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Armstrong Keynotes at Launch of UK World-Class Wound Healing Unit

On Monday, May 12 health care staff, patients and political officials gathered for the ribbon-cutting of a new integrated healthcare service center in Mayday University Hospital in London for people with diabetes, vascular conditions and those needing specialist wound care. The new center, based in the refurbished Fairfield wards, will provide a high standard of wound care for complex wounds and diabetic feet from a local specialist team. Several thousand patients each year are expected to be served by this new facility.

From left: Hellen Walley, CEO of Mayday NHS Trust, Stella Vig, Vascular Surgeon, Prof. David G. Armstrong and Richard Ottaway Conservative Member of British Parliament.

The official ceremony included keynote remarks by David Armstrong, DPM, PhD, Professor of Surgery at the William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and International Wound Care Ambassador. Dr. Armstrong explained to the 100 guests how a multidisciplinary team working together can prevent an amputation. “It takes a team to prevent an amputation, and podiatrists, vascular surgeons, nurses, educators and diabetologists, among others, can work together to make a real difference,” said Dr. Armstrong.

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 Innovative Treatment Methods Can Prevent Amputations: Indian Podiatrist


The podiatric surgery department in the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS)  is one of the few centrers of excellence in India in this field. "Diabetic foot surgery and modern management of diabetic foot problems are not given any prominence in our graduate and under-graduate medical courses, and so, young doctors have very limited exposure and skills in managing such patients. This is a great irony since we have many millions of people with diabetes and the burden of diabetic foot disease is very great in India, where diabetes is the commonest cause of amputations.


Dr. Harish Kumar


Proper and efficient medical care with use of the latest technology and innovative treatment methods can prevent amputations in the majority of cases," said Dr. Harish Kumar, Professor in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Podiatric Surgery, AIMS.


Source: Vinod Nedumudy, Deccan Chronicle [5/20/18]



Custom Orthotics Provide Added Value Vs. Pre-fabs - Canadian Podiatrist


According to an old proverb, there are two things you should always be willing to invest heavily in: a great bed and a comfortable pair of shoes. After all, if you’re not in one, chances are you’re in the other. It’s hard to argue against that advice, but according to New Minas-based podiatrist Caroline Leverett, there might be something to add to it. That something, says Leverett, is a custom foot orthotic. 


Caroline Leverett


A foot orthotic is a device that is inserted into your shoe to support, align, prevent, or accommodate foot deformities and improve foot function. “Store-bought inserts may be helpful if you’re just looking for a little bit of extra cushioning or support,” she says, “but that’s really where their benefit ends. Over-the-counter inserts won’t actually correct the biomechanical causes of your pain, and that’s where custom foot orthotics really add value.”


Source: Joel Stoddart, The Chronicle Herald [5/15/18]



UK Podiatrist Discusses Blister Treatment


Mike O’Neill, a consultant podiatrist in Windsor says, "Ideally, it (a blister) should be left to heal naturally, because breaking the skin could lead to an infection or delay healing. If it’s smaller than a 5p (a U.S. dime), leave it and cover it with a blister plaster such as Compeed.


Mike O’Neill


If the blister is big, or it happens in the middle of a big walk, it might be better to pop it. Use a sterile needle – run it through a flame on a match or lighter – then gently pop the blister and drain the fluid before covering it with a plaster (Band-Aid)."


Source: Eve Simmons, Daily Mail [4/28/18}



UK Podiatry College Holds Foot Health Awareness Event  


People were encouraged to find out more about healthy feet at an event with podiatry students of New College Durham. As well as dispelling myths about podiatry, students also raised money for the homeless charity Crisis.


Podiatry students at New Durham College event


Barbara Chambers, head of the Durham school of podiatric medicine, said, “The lecturers and students involved in creating this event want to raise the public’s awareness of the benefits of good foot health and the role podiatrists play in maintaining healthy feet and lower limbs. Members of the public greatly under-estimate the importance and benefits of good foot health.”


Source: Rachel Conner, The Northern Echo [3/27/18]



CA Podiatrist's Team Awarded Top National Research Award in Qatar


Drs. Talal K. Talal, Bijan Najafi, and David G. Armstrong (who participated by video) were honored for a decade of interdisciplinary research collaboration dedicated to preventing amputation in people with diabetes in concert with the Qatar Foundation. They received the award from from Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF). It is considered the highest research recognition in the nation.


