IFSHT History

The International Federation of Societies for Hand Therapy (IFSHT) was formed as a result of the participation of hand therapists in the First Congress of the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH) in the Netherlands in 1980. Encouraged by Doctors Raoul Tubiana and Yves Allieu from France and Dr Georgio Brunnelli from Italy, the IFSHT was founded with an initial membership of twelve countries.

The First International Congress of IFSHT was held in Tel Aviv, Israel in April 1989, Evelyn Mackin, USA, taking the Presidential Chair, with Jean-Claude Rouzaud, France, appointed the Secretary General. The first Council meeting of IFSHT was held on 13th April 1989 and was attended by delegates from Australia, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and USA, with observers from Taiwan and the Netherlands

Growth The Federation continued to grow and by May 1992 when the Second Congress of IFSHT was held in Paris, five more countries had also joined. IFSHT continues to grow. The 12th IFSHT triennial congress took place in London, England in 2022 with a virtual attendance as an option for the first time in IFSHT history.  The London congress hosted 439 in person therapist attendees and over 100 therapists attending virtually.  At the 2022 Council meeting, delegates from 39 countries attended, demonstrating how far the organisation has come in such a short time.

Recent History Successful congresses have been held every three years around the world. In 2012, IFSHT was registered as a non-profit organisation in Switzerland. IFSHT now has 38 full, 7 associate and 12 corresponding member countries representing all 6 of the permanently inhabited continents in the world.

History of IFSHT

Former IFSHT Congresses


2022   London, England – President: Nicola Goldsmith, England

2019   Berlin, Germany – President: Anne Wajon, Australia

2016   Buenos Aires, Argentina – President: Sarah Ewald, Switzerland

2013   New Delhi, India – President: Lynne Feehan, Canada

2010   Orlando, USA – President: Judy Colditz, USA

2007   Sydney, Australia – President: Maggi Persson, Sweden

2004   Edinburgh, Scotland – President: Annette Leveridge, UK

2001   Istanbul, Turkey – President: Corianne van Velze, South Africa

1998   Vancouver, Canada – President: Victoria Frampton, UK

1995   Helsinki, Finland – President: Jean-Claude Rouzaud, France

1992   Paris, France – President: Evelyn Mackin, USA

1989   Tel Aviv, Israel – President: Evelyn Mackin, USA

Inspiring Video

Video from former President Evelyn Mackin

IFSHT Past Presidents

A video from IFSHT Past Presidents