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Board of Directors nominees

Last Updated:
July 06, 2020

2020 Nominees
AACPDM Board of Directors

Second Vice President: Lesley Pritchard (Wiart) PT, PhD

Lesley Pritchard (Wiart) PT, PhDDr. Pritchard is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Her research focuses on evaluation of effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions and processes of care for children with childhood onset disabilities with an emphasis on functional mobility, fitness, participation and inclusion. She is particularly interested in how child and family experience inform rehabilitation interventions and service delivery. Dr. Pritchard is an Associate Editor for Pediatric Physical Therapy, the official journal of the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy (American Physical Therapy Association) and the Pediatric Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. She is also an Editorial Board member for Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics.

Dr. Pritchard previously served the AACPDM as a member of the following committees: Treatment Outcomes Committee (2006 to 2009; chair 2008-2009), Awards Committee (2016-2020), Nominating Committee (2014-2015), and three Scientific Program Committees (2009 & 2017; co-chair in 2018). She also served on the AACPDM Board of Directors from 2011-2014.


Director at Large: Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, PhD, MA, MS, CCC-A/SLP

Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker, PhD, MA, MS, CCC-A/SLPDr. Hidecker is an Associate Professor in speech-language pathology and audiology at the University of Kentucky as of July 1, 2020. Previously, she has been a professor at the University of Wyoming and at the University of Central Arkansas. She is dually certified as a speech-language pathologist and an audiologist.

After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Speech & Hearing Science and Psychology, she completed a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, both at the University of Iowa. After working as a speech-language pathologist and as an audiologist in numerous settings, Dr. Hidecker pursued her PhD in Audiology and Speech Sciences at Michigan State University.  She then accepted a postdoctoral fellowship in cerebral palsy and epidemiology at Michigan State University, resulting in a Master’s degree in Epidemiology.

After attending the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AACPDM) meeting during her post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Hidecker has been a member of AACPDM since 2009. She has presented papers, posters, a breakfast seminar, and instructional courses at the national and international meetings. She has published articles in AACPDM’s official journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology (DMCN).  Her AACPDM volunteer activities include:

  • Member. Treatment Outcome Committee, 2009-2012
  • Scientific Program Committee Member, 2010, 2014
  • Member of the Therapy Working Group, Development of the CPRN, 2015-16
  • Member of the Neuromotor Skills and Functional Assessments working group, Identifying common data elements & meaningful outcome measures for CP, 2016
  • Reviewer, DMCN, 2008-current
  • Advisor, Advisor/Advisee program, 2019-2020
  • Reviewer, International Alliance of Academies of Childhood Disability, Knowledge Hub, 2020

She is also a member of related professional groups, including the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC).

Dr. Hidecker’s research interests include improving evidence-based intervention for communication disorders of individuals with developmental disabilities. She leads the development of the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) which has been used in cerebral palsy clinical and research endeavors. She is part of the team developing the Autism Classification System of Functioning: Social Communication (ACSF:SC).


Director at Large: Paige Church, MD

Joshua Hyman, MDDr. Church is an associate professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Paediatrics.  She is the medical director of the Neonatal Follow Up Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the physician lead of the Spina Bifida/Spinal Cord Injury Program at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.  Dr. Church is also the director of the Neonatal Follow Up Program at the University of Toronto’s Neonatal Centre, which encompasses follow up at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Mount Sinai Hospital, Hospital for Sick Children, and St. Michael’s Hospital.  Dr. Church has been in Toronto for the last 12 years and prior to that, she was on staff at The Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center for a year.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Vermont in 1993 and then proceeded to receive a medical degree from the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont in 1999.  She trained in Pediatrics at the Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, where she was first introduced to the idea of developmental and medical complexity at La Rabida Children’s Hospital.  She then was the first to apply for and to complete a joint fellowship in Neonatal Perinatal Medicine and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics with the American Board of Pediatrics.  Recognizing that she was missing important neurodevelopmental training, she partnered with Dr. Harry Webster, Pediatric Physiatry, for five  years in management and care of approximately 80 children housed at New England Pediatric Care, learning more about cerebral palsy, and many other neurological conditions and their management.  Dr. Church is currently dually certified through the American Board of Pediatrics in both Neonatal Perinatal Medicine and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics.

Dr. Church has been a member of the AACPDM since 2005 following attendance at her first meeting in Orlando.  Following that meeting, she reported that she had finally found an academic home for this unusual dual training and has since attended and participated as a speaker in multiple annual meetings.  Dr. Church has served with the program committee with the AACPDM in 2011.  Dr. Church has been a member of the Professional Advisory Council with the Spina Bifida Association since 2018 and with the Hydrocephalus Board Canada since 2017.  She is the chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Neonatal Follow Up Special Interest Group, starting in 2015.  Dr. Church has also served as a committee co-chair with the Provincial Council for Maternal Child Health (PCMCH) Neonatal Follow Up committee from 2013-2018, drafting guidelines for best practice for Neonatal Follow Up in Ontario and then developing an implementation tool kit.  She also previously served with the Canadian Neonatal Follow Up Network as a steering committee member from 2014-2018.

Dr. Church’s work has focused on the populations of the high risk infant and those with spina bifida and is passionate about improvement of systems of care and accessibility of care.  She has also focused on disability as a medical provider.