Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Group (CPRG)

CPRG is a special interest group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) and is affiliated to the Critical Care Society of Southern Africa (CCSSA). CPRG aims to build an environment in which physiotherapists and other interested professionals (and experts) can interact to promote and enhance cardiopulmonary care for acute and chronic conditions. The group advocates evidence-based practice and emphasises continued education to encourage members to become leaders in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation field.

CPRG aims to establish a reliable evidence-based knowledge base for cardiopulmonary assessment and care through:

  1. Developing best practice guidelines
  2. The promotion of learning activities
  3. Establishing and maintaining relationships with national and international individuals and organisations with similar interests.

CPRG Group Executive committee

Chair A/Prof Brenda Morrow
Past chair Mrs. Natascha Plani
Treasurer Ms. Michele Lottering
Secretary Ms. Anri Human
Marketing Ms. Alison Lupton-Smith
Education manager Mrs. Jacqui Schewitz
Members without portfolio’s Dr Ronel Roos
Mrs. Cathy O’Brein

Provincial committees

Province Chairperson Contact
Gauteng Cikizwa Mafanya
Kwa-Zulu Natal Nermia Paruk
Western Cape Alison Lupton-Smith

A/Prof Brenda Morrow

Brenda Morrow is an Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Cape Town (UCT), South Africa. A physiotherapist by training, Brenda worked clinically from 1995 to 2006 at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. She developed a special interest in paediatric respiratory diseases, particularly in the context of critical care and the management of children with Cystic Fibrosis, and embarked on a Master’s Degree in 2001, which was upgraded to PhD in 2003. In 2005 Brenda was awarded a PhD for her dissertation, “An investigation into nonbronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage and endotracheal suctioning in critically ill infants and children”. In 2008 she completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Medical Research Council of Southern Africa (MRC). In 2009 she was awarded an MRC Career Development Award to develop clinical research using electrical impedance tomography – an emerging, noninvasive imaging tool which allows real-time quantitative analysis of ventilation distribution. In 2012 she was promoted Ad Hominem to Associate Professor. Since 1998, Brenda has been engaged in teaching and supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her current job description includes expanding the African Paediatric Fellowship Program to train paediatric allied health and rehabilitation therapists throughout Africa and to facilitate the concept of a multidisciplinary, holistic approach to child health practice and research. In 2014, she completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Research Ethics (with Distinction) through the University of Stellenbosch. Brenda is Chair of the Department of Paediatrics’ Research Committee; a member of the Faculty of Health Sciences Research and Human Research Ethics Committees; and a member of many special interest, editorial and advisory boards. She has published and presented her research findings widely, and won several awards. She is deputy editor of the Southern African Journal of Critical Care and a regular reviewer for many international journals.

Natascha Plani

Natascha Plani is a clinician in private practice in Alberton, Johannesburg, South Africa, with a special interest in critical care and trauma. She obtained a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy – Traumatology and Critical care in 2012. She is involved in post-graduate lecturing and an invited speaker at short courses and congresses locally and internationally. She has served on various committees of the South African Society of Physiotherapy and World Confederation of Physical Therapists (WCPT). Natascha is currently the treasurer of the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physical Therapists (ICCrPT) and has been member of their Executive Committee since its inception in 2011. She is the co-author of the orthopaedic chapter of the newly published textbook Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy in Trauma.

Michele Lottering

Michéle Lottering currently works at Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, mainly working ICU with a special interest in cardio-thoracic surgery. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Pretoria (UP) in 2008. She then completed her community service year at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in 2009 working in various clinical settings. She continued working at Steve Biko Academic Hospital working in cardio-thoracic surgery ICU for a further four years before she started working at Sunninghill Hospital. While working at Steve Biko Academic Hospital she assisted with the supervision of undergraduate physiotherapy students from UP. Michéle completed her MSc course work and research report “The scope of practice of physiotherapists who work in intensive care units in South Africa”. Michéle serves on the executive committee of the cardiopulmonary special interest group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy.

Anri Human

Anri Human qualified as a physiotherapist and worked in private practice for four years before becoming a full-time lecturer at the Physiotherapy department of Medunsa in 2008 (now Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University). She has a special interest in Respiratory Paediatrics and is currently registered for her PhD in this field. She also has a passion for research in higher education and completed the Post-graduate Certificate in Higher Education programme at the University of Pretoria in 2011.

Alison Lupton-Smith

Alison Lupton-Smith qualified as a physiotherapist in 2007 from the University of Cape Town (UCT). After completing her community service, she has been working in private practice in Cape Town for the last seven years. Her fields of interest are both paediatric and adult critical care and pulmonary rehabilitation. Alison is also involved in undergraduate teaching for the cardiopulmonary module in the Division of Physiotherapy at UCT. She began her Master’s degree, in the Department of Paediatrics (UCT), in 2012 and after significant progress upgraded to PhD in 2013, for which she is currently registered. She currently serves on the executive committee of the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Group (CPRG), a special interest group of the South African Society of Physiotherapy and is also the chairperson of provincial CPRG branch.

Jacqui Schewitz

Jacqui Schewitz works in private practice in Johannesburg South Africa. Jacqui completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Wits in 2003 and 2013 respectively. Her research involved the functioning of the diaphragm. She works at Netcare Sunward Park and Netcare Waterfall City Hospital where she is involved in clinical care. Jacqui has published internationally and nationally on the diaphragm as well as the thoracic post-surgical patient. She is currently the CPRG Education representative and compiling guidelines for the physiotherapy management of the COPD patient in South Africa.

Ronel Roos

Ronel Roos is a cardiopulmonary lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa. She was a clinician for 12 years prior to joining the physiotherapy department at Wits in 2009 where she teaches and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students, coordinates the first year physiotherapy and undergraduate cardiopulmonary programs. She practiced as physiotherapist in South Africa, USA, UK and Saudi Arabia. She is an active member of the South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP) and serves on the executive committee of the cardiopulmonary special interest group of the SASP. She completed her MSc dissertation entitled “Exercise testing of patients in an acute care setting” in 2003. She completed her PhD thesis in 2014 entitled “Risk factors and the effect of physical activity modification for ischemic heart disease in individuals living with HIV”. She has published nationally and internationally, and presented her research findings widely.

Nerima Paruk

Nerima Paruk qualified in 1993 from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal – Westville Campus. She worked in government at Frere Hospital, for a year, before working for a private practitioner and then opening up private practice in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape. She returned to Durban -KZN in 1998 and has been in Private practice at Netcare Parklands Hospital for the past 17 years. She runs a general hospital practice with a keen interest in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. She has been actively involved with the KZN CPRG for over 6 years, became secretary in 2010, and vice chair to Gillian Adams in 2011 before becoming Chairperson in 2012.

Provincial Chairs

Kwa-Zulu Natal