(L-R) Drs. Bijan Najafi, Talal Talal and Sheikha Moza bint Nasser


It was the fruit of a collaborative effort between Hamad Medical Co (HMC), Baylor College of Medicine, and USC. These efforts were led by Drs. Najafi (BCM), Talal (HMC), and Armstrong (USC). It helped to accelerate translation of wearable technologies and digital health to address some of the most devastating complications associated with the diabetic foot including foot ulcers, neuropathy, and poor balance. The team designed and validated several innovative wearable technologies for this purpose. 



International Podiatric Leadership Attends the APMA HOD


(L-R) Dr, Dennis Frisch, Christian Jerome, and Dr. Matthew Garoufalis


The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) House of Delegates always includes many in leadership from our profession. This year, not only do we have our new APMA President, Dennis Frisch, DPM but also, Christian Jerome, the current Vice President if the International Federation of Podiatrists (FIP), and past APMA President and current FIP President, Matt Garoufalis, DPM. These international leaders stressed the importance of APMA's leadership position in the world of podiatry. 



Irish Auditor General Cites Lack of Podiatrists Needed to Treat Diabetics


The lack of specialist podiatrists for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes in the Western Trust should be subject to an urgent Department of Health workforce plan by 2019, the Auditor General, Kieran Donnelly, has recommended. Mr. Donnelly said the shortfall in provision for local sufferers of a disease that affects almost six percent of adults in the North, needs to be addressed now.


He issued the warning in his newly-published ‘Type 2 diabetes prevention and care’ audit. In 2003, it was estimated that 76 podiatrists would be needed to meet demand in the North but only 36 podiatrists were in place, a shortfall of 40.


Source: Kevin Mullan, Derry Journal [3/10/18]



UK MP Supports Launch of College of Podiatry Report


Member of Parliament Rosie Cooper joined the College of Podiatry in Parliament to give her backing to the launch of a new report. The event highlighted the unique role of podiatrists in tackling some of the biggest healthcare challenges facing people in West Lancashire.


Member of Parliament Rosie Cooper


The report, "Podiatry: Driving value, improving outcomes - The vital role of podiatry in keeping our population active – saving lives and saving limbs" covers three key areas in which podiatrists contribute their expertise and demonstrate their value. They are: 1. Diabetes and vascular disease, specifically foot ulceration and amputation prevention, conditions which cost the NHS around £1 billion per year. 2. Falls prevention, particularly among the elderly, which costs the NHS and social care around £2.3bn every year, and rising. 3. Musculoskeletal conditions, which consume around 5% of the NHS budget.


Source: Henry James, Champion [3/9/18]



Podiatry Recognized By Israel Health Ministry


After standing in the line for years with other health professions waiting for the Health Ministry to prepare rules regarding the profession of foot and ankle treatment, the Knesset Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee on Wednesday completed regulation of podiatrists .


The committee approved permitted activities of podiatrists and podiatric surgeons (qualified to perform minor operations for bone, joint, ligament, muscle and tendon pathology). As a result, the profession will be recognized and supervised by the ministry, and therapeutic standards will be set. Those who work in the profession will receive an Israeli license and new immigrants who have worked in their country of origin will also be able to work in Israel. In addition, hospitals will be able to employ podiatrists.


Source: Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, Jerusalem Post [2/14/18] 



Irish Politician Decries Lack of Podiatric Services


Eamon Scanlon has called on Health Service Executive (HSE) bosses to urgently assign staff to cover podiatry services in Co. Leitrim. There have been no services available in the county since November because of staff shortages. Deputy Scanlon explained, “Podiatry services in Leitrim have not been operating at full capacity for several months now, and patients have been contacting my office extremely concerned about the situation. These treatments are extremely important for people with diabetes and foot ulcers and are essential to ensure that people can remain mobile and active. These conditions can be very serious - if they are not actively managed, they can result in amputation.


“The fact that we have had no chiropodist or podiatrist in Leitrim for over five weeks is simply not acceptable. While I appreciate there are staffing issues, more efforts need to be made to ensure that replacement staff are recruited so that a full service can resume. I am calling on HSE bosses to fill these posts as a matter of priority so that people needing these services have access to them in their own area.


Source: Leitrim Observer [1/9/18]



Podiatry Association of South Africa Turns 40


The Podiatry Association of South Africa (PASA) celebrated their 40 anniversary at their 11th Biannual Congress in Johannesburg this past weekend. With over 200 participants from South Africa and around the world, podiatrists, students, insurance administrators, and other physicians enjoyed a wide range of topics pertinent to podiatric medical practice in South Africa.


(L-R) Simon Bartold, Dr. Matthew Garoufalis, PASA President Brandon Magen, and conference chair Calvin Sinnet.


Past APMA President and current FIP President Matthew Garoufalis, DPM delivered a keynote address on the "Value of Care of the Podiatrist" emphasizing the improved patient outcomes and cost savings that are realized with the inclusion of a podiatrist in the care of the diabetic foot. Dr. Garoufalis also gave presentations on limb salvage, total contact casting, the use of negative pressure wound therapy, and the use of amniotic membranes in wound healing.



WDF and Podiatry Institute Partner to Train Health Workers on Diabetic Foot Care 


Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre, Lagos State, in partnership with World Diabetes Foundation (WDF) and the Podiatry Institute, United States, are partnering to train doctors and other health workers on how to manage and prevent diabetes-related foot complications. The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Isiavwe Afoke, said diabetic foot complications, though preventable, are a leading cause of hospital admission, amputation, and mortality in diabetic patients worldwide.


Dr. Isiavwe Afoke


The training, which is the 4th annual workshop on diabetic foot care, will be held in Lagos from August 21 to 25, and is aimed at improving management and prevention of diabetes-related foot complications. She explained that the training would also help raise awareness on proper foot care in persons living with diabetes mellitus. She said, “For diabetes mellitus foot syndrome, prevention is better than cure. Sadly, many persons affected report for treatment too late, when not much can be done to help them, except amputation, to save their lives.”


Source: Franka Osakwe, The Guardian [8/20/17]



Malta Podiatrists Still Unemployed, Months After Graduating


Podiatrists who completed their course just under a year ago have still not been employed in the public service, months after graduating. Speaking to this newspaper on the condition of anonymity, one of the 10 podiatrists said that while they had completed their course at the University of Malta in May last year, they were still in the dark as to whether they would be employed in the public service or not. “We completed our course in May and had our graduation ceremony in November. We were only called in for an interview last month after having received no feedback,” the podiatrist said. 


She insisted that during the interview, the candidates were told that they would be informed whether they had been selected or not in two weeks’ time, yet, they have not been contacted still. “We cannot wait around twiddling our thumbs until we get the call. Some of the podiatrists have even had to resort to seeking employment in different sectors,” the podiatrist said, adding that the group had been in touch with the UM Voice of the Workers in an attempt to resolve the issue but this, too, proved in vain.


Source: Claire Caruana, Times of Malta [5/5/17]



U.K. Urged to Do More Against Bosses’ Demands on Heels 


The U.K. must do more to protect women from discriminatory workplace dress codes, a panel of lawmakers said, after more than 150,000 people signed a petition calling for it to be illegal to make employees wear high heels.


On average, women say they suffer pain from ill-fitting high heels within one hour of putting them on, the report said, citing evidence from the College of Podiatry. A fifth of respondents to a survey by the college said they were in pain after just 10 minutes.


Source: Thomas Penny, Bloomberg [1/24/17]



Lack Of Enough Podiatrists In Oman Barrier To Diabetic Foot Care: Expert


Infections of the foot are one of the most common concerns for those suffering from diabetes worldwide. But experts say preventive measures can reduce the risk of lower limb ulcerations and amputations by 45 to 85 per cent. However, lack of sufficient podiatric professionals in Oman is being cited as a barrier to providing care for patients with diabetic foot diseases. A study conducted by Ibrahim al Busaidi, Nadia Abdulhadi, and Kirsten Coppell at the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in 2016 outlines this as a main challenge associated with diabetic foot diseases.


