Ponseti International Staff
Jose Morcuende, M.D.
Dr. Morcuende is President and CEO of the Ponseti International Association. Originally from Madrid, Spain he studied Medicine at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain, where he also did his PhD. He moved to the United States in 1991. He is a Professor at the University of Iowa Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, and Pediatrics. His clinical practice is in Pediatric Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Oncology. He is Director of the Molecular Genetics Orthopaedic Laboratory, concentrating on the genetics of clubfoot, scoliosis and other children disorders. He has more than 70 publications and has spoken in many national and international meetings. He is former Chairman of the POSNA Bone and Joint Decade Committee, member of the AAOS Bone and Joint Decade Committee and the member of the USBJD Board of Directors. He is also Director of the USBJD-Clubfoot Project.
Thomas Cook, M.S., Ph.D
Thomas Cook is the Director of Global Operations for Ponseti International. He received his Ph.D. in industrial engineering from The University of Iowa and is currently a professor at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. Cook is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, the American Public Health Association, the Human Factors Society, the Iowa Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association, and the National Safety Council Committee on Development Standards for Control of Cumulative Trauma. He has been involved in the UI College of Public Health’s new center the Global Public Health Campus (GPHC), a collaborative project with the WHO that allows experts around the world to work together to educate and train health care workers, share research, and build a community of public-health workers.
Cathy Grothe has been the Program Manager of Ponseti International since 2012. She oversees all day-to-day operations for the program. Grothe works with many of the international doctors to coordinate training programs in their country as well as working to bring physicians to the University of Iowa Ponseti Center of Excellence. Prior to working for Ponseti, she spent six years as the Director of University Marketing & Communications for a small, private college. Prior to that time, she spent 15 years in Division I intercollegiate athletics administration working with corporate sponsors, fundraising and sport administration. Grothe is a native of Iowa City and received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Iowa.
Tomeka Petersen, MSW, LISW
Tomeka Petersen began working at PIA in March 2013 serving as the Program Manager of a USAID grant to work with in-country champions to establish national clubfoot treatment programs in Nigeria, Pakistan and Peru. Prior to joining PIA, she was employed with the WiderNet Project at the University of Iowa. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Boston and an MSW from Simmons College. She has over 17 years of experience working in the U.S. and abroad empowering the lives of underserved children and families. She served in Peace Corps Kenya, 2001 to 2003, and served as a volunteer Life Skills facilitator with Global Camps, South Africa, in 2004. Tomeka lived and worked in Eldoret, Kenya from 2005 to 2008 assisting in the design and implementation of a food security and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) program at AMPATH.
Ponseti International Board of Directors
The PIA Board of Directors serves in a business advisory capacity to the University of Iowa and the PIA. Our board contains outstanding business and community leaders as well as parents of children with clubfoot who were fortunate enough to find Dr. Ponseti and were treated by his method. All board members are deeply dedicated to the PIA mission to spread information about the Ponseti method to parents, the medical community, and the world.
William Whitmore, M.D.
Dr. Whitmore is a retired orthopaedic surgeon from Davenport, Iowa. He learned the Ponseti Method during his residency training under Dr. Ignacio V. Ponseti at The University of Iowa. He has been an organizer, supporter and volunteer at the Ponseti International Association since 2007. Dr. Whitmore has assisted in Ponseti Workshops in Iowa City, as well as several countries in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia and Mexico. He is deeply committed to PIA’s vision of a world free of neglected and improperly treated clubfoot.
Dr. Shafique Pirani
Dr. Shafique Pirani is a Clinical Professor at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of British Columbia Medical School. Dr. Pirani's major interest is in clubfoot. He is widely known for his clubfoot assessment tool (known as the Pirani Clubfoot Severity Score), for his pioneering work on how the Ponseti method corrects the clubfoot deformity, and for initiating the movement for the use of the Ponseti Method in developing nations. He is the Project Director of the Uganda Sustainable Clubfoot Care Project, a $1.8 million Canadian International Development Agency funded initiative to build capacity for sustainable Ponseti clubfoot management throughout Uganda. Dr. Pirani has been widely recognized for his work. His awards include the Canadian Orthopaedic Association's Award for Excellence, the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America's Angie Kuo Award, the University of British Columbia's Impact in the Community Award, and Fraser Health's Above and Beyond Award.The PIA Medical Advisory Board works in consultation with PIA Board of Directors and staff to formulate, implement, and monitor worldwide training and practice of the Ponseti Method. Each member is carefully chosen based on their demonstrated strategic global health engagement.
John Buchanan is a philanthropist and co-founder of the Iowa-based insurance consulting firm Riepe, Buchanan & Piper, which was later acquired by the Marsh and McLennan companies. He graduated from The University of Iowa with a degree in marketing in 1956 and was an adjunct professor in the University of Iowa's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center from 1989-2000. John has been a passionate leader in the creation of the Ponseti International Association. He and his wife, Ellen, are active in the Iowa City community and are generous supporters of The University of Iowa as well as the Iowa City Public Library. Both John and Ellen are recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Jennifer Trevillian became a parent advocate for children with clubfoot (talipes equinovarus) when her oldest child was born in March 2000. Her personal struggle to find good information about treatment options for her daughter and adequate medical care grew into a passion for helping other families avoid similar challenges. There are an estimated 1 million children currently living with the debilitating consequences of untreated clubfoot. Jennifer’s efforts focus on non-invasive treatment of clubfoot, public education, eradicating the unnecessary suffering of children with untreated clubfoot, and giving new and expectant parents the information they need to find care for their child.
Martin Egbert is a founder of Nevada West Partners and has been involved in real estate developmnt for 31 years in Nevada, Illinois, Texas, New England and Utah. His son, Joshua, was born with bilateral clubfoot in March 1999. A traditional pediatric orthopedist treated Joshua from birth until 6 weeks of age, at which time Martin and his wife, Allyson, took Joshua to see Dr. Ponseti. Three Ponseti casts later, Joshua’s feet reached correct position. Since then, the Egberts have been involved in helping to distribute information on the Ponseti Method to parents of clubfoot-affected children throughout the world. Martin earned a B.S. degree in pre-med/dental and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University.
Amer Haider has 18+ years of experience in the hightech industry. He has been involved in starting and scaling multiple hightech companies. Currently he is the Vice President of Corporate and Business development at Cavium (NASDAQ: CAVM). The non-profit sector is very dear to Amer. He has been on the board of multiple non-profits and has cofounded two non-profits focused on supporting treatment of clubfoot and improving the quality of medical care for little people. Amer earned master degrees in engineering and business from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and has multiple patents pending in the area of digital security and processor architecture. Amer and Munira, his wife have three children and live in silicon valley.