10 October 2022

Updates & Communications
October 2022

  • What's New This Month:
  • Word from Jen
  • Bellbird Girls Nestle Into Blackburn
  • Great National Hand Therapy Conference a Win for Dane
  • Jen Bags the Bread Tags for Good Cause
  • Elbow Dislocations
  • Ruth Zooms in as Our Lucky Petrol Winner
  • Fast Five With Janet Eagland
  • Haley Sprints to the Rescue


Jennifer Mathias
MHT Director
Senior Clinician

I don’t know about you, but I always breathe a sigh of relief when school holidays end. It’s not that I don’t like my children (mostly), but life with two teenagers can get a bit hectic at the best of times.

School holidays are always a busy period for the staff at MHT as parents rush to use the time to catch-up on reviews and assessments of their beloveds’ term-three sport injuries.

It’s been a packed fortnight and for consistency’s sake we’re delivering a packed newsletter to keep you up-to-date with what is happening across our eleven clinics and with our 13 therapists and awesome and much-loved support staff.

You’ll read about the launch of our sparkly new Blackburn premises which we have finally settled into after a frantic move from the former Bellbird site. Our amazing receptionists, clinicians and our Head of Finance and Operations David Ratner all helped in the shift, making it a smooth transition for staff and patients. So, thank you everyone. You can now take a breath.

In this edition, you will meet our gorgeous Mansfield patient Susan, who, in need of a splint, was surprised to find MHT hand therapist Haley Field on her doorstep with the special delivery. Haley (our resident Olympian … I will stop bragging about this one day) was hiking nearby and decided to hand deliver the device. It was a case of above and beyond for lovely Haley. 

There’s so much. Learn about elbow dislocations – they are painful and mainly occur in children - and our popular physiotherapist Dane gives us the low-down on his recent trip to Sydney for a clinical conference.

Oh yes …. our $400 Petrol Voucher winner has been announced! You will get to meet her. She’s a long-standing patient of MHT’s and I was chuffed to see her name pulled out of the metaphorical hat.

Phew, that’s a lot. But I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Bellbird girls nestle into Blackburn

The team from our former Bellbird site might have flown the coup, but they have taken no time in getting familiar with their new surroundings and colleagues and welcoming patients into the new premises in Blackburn.

As of last week, MHT’s suite at the Blackburn Clinic is officially live with hand therapists Emmeline Fooks, Haley Field and Nikita Kumar settling in and getting on with the business of helping patients to get on with their lives.

It’s been an emotional transition for Emmeline and Haley who worked at Bellbird for 13 years and ten years, respectively.

MHT was forced to move out of the premises when the Andrews Government acquired the entire Bellbird site with the plan to redevelop it as a public hospital.

As they say, one door closes (in this case Bellbird) and another opens (Blackburn Clinic Centre) and our team are happy in their new environment and already treating patients old and new.

Emmeline said that the new premises were light-filled, modern and easier to access, but that it was still sad to leave “our beloved Bellbird behind” and “all the lovely patients and staff” from the clinic.

Haley (and our superstar former Olympian … yes, I know, I will stop saying it one day), said she was shocked and sad when told the pair had to move out of Bellbird.

“Bellbird has always had such a lovely, small community feel about it and is a calm and friendly place to work and visit,” she said.

“I was sad to hear we had to move and will miss all the staff and familiarities we have grown to know and love there over the years. 

“But the staff at Blackburn Clinic have been warm, welcoming and accommodating and the new and spacious Carson suite just felt right.” 

Our Blackburn practice is located within the Blackburn Clinic, 195 Whitehorse Rd, Blackburn. It is on the corner of Whitehorse Road and Maple Street (heading out of the city) and there is plenty of easy parking at the back which you can enter through Maple Street. Ours is the “Carson Suite”, or suite 8.

To make an appointment with any of the Blackburn crew go to or call 9000 0557.

Great National Hand Therapy Conference a win for Dane

By Dane Johnson

At the end of August, I braved the airport chaos to travel to Sydney for the National Conference of the Australian Hand Therapy Association. Held at the Hyatt Regency on Darling Harbour, it was a successful event that saw three days of lectures, workshops and networking. We were lucky to have leading therapists and surgeons from Australia and internationally present their research and expertise.

Highlights included Val Jones from the United Kingdom who is an expert in elbow trauma and rehabilitation, Dave Walton, a pain specialist from Canada and Joy MacDermid from the USA who is doing some brilliant research into predicting outcomes following injury.

It was great to meet face to face with other delegates and reconnect with old colleagues after three years of zoom conferences. The AHTA put on a great event and I left feeling inspired to continue achieving great results in the clinic

I look forward to putting into practice all my new knowledge at MHT and can’t wait for next year’s conference in Adelaide.

Jen Bags the Bread Tags for Good Cause

Who is up for a good cause? Well, join MHT’s senior therapist and director, Jennifer Mathias, who is a key supporter of the incredible work by Breadtags 4 Wheelchairs.

The worldwide organisation recycles bread tags bound for landfill into plastic commodities which are then sold with funds raised going to those in need of wheelchairs in disadvantaged communities, mainly in South Africa.

In Australia, the tags are recycled into bowls, boards and pens. These are then available to buy online at recycler Transmutation and used to help struggling families acquire wheelchairs. Some of their bowls and whiteboards can also be found in Country Road.

Jen’s favourite drop-off point for her discarded bread tags is at Biome at Burwood Brickworks in Burwood East.

If you want to jump on board, find your nearest Victorian collection point here.

Read the amazing story of how the campaign began here

Thanks, Jen.

An Elbow Dislocation Is Painful But Can Be Treated

The elbow joint is made up of three bones – the humerus, the upper arm bone, the radius and ulna, the forearm bones. There are ligaments and muscles surrounding the elbow joint to allow for stability and mobility at the joint.

The elbow can flex and extend (bend and straighten) and pronate and supinate (rotate the forearm up and down).

An elbow dislocation is related to a traumatic incident where the joint is forced out of its normal position. Discolations can be described as ‘simple’ or ‘complex’. When a dislocation occurs the bones, ligaments, muscle and sometimes nerves can all be affected which impacts on the mobility, stability and function of the elbow joint.


Elbow dislocations are the result of a traumatic incident. This is often from a fall onto an outstretched hand where the force is transmitted along the forearm to the elbow. It can also be the result of impact from car accidents or sporting accidents. They are most commonly seen in children.

Signs & Symptoms

There will be significant pain following an elbow dislocation. Your arm may appear deformed and you will have reduced range of motion. An elbow dislocation is a medical emergency requiring urgent attention.


As part of the treatment, the elbow will be relocated. This ideally should be done in the emergency department of the nearest hosptial. You will need to be assessed by a doctor to determine the most appropriate treatment plan which will be dependent on the extent of the injuries. To help with this, you will be required to have an X-ray and other imaging such as a CT scan or MRI. This may be ordered by your surgeon if required.

If it is just a ‘simple dislocation’ where there are no fractures then, once relocated, you will be put in a sling or splint and you should seek early physiotherapy treatment. Early mobilisation exercises are usually encouraged to prevent the elbow from getting stuck. As you progress through the rehabilitation process, your therapist will guide you through strengthening exercises and ensure you return to your normal function.

For more complex dislocations, surgery will be required to stabilise fractures and/or repair ligaments. Post-operative therapy is essential to regain range of motion, strength and function in the arm.

Melbourne Hand Therapy Can Help You

Early mobilisation is important to restore movement and function in the elbow following a dislocation. Our upper limb therapists are highly skilled in assessing and treating the elbow and are well equipped to guide you safely through the rehabilitation process. The sooner you book an appointment for an assessment and treatment, the better.


Ruth zooms in as our lucky petrol winner

Congratulations to long-time MHT patient, Ruth Scott, the winner of our $400 petrol voucher competition.

Ruth has been with MHT for about six years and says she always finds it a “pleasant experience”.

“Despite the pain, I get advice and encouragement to keep wearing my cast and to continue with my exercises,” she says.

“And I get to have a chat with the reception girls at the front desk!”

Ruth, who turns 80 next month, says she was happy to “like” MHT’s Facebook and Instagram pages as part of the promotion and thought that would be the end of it.

“It was indeed a great surprise when I saw that I had won. Thank you so much!”

With her husband Bill, Ruth has four children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild and says both are lucky enough to be “very involved” in the lives of their kids and their kids and … their kids.

MHT director and senior therapist, Jen Mathias, says she was happy to see Ruth’s name “pulled out of the hat” as she was one of her favourite patients and had known her for a long time.

Well done, Ruth!!

Fast Five with Janet Eagland

For our October newsletter, we have handed the Fast Five microphone over to our lovely Ringwood receptionist, Janet Eagland. Janet has been married to former MHT General Manager, Steve, for 43 years! Wow. You don’t read that too often these days. The couple has two children but no grandkids unless, she says, “you count furbabies”. Take it away, Janet.

What football team do you support and why?

I support the mighty Hawks and have done so all my life. I grew up in Hawthorn going to games at Glenferrie Oval with my mum and grandma, and although I don't get to go as often, I still manage to make it to games at the 'G' with mum.

What are you reading at the moment?

At present, I am reading The Last Hours by Minette Walters

What is your guilty streaming pleasure?


What do you do to relax?

I like to read when I am relaxing.

What was your first job?

Checkout chick at Coles Glenferrie.

Haley sprints to the rescue

The therapists at MHT never let a little thing like 188km and three hours of driving get in the way of improving the lives of their patients.

Long-time patient, Susan, was in dire need of a comfort cool splint to relieve the painful arthritis in her thumb. Unfortunately (or fortunately, whichever way you look at it), Susan lives in Mansfield in the magnificent High Country at foot of the Victorian Alps.

After a telehealth conference with Susan, our Blackburn hand specialist Haley Field (have I mentioned that she’s a former Olympian?) sprang into action, loaded her three kids and a friend into her car and set off to Mansfield to deliver the splint to Susan, a local teacher.

After unloading the precious cargo (no, not the kids, the splint), Haley took the children and friend for an overnight hike to the famed Ritchie’s Hut on the banks of Mt Buller’s Howqua River.

Thanks, Haley. You are awesome.

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