Saturday 18th September 2021 | Twitter

Home / Education & Research / Flying Faculty

Flying Faculty


One of the WFNR’s key objectives is to advance the development and improve the quality of neurological rehabilitation across the world.  The WFNR recognises that global education and training are of paramount importance in increasing the awareness of neurorehabilitation, its practice and service provision.  The skills and expertise of WFNR members are portable and transnational so the WFNR Flying Faculty was established to advance education in those countries where neurorehabilitation was in its infancy.  Over the years the specialty has developed globally, the Flying Faculty gained new members and it now facilitates neurorehabilitation education by supporting countries wherever and whenever possible.  

The WFNR receives many requests for assistance with all levels of neurorehabilitation training, and the WFNR Flying Faculty is willing and able to teach on educational programmes throughout the world.  

What does the Flying Faculty do?

The WFNR Flying Faculty ‘flies in’ to the host country and delivers an expert training programme to a diverse group of health professionals in a short, intensive time period.  The trainees learn the skills required to develop and implement neurorehabilitation services, and the trainers learn more about the issues and challenges faced by those countries.

The WFNR Flying Faculty participates in training programmes instigated within a country and, also, provides conference presentations at national meetings. 

All levels of training programmes can be developed and/or delivered by the WFNR Flying Faculty.    

Where does the Flying Faculty travel to?  

Since its inception, the WFNR Flying Faculty has travelled the globe.

Parts of Asia, Bosnia and Moldova were amongst the first countries to host the WFNR Flying Faculty and Certificate Courses were held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK.   The Flying Faculty has travelled to many countries across the world including Nigeria, Russia, The Philippines, United Arab Emirates, Mongolia and  The People’s Republic of China.

Who is the Flying Faculty?

The Faculty comprises eminent WFNR members who are willing and able to teach on educational programmes throughout the world.  Many of the Faculty are the WFNR Presidium or Regional Vice-Presidents (see 

How do I get the Flying Faculty involved?  

The members of the Flying Faculty will provide their time at no cost and will not require support from the host organisation for international travel costs.  However, hosts are expected to provide local hotel accommodation, meals and local transport.
If you would like to host a teaching course, please complete the attached form and email this to Tracey Mole,







Work address




Telephone number


Mobile number




Course title


Course objectives




Who is the course aimed at?


Outline the course programme*



List the agreed local speakers


List the topic(s)

you would like the Flying Faculty to cover


Provide 2 or 3 dates for the proposed course




How many delegates are expected to attend the course?


How will you evaluate the course?


Please confirm that local travel, meals and  accommodation for Flying Faculty members can be provided for the course duration**


 *    Attach programme if available
**   All international travel costs will be covered by WFNR

Please email this form and any supporting documentation to Tracey Mole,





Peshawar, Pakistan  12-13 November 2019

The Flying Faculty of WFNR was invited to give a two-day course on Neurorehabilitation as part of a series of conferences organized in Peshawar/Khyber Pashtuna/Pakistan, November 12 – 16, 2019,  the annual meeting of the Pakistan Neurosurgical Society and ICRAN – International Conference on Recent Advances in Neurotraumatology, by the WFNS Committee on Neurotraumatology. In parallel with this course other teaching courses were also held in the compounds of Northwest Medical School e.g. Course on Clinical Methods, on Brachial Plexus and Nerve Injury, Interventional Neuroradiology in neurotrauma, and a course of Global Neuro Essentials for Neurotrauma.

Despite the number of courses given parallel to Neurorehabilitation, this two-day course attracted more than 150 attendees, who received a certificate at the end of the course.

The faculty consisted of Drs. Bazo, Pistarini, Tonin, Wasti and Mehdorn x2. Dr. von Steinbuechel was unable to attend because of personal reasons but gave her slides to be presented.

All faculty members were enthusiastic about the teaching, and all delivered excellent lectures on their respective fields of particular interest and knowledge – teaching from basic facts to more sophisticated technologies. The Faculty was able to cover the most important fields of neurorehabilitation and conveyed the message that Neurorehabilitation is essential also – and particularly - in these middle and low income countries.

The audience consisted mostly of students of physiotherapy of various levels (bachelor and higher) but also a lot of doctors of physiotherapy and some neurologists and neurosurgeons.

Although they were at various levels of knowledge, they understood the main messages so that they could be helped to see more sense in their learning and their future profession – e.g. balancing the need of physicians’ guidance and physio-/ergotherapy importance.

At the same time, listening to the local speakers who also delivered excellent lectures and were very cordially received by the auditorium, the Faculty learned a lot about the local facilities: Most patients are treated only in an acute fashion and then sent home being left alone. There's only one probably excellent military rehabilitation institution with very limited access for the non-military population. Even the very well-equipped Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi does not have a rehabilitation unit included.

On the other hand, there is a Paraplegia Center in Peshawar which has a very peculiar history: It was instituted by the International Committee of the Red Cross during the war in Afghanistan in the 70s and was abandoned at the end of the war. It was given back its original destination in the early 90s; it is the only spinal cord injury center in Pakistan and also cares for patients coming from Afghanistan.   Drs. Bazo, Pistarini, and Mehdorn x2 went to visit at the end of the conference on November 14 and spent many hours discussing with the principal and his staff areas of mutual interest and to learn how this problem is dealt with in Pakistan. The Faculty as very much impressed by the possibilities and the development they have made over recent years, and will certainly try to help them in the future.

Tentative plans have been discussed intensively with Dr. Bazo to cooperate. Similarly, Dr. Mehdorn joined the group invited to discuss neurosurgical/neurorehabilitation needs in cases of mass casualties with the Commander General of the Region. A medicopolitical task for the future will certainly be to overcome the gap between acute neurosurgery/neurology/orthopedics and neurorehabilitation- so far both areas seem to live very separate lives.

Needless to mention the Faculty was very much impressed by the great Pakistani / Pashtuni Hospitality and organizational skills: They were taken from and to the airport on time as requested, were housed in the Five Star Hotel Pearl Continental in Peshawar, were brought to and from the conference site, the Northwest Medical Campus, by a police-escorted bus. In addition, those who had scheduled departures a little later, were taken to a very interesting tour to historic Peshawar – needless to say great Pashtuni dinners, as well as a tour to Khyber Pass following ICRAN and even Hindukush area – Chitral valley.

It was a great learning experience for all of the Faculty and they definitely think they can bring some knowledge on Neurorehabilitation to the peoples of Peshawar and Northern Pakistan. Int the end, they would like to thank the WFNR Presidium to have supported our Flying Faculty to Peshawar, and we hope to be of further help in other parts of the world as well, to promote neurorehabilitation to the benefit of the patients in need. 


Peshawar, November 14, 2019

Humberto Cerrel Bazo, Anne-Sophie Mehdorn, Maximilian Mehdorn, Caterina Pistarini, Paolo Tonin, Sabahat Asim Wasti

Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in Russia

November 2018

Jill Winegardner, PhD

This two-day training entitled Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: Master Classes took place on 12 and 13 November 2018 at the Three Sisters Rehabilitation Centre in Moscow, Russia, with support from the Flying Faculty of the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation. The invitation came about as a result of the decades-long work of British neurologist Dr Pauline Monro, who has brought western methods in neurology-related care to Russia. As part of this broad effort, she invited world-renowned expert in neuropsychological rehabilitation, Professor Barbara Wilson, and others to introduce the concept of holistic neuropsychological rehabilitation to Russia. Although these ideas were met with some resistance in early days due to Russian strict adherence to the teachings of Alexander Luria, more recently there has been gradual acceptance that these new ideas are consistent with the fundamental beliefs of Luria regarding the importance of careful study of individual patients and reliance on evidence in our practice.


In March 2018, Dr Jessica Fish and Dr Jill Winegardner from the Oliver Zangwill Centre delivered a two-day practical workshop entitled A Formulation-based Approach to Neuropsychological Rehabilitation at First Pavlov State Medical University St Petersburg and Sputnik Rehabilitation Center in Kamarova. The workshop was very well received, and Jill and Jess received a special invitation from the leading rehabilitation specialist in Russia to participate in the Tenth International Congress on Neuro-Rehabilitation, 31 May – 1 June 2018, in Moscow, along with three other British colleagues, in a day devoted to British-influenced neuropsychological rehabilitation. To their delight, two Russians (one psychologist and one neurologist) presented on their incorporation of the British formulation model in their own work.


At this Congress, Jill and Jess were invited back to Moscow to the Three Sisters Centre for further practical training in the formulation-based approach. Unfortunately, Jess was unable to go, but Jill traveled to Moscow in November 2018 to spend two days with a group of psychologists from Three Sisters, from Moscow State University, and from the International Institute of Psychosomatic Health. These three groups work closely together and at the end of the two days, we formed plans for further collaboration and promotion of this model in Russia, working together with British colleagues.


The two days consisted of a combination of lectures, clinical case presentations, and family meetings, along with opportunities for discussion and networking. The lectures covered Holistic Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: Principles and Practice; Selecting and Interpreting Neuropsychological Tests; and Evaluation and Outcome Measurement. The clinical case presentations led to practical sessions on goal setting and on formulation.


The first of the clinical case conference patients was a 32-year-old man who was four months post right hemisphere stroke with left hemiparesis and cognitive impairments including poor memory, lack of awareness of his deficits and poor insight into his limitations. Our intervention focused on helping the team respect his goals (drive and walk again) while supporting the short-term more realistic goals (transfers, safe wheelchair use). The second patient was a 29-year-old woman who was five years' post-traumatic brain injury whose chief goal was the improvement of mild right-sided physical weakness and sensory changes. However, on reflection, she also agreed with goals that would improve her engagement in social and leisure activities and improve her confidence and emotional well-being. In this case, our intervention was to identify that the team presentation was disjointed and piecemeal, making it very difficult to share a coherent understanding or set appropriate plans. Our action was that the psychologists and the occupational therapist withdrew to another room and spent an hour developing a formulation for her. There was a constant buzz in the room as participants eagerly discussed and debated the formulation and goals.


At the end of the two days, the participants felt they were able to see for themselves how to implement what they learned in the lectures into their own practices. Everyone agreed the process of formulation leant a sense of “personhood” to the patients and resulted in a shared and coherent understanding of their features and goals. The session on neuropsychological testing led to an agreement to collaborate on bringing useful tests to Russia, where psychologists from Moscow State University will oversee their translation and adaptation to Russian language and culture. In addition, we agreed to have an ongoing collaboration to design studies through Moscow State University to demonstrate and promote the use of formulation-based assessment and rehabilitation in Russia.

Flying faculty activity in Santiago de Chile in October 2018

The XV Chilean congress on physical medicine and rehabilitation was held in Santiago de Chile from 18th to 20th of October 2018. Dra. Tania Gutierrez, congress president, and Dra. Carolina Rivera, president of the Sociedad Chilena de Medicina Física y Rehabilitatión and their team created a full 3 day-congress with parallel sessions for the multi-professional audience with a medical or therapeutic background in rehabilitation. Scientific tracks including cardiac, oncological, pediatric and post ICU rehabilitation aside from neurorehabilitation.

The WFNR flying faculty supported the neurorehabilitation track that ran over two days and the one day post ICU rehabilitation track. Professor Jorge Hernandez Franco from the Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitation and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Dr. Máximo Zimerman from the Clinica de Stroke, INECO, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Professor Thomas Platz, BDH-Klinik and University of Greifswald supported the congress with their lectures. Our hosts had been most generous to make our stay enjoyable.

Both the scientific standard, the inclusive multi-professional approach, and the positive atmosphere with a focus on promoting rehabilitation services and quality of care in all parts of Chile were most impressive. The attending, mostly young, motivated and talented professionals are engaged in a continuous process of improving rehabilitation services in their country and hence bringing quality of life to those affected by neuro- and other disabilities.

The WFNR was well advised to support the Chilean congress with neurorehabilitation being a major topic and the many professionals from all over Chile attending. The importance of both the successful educational and networking character of the meeting cannot be overestimated in a country with a long-standing tradition in academic rehabilitation education, a considerable number of both young (kids) and older people in need for rehabilitation and a clear vision to further strengthen rehabilitation among the Chilean professionals.

Kolkata, India,  hosts Flying Faculty, February 2017

Dr Aparna Dutt, a Medical and Social Doctor-Neurologist, organised a very successful six-day workshop in Kolkata, India from the 20-25 February entitled ‘Acquired Brain Injury: multiple dysfunctions to multidisciplinary actions’. 


The meeting was preceded by a one-day workshop on ‘Single Case Experimental Designs’ run by the WFNR Flying Faculty comprising  Professor Robyn Tate (Australia), Dr Michael Perdices (Australia) and Professor Barbara Wilson (UK).

The WFNR Flying Faculty members were joined by Professor Jonathan Evans (UK), Dr David Quinn (UK), Dr Mel Kaushansky (Canada) and Dr Anita Rose (UK). A skype session on ‘Management of fatigue after Brain Injury’ was conducted by Donna Malley (UK).

The meeting included a number of local speakers representing the medical profession and neuropsychology, and was well attended by delegates from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  The topics ranged from assessment to mindfulness; from cognitive rehabilitation to rehabilitation of emotional problems, as well as challenging behaviours. 

One of the highlights was a moving speech from Kiran Nadkarni, the mother of a teenage son who sustained a traumatic brain injury.  She described how badly she had been treated by the medical profession, but that a neuropsychologist had been invaluable in terms of providing her with information and support.

Commenting on the meeting, Barbara Wilson said: “The hospitality of the local team was exemplary.  Everyone worked hard from 8.30 in the morning to 6.00 or 6.30 in the evening, and the overseas speakers were then taken to dinner each night.  We feel that we have been able to influence brain injury rehabilitation in India and further afield.  A big thank you to the WFNR for allowing us to participate in this worthwhile endeavour.”

“Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: A Clinical Skills Workshop” - Chennai, India, August 2014

One of the most recent Flying Faculty iniatives was held in Chennai, India in August 2014.  This was a three day workshop.  Barbara Wilson (UK), Robyn Tate (Australia), James Malec (USA), Michael Perdices (Australia) and Narinder Kapur(UK), all neuropsychologists and members of the SIG in Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, collaborated with Indian psychologists and a neuropsychiatrist to run the workshop, which was entitled  “Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: A Clinical Skills Workshop”. Travel for the overseas speakers was funded by the WFNR, while accommodation and meals were provided by the local hosts. Judged by the enthusiastic response from the 147 delegates, the meeting was considered a great success. Post session questions from delegates indicated extreme interest on the part of the host nationals and several areas of mutual knowledge and research were highlighted. Many contacts were established from which it is expected that further research will develop. Hospitality, including an evening with members of the Madras Club, was excellent t and thoroughly appreciated by the guest speakers. Dr Nirmal Singh from the Developing World SIG was present for the first morning. Barbara Wilson was also invited to present a public oration to many attendees from Chennai including city officials and the press from “The Hindu” one of India’s foremost national newspapers. An accurate report appeared in this newspaper the following day.

The Flying Faculty with some of the local speakers

The workshop group