Ibrahim al Busaidi


According to Busaidi who is working at the Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch Hospital, in New Zealand said, “A shortage of podiatrists is common in many countries worldwide, particularly in developing countries.” He added that there are 16 podiatrists employed in the public health system in Oman, of which 13 are based in Muscat and the other three are located in Dakhliyah, North Sharqiyah, and North Batinah governorates. “This equates to approximately one podiatrist per 5,000 patients with diabetes in Oman.


Source: Hamood al Breiki, Muscat Daily [12/27/16]



The Duchess of Cornwall Meets With Podiatrists and Patients


The day of meetings followed a busy day yesterday for Camilla (the Duchess of Cornwall) who enjoyed a rare night out with her son Tom Parker Bowles and husband Charles. She started her day at a visit to the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine in central London where she met with podiatrists and patients.


Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall


Dressed in a chic blue dress emblazoned with yellow flowers, the Duchess, who is Patron of the College of Podiatry, was treated to a guided tour of the hospital. During her day out, she met with Dr. Tariq Khan, who examined a young patient alongside the royal, as well as showing her the benefits of therapeutic insoles. 


Source: Rebecca English and Bianca London, Daily Mail [9/8/16]



IMO Reaffirms Podiatrists' Role in Diabetes Management


The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) has written to the Health Services Executice (HSE) to highlight that GPs who hold a GMS contract are not resourced to undertake chronic disease management in general practice. The move comes after the HSE attempted to introduce changes in diabetes work practices in the North East region in advance of additional resource provisions and a new GMS contract.


A letter from Dr. John McDermott, Chair of the HSE Dublin North East Diabetic Services Implementation Group, detailed the appointment of three full-time and two-part time podiatrists at hospitals. This is part of the National Diabetes Foot Care Programme and includes a national podiatry referral form for GP use. Dr. McDermott wrote that podiatrists would now be accepting referrals for diabetic patients with “high-risk feet.”


Source: Naimh Cahill, Irish Medical News [8/31/14]



Podiatry Institute to Hold Diabetes Workshops in Nigeria


In its effort to sensitize Nigeria’s medical community about the risk of leg amputation for people living with diabetes, Rainbow Specialist Medical Centre, Lekki, is scheduled to hold Nigeria’s first Podiatry and Diabetes Foot Care Workshop. Announcing this at a press conference in Lagos, the Medical Director of the centre, Dr. A. R. Isiavwe emphasized that the workshop was aimed at educating key players in the medical community on how to look after the feet of persons with diabetes in a bid to reduce the rate of amputation currently experienced in hospitals nationwide.


The workshop would be held in partnership with members of the Podiatry Institute, Georgia, USA. “We are trying to stand in the gap,” Isiavwe said. “As of today, we do not have any foot care training policy in Nigeria, so we are partnering with the Podiatry Institute from the USA, which members would be the facilitators of the workshop.”


Source: Solomon Elusoji, This Day Live [3/13/14]



Lack of Needed Podiatrists Noted in Nigeria


The lack of local capacity and training of podiatrists (medical specialists in foot care) for people living with diabetes in Nigeria is currently taking its toll on the management and care of the disorder in the country. Currently, there are no podiatrists in Nigeria; neither are there training facilities or institutions equipped to build capacity for the specialty.


Findings by Good Health Weekly reveal that even if a trained podiatrist comes into Nigeria from abroad, such specialist would find it difficult to integrate or practice. Yet, other specialists such as endocrinologists who are trained to look after diabetics, cannot effectively carry out their role without the support and contribution of podiatrists.


Source: Sola Ogundipe, [3/11/14]



GA Podiatrist Bequests Gift to APF in Honor of CA Podiatrist


Mort Wittenberg, DPM, a long-time supporter of American Physicians and Friends for Medicine in Israel (APF) recently made a generous gift in recognition of the efforts of its immediate past president, Dr. Paul R. Scherer. Dr. Wittenberg's gift will help support the Fellowship Program that brings exceptional Israeli physicians to the United States for a year of education at a major University Hospital setting with the intent of the doctor returning to Israel to educate other physicians.


Dr. Mort Wittenberg


Dr. Wittenberg and his wife have been dedicated supporters of Israel and the APF for more than 40 years. Dr. Wittenberg took time out of his practice in Georgia each year to establish a small clinic at Kