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Dr Jon Ford

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Clinical and Managing Director

PhD, MPhysio, BAppSc(Physio), Cred MDT

Clinics: Boronia, Dandenong 

In the early 90s whilst lecturing at The University of Melbourne Jon began developing evidence-based treatment models for people with back pain.  He subsequently established Spinal Management Clinics (part of the LifeCare group) which became one of the leading providers of physiotherapy and multi-disciplinary pain management programs in Australia.  In 2014 to enable a greater focus on improving clinical quality and research, Jon with the practitioners below, purchased and rebranded the clinics as Advance Healthcare.  Jon continues his academic work as the Discipline Lead of Physiotherapy at La Trobe University, as well as leading the Low Back Pain Research Team.  

Jon's clinical and research interest is the diagnosis and treatment of difficult and/or persistent low back pain.  He is also the Team Leader of the Boronia multi-disciplinary Pain Management program.  

Jon speaks fluent German.


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Dr Aston Wan


Specialist Pain Physician


MBBCh, MA GDMM, MClEpid, MPainMed, MHeadacheMed, FRACGP, FFPMANZCA


Clinic: Boronia, Dandenong


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Dr Ekeuda Uchenna Ben Nwankwo

Pain Clinician

MBBS, MPHlth, MOcc&EnvHlth, PGradDipEmergMed, PGradDipChHlth, PGradCert.Derm, PGradCertEM. M.R.O

Clinics: Dandenong, Bundoora, Bundoora

Dr Uchenna is a Specialist General Practitioner with Post Graduate Studies in Pain Medicine; Occupational Medicine; Public Health; Rural & Remote Health; Emergency Medicine & Trauma.

He trained with both rural, metropolitan hospitals and health centres as well as big co-operate bodies in mining, ambulance services, oil and gas. He has wealth of experience in acute and chronic injury management, wellness program, return to work fitness assessment.

He has special interest in multi-disciplinary medicine and integrated approach to pain management for Occupational injuries in Workcover and T.A.C.


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Dr Olivia Ong

Rehabilitation and Pain Specialist

MBBS (Melb), BMedSci, FAFRM (RACP), FFPMANZCA

Clinic: Dandeong

Olivia is a dual trained Rehabilitation and Pain Specialist who has extensive training and experience in Pain Medicine, both during her rehabilitation registrar and pain fellow training and as a specialist. Olivia graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2004 and completed her Rehabilitation Specialist training in 2016.

Olivia undertook her pain fellowship at Austin Health, the Barbara Walker Centre for Pain Management, Alfred Health as well as Precision Health and Melbourne Pain Group from 2016 to 2018. She completed her Faculty of Pain Medicine training in 2018.

Along with consulting at Advance Health Care, Olivia is also consulting as a Rehabilitation and Pain Specialist at the Epworth Camberwell and the Melbourne Pain Group. Her main interest is in neuropathic pain in neurological disorders, in particular central pain disorders.

Olivia is also fluent in Mandarin and Indonesian and along with her excellent communication skills, she values greatly an emphatic approach to the sociopsychobiomedical management of her patients.


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Mr Luke Surkitt

Physiotherapist

BPhysio, Cred MDT, PhD candidate

Clinic: Boronia, Dandenong

Luke commenced working as a physiotherapist for our group in 1997. Since then, he has developed experience in treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions with a particular interest in acute and chronic spinal pain.  Luke is currently completing a PhD on the treatment of low back pain using the McKenzie approach. He is also the author or co-author of several research articles on low back pain published in physiotherapy and medical journals.

Luke is a member of the multi-disciplinary Network Pain Management team at Advance Healthcare Boronia. He also works part-time at La Trobe University tutoring students in research skills in the Masters of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy programs.


Mr Charles Ruddock

Principal Psychologist, Clinical Psychologist 

BA, Grad Dip(Psych), MPsych(Coun)

Clinics: St Albans, Bundoora, Dandenong

Has spent 12 years working as a psychologist in hospital and private practice settings.  This has included assessing and treating patients, managing and supervising multi-disciplinary teams, developing and delivering training and providing consultancy services.   Has strong clinical skills in a range of areas with a particular interest in: chronic pain conditions, stress conditions, workplace injuries (physical and stress related), returning to work after a workplace injury (physical or stress related).


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David Young

Clinical Psychologist

BAppSc(Psych), MPsych, DPsych, MAPS

Clinic: Bundoora, St Albans, Dandenong

David is a Clinical Psychologist who has been practicing since 2007. He has wide experience working in many different psychological settings including hospitals, community settings, corporate psychological organisations and general as well as clinical private practices. David has experience setting up and managing mental health and health related programs in Melbourne and Sydney and consequently is experienced working with individuals with a wide range of psychological presentations. He uses evidence based approaches to psychological treatment and is trained in CBT, ACT, Schema and DBT related therapies.

David has completed numerous university degrees including a Bachelor of Teaching, a Masters in Psychology (Counselling) and a Doctorate in Psychology (Clinical). David has completed 3 post graduate theses investigating different topics including personality traits and drug/alcohol motivation. David’s doctoral thesis focused on the complex relationships between various psychosocial variables and their association with chronic pain.


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Joon Choi

Clinical Psychologist

BSc (Hons), MSc, PgDipClPs

Clinics: St Albans, Boronia, Dandenong

Joon completed his Clinical Psychology training in New Zealand and has wide-ranging experience working in Health, Forensic, and Community settings across a number of different population groups.  This has involved clinical roles in assessment and therapy, both as a lead clinician and as part of a wider multi-disciplinary team.  Joon has a strong adherence to evidence-based practice in psychological assessment and treatment, based on a firm grounding in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT).  Joon prioritises client engagement with strong interpersonal skills, guided by an underlying commitment to responsive and empathic practice.


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Scott Bednarz

Physiotherapist

Clinic: Boronia, Dandenong

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Scott graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2013 and has been treating patients in a private practice setting since. Over this time he has developed a keen interest in pain science and the treatment of persistent low back pain, which is why he is very excited to be part of the team at Advance Healthcare.

Scott enjoys working with his patients to help them set and achieve challenging and rewarding goals. He also enjoys teaching and mentoring and is keen to develop this to one day work at a University level.

Outside of the clinic Scott enjoys playing guitar and piano, as well as teaching his dog, Ollie, new tricks. Scott is also a keen traveler and is slowly ticking places of his list.


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Susanna Blagin

Psychologist

B.S, Grad Dip (Psych)

Clinic: Dandenong

Susanna is a registered psychologist with experience in public and private settings. She has many years of experience in assessment, diagnosis and the provision of evidence-based psychological treatments including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapy and dialectical behaviour therapy. She has worked with a variety of mental health difficulties and across the lifespan (children, adolescents, adults and older adults). She takes a humanistic approach and places a great deal of value in the therapeutic relationship.

She is currently completing her Masters of Clinical Psychology.


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Kirsten Stower

Physiotherapist

BPhysio, APAM

Clinics: Dandenong, Boronia

Kirsten graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of Queensland. Since then she has worked in private practice in both Australia and England, where she has treated a variety of patients, including those with acute sporting injuries and persistent pain.

Kirsten believes in a holistic approach to patient care, placing great importance on active rehabilitation and education towards long-term self-management. Kirsten enjoys working within a multidisciplinary team to assist patients with persistent pain in developing the necessary skills to empower them to achieve optimal health and happiness. In order to ensure her patients receive the best evidence-based treatment, Kirsten commenced her Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management) at the University of Sydney in 2017.

Alongside persistent pain, Kirsten has an interest in treating patients with shoulder, knee or running injuries.

When Kirsten isn’t at the clinic she enjoys hiking in the Dandenong ranges, wakeboarding, running and practicing yoga.