book has been translated into German, Xhosa, Swedish, Afrikaans, and Italian and has distributors in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa.
Karen developed and wrote the material for the Steps Ponseti for Parents© programme (translated into 9 languages, and part of the Africa Clubfoot Training curriculum for Africa and Latin America). Karen is a clubfoot spokesperson and mentor in southern Africa and gives talks at local and international clubfoot meetings on her work. She contributed to the curriculum content of the Africa Clubfoot Training Project. She is on the advisory group for the CEDA (Clubfoot Early Detection and Adherence) project with Hope Walks. She is on the panel for #Runfree2030, a global clubfoot treatment expansion campaign.
Her focus is on the clubfoot patient’s wellbeing, and she provides information and support for families. 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, Lesotho 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, sharing her expertise and the award-winning Steps theory of change programme model.
When Karen isn’t working she spends time singing in the Cape Town Philharmonia choir, and walking with family, friends and dogs on the beautiful mountains and beaches around her home in Cape Town.
Connect with Karen on LinkedIn.
Gabrielle Rademeyer – Office manager, training coordinator
Gaby is often the point of contact that a worried parent will have when finding out their child has clubfoot, either on the phone or on email. Gaby first joined Steps in January 2013 as coordinator. She worked full time for Steps until she took a leave of absence to travel to South America in 2017 She returned to Steps in April 2018 as she just couldn’t stay away.
Gaby has a background in Early Childhood Development, training, education, advertising, and production manager for film and events.
Her role has changed and developed as Steps expanded. She now considers herself an expert on clubfoot care, spending a lot of her time supporting parents and caregivers of patients, sharing her knowledge of the clubfoot care journey – from cast care to bracing, to what socks to wear and tips on how to stay positive and stick to the treatment.
Having been at Steps for longer than the four to five years of treatment for a child born with clubfoot, Gaby has witnessed many patient’s graduation from casts to boots, to full graduation of out of the boots. This encourages her to advocate the Ponseti Method and the Steps ethos to all those born with clubfoot and the family members who often start out in despair and end up being clubfoot champions and shining examples of the success of the Ponseti Method.
Jeanne Day-Spriestersbach – Operations coordinator
Jeanne joined STEPS in March 2019, after being involved in the hospitality industry for over 30 years.
She established her own Event Management Company at the beginning of 2000, after holding positions in corporates, which provided the skills and expertise for her to specialise in Sales and Marketing, as well as Event Management. Over the years, the company provided her with various services for top tier clients. These services included local and international sporting events, press and media launches, conferences and training, international and local incentives, as well as large concerts and festivals.
She decided to make a lifestyle change and join STEPS after understanding and being exposed to Steps Clubfoot Care through Karen.
Jeanne understands that charities are in constant need of funding, materials and resources. She would like to now dedicate her time, skills and passion to the cause of assisting children born with clubfoot and provide support to parents affected by clubfoot.
She will be involved in driving the fundraising and assisting with the administration and operations management. Her inspiration for her career change was from the quote by Mahatma Ghandi:
‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’
Jane Mackinnon – National Clinic and Data Coordinator
Jane is the national clinic and data coordinator. She aims to ensure that Steps offers the same benchmark care throughout each of its clinics on a national level.
She has a passion for working with children and families in the public health sector.
Jane had an BSc honors degree, and has previously worked for both the NGO sector and in business as an operations and personnel manager.
“I feel extremely blessed to be a part of this amazing team,” she says. “I love meeting the patients, mothers, fathers, grannies, grandpas, aunties and uncles etc. Our aim is to first and foremost set their minds and ease by telling them that clubfoot is completely treatable and fixable. It is very important that the families are 100% on board to ensure the best and most effective treatment and outcome for each and every child.
My role as a parent advisor is to reassure and arm the worried parents that their child will not be defined by Clubfoot.
It is really is incredible being part of the journey and seeing the change and relief and happiness in the parents’ faces.
It is so important that we spread the word that Clubfoot is treatable and fixable and continue to reach more areas where this is still an unknown, specially in rural Africa,” Jane says.
Alan Millar – Data analyst
Alan has worked in health non-profits since 2004, and joined the Steps team in 2014. He has a passion for finding efficient ways to address the legacy of inequality and social injustice in South Africa.
He is 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.
Alan is a part-time consultant for Steps, hi s time is mainly spent devising ways of collecting more information with less cost and effort from partner clinics, 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. When not deep into data, Alan is a keen musician, playing guitar and vocals with his surf rock band Krakatoa at various clubs around Cape Town.
Janine van Niekerk – Social enterprise
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 works on ideas to diversify Steps’ income stream while serving our beneficiaries. The clubfoot brace, an essential part of Ponseti treatment is listed on the World Health Organisation top 50 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 identifies stakeholders, manages the sourcing 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 and social media coordinator
Luke has been part of the Steps team since February 2016.
A 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.
He really believes in Steps’ core purpose to improve 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 in the lives of children born with clubfoot, but also in the lives of their parents and families. He spends his time devising cost effective and creative ways to spread the message in the broader community that clubfoot is treatable, to remove the stigma, and encourage more clubfoot champions to get involved in raising funds for and awareness about clubfoot treatment.
Luke develops marketing strategy and branding, and collects and tells stories through social media.
Angela Sutherland – Financial manager
Angela joined the Steps team as Financial Manager at the beginning of November 2013 after a career break to raise two children.
She loves that the 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 manage budgets, financial reporting, funding development and proposals. Angela manages tax and fiduciary compliance, and provides our auditors with information for the annual financial year end.
Connect with Angela on LinkedIn.
Penny Hlakula – Admin coordinator, Special events
Penny has more than 14 years experience in the NGO sector, with a strong background in organisational support services. She specializes in project administration, executive assistance, office management, events coordination, community development and facilitation. Penny’s work exposure covers the labour movement, environmental education, community development and workers’ education sectors.
Penny is passionate about youth development and the empowerment of women and girls. She has been involved in local, regional and global movements for the realization of women’s sexual reproductive rights as well as the recognition and promotion of labour rights for women.
Another interesting part of her work history includes working with youth as a community organizer for environmental awareness, HIV/AIDS and socio-economic issues, as well as hosting a youth radio show. She has proudly fought gangsterism, violence and crime in her community working alongside different stakeholders in the community (NGOs, SAPS, Dept. of Community Safety, Community Policing Forum, etc.). She continues being a student of the University of Life through her own human journey.
Thikho Mudau – Clinic coordinator Bloemfontein
Thikho Mudau is an inspirational young woman who is currently loving life as an entrepreneur, singer and fashion designer. She has been running her own business since 2015.
Thikho joined steps in 2018: “The journey has been nothing short of amazing, the mothers and the babies are absolutely precious. It’s more than just a job, it’s an act of service.”
Thikho advocates for woman and children and believes we have a responsibility to do everything in our might to protect the most vulnerable members of our society. Being part of the STEPS team has led to her finding her true purpose; helping others.
Ivy Muffler – Clinic coordinator Gauteng and North West Province
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.
Ivy is parent educator and Steps clinic coordinator at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria. She also does regular outreach support to clubfoot clinics in North West Province, in Mahikeng and Mmabatho.
Ursula Kibido – Clinic coordinator Gauteng and Limpopo Province
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 at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and George Mukhari Academic Hospital. Ursula trains new clinic coordinators and parent educators for other clinics.
Always ready with a smile, Ursula finds the work at Steps extremely valuable and gratifying.
Refiloe Khoza – Clinic data capturer Gauteng
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.
She is data capturer for the little patients attending clubfoot clinics at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital and George Mukhari Academic Hospital.
Refiloe is always eager to help with a smile and a content heart.
Phumzile Zondi – Clinic coordinator KwaZulu-Natal
Phumzile is the parent adviser and data capturer for the weekly clubfoot clinics held at Greys and Edendale Hospitals in Pietermaritzburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal. Phumzile completed her in-service training in administration at Greys Hospital Anaesthetics Department. She joined Steps in 2017.
Enthusiastic and committed to her role, Phumzile has had an interest in social work since an early age. Her passion lies in helping other people and she believes in the Steps goal of improving the lives of children that are born with clubfoot.
Phumzile loves to encourage parents in the process of treating clubfoot. What she most enjoys about her job is seeing the relationship that forms between the parent and child because of the progress they make at the clinic.
Tshepang Seisa-Chilume – Founding trustee Steps Botswana Trust
Tshepang is a mother of two children – a daughter, and a son who was born with clubfoot 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 alumni of President Obama’s Young African Leaders.
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.
Professor 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 ‘Vaatjie’, Prof 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 with Karen Moss.
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, Namibia and 2014 Ponseti training in Seychelles. Prof du Toit has published research and presented papers on clubfoot treatment on the Ponseti Method. Prof du Toit works closely with Steps on clubfoot treatment using Ponseti as the treatment of choice. He coordinates Steps partnership with the South African Paediatric Orthopaedic Society advises on medical protocol, pathway or care guidelines, and collaborates on training and planning for capacity building at the various clinics Steps that supports in the region.
Dr Stewart Dix-Peek
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Acting Head: Paediatric Orthopaedics Red Cross Children’s Hospital Clinical Head: Maitland Cottage Children’s Orthopaedic hospital. 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 Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital, 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. MCCOH 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 Orthopaedic 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. He was a director of Steps from 2005 to 2010.
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 at large (London, UK)
Dr Greg Firth is a UK-based medical adviser and consultant to Steps on training and clubfoot research. He works at the Royal London Hospital as a Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon and is part of the UK Ponseti Users group.
Dr Firth was head of the Paediatric Orthopaedic Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg until April 2018, where he ran a dedicated Ponseti clubfoot clinic. The clubfoot clinic is one the busiest in Southern Africa, and sees 60-80 patients weekly, where Ponseti casts are applied and follow-ups done. He is now based in London, working for the NHS, but still consults to Steps on training and clubfoot research for best practice.
Dr Firth completed his orthopaedic training at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2008. He completed two post-graduate fellowships in paediatric orthopaedics. 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, 2015 Maun training, and 2016 Worcester training. Past Secretary of South African Paediatric Orthopaedic Society (SAPOS) until 2018. Dr Firth is a Ponseti faculty trainer (FT).
Professor Anthony Robertson
Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon
Past President (2018): 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 1st Steps South African 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 Ngwelezane Hospital’s clubfoot clinic using the Ponseti Method. The provincial orthotic service based at Wentworth Hospital in Durban attends Ngwelezane 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), he has been faculty at Ponseti training in Botswana 2014, Seychelles 2014, Dar es Salaam, Worcester 2016 and the Ponseti symposium at the 2017 ISPO conference.
Dr Smit travels to the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape to do clubfoot outreach at various clinics, including Kimberley Hospital, Upington, and Frere Hospital. The Bloemfontein clubfoot clinics also treat 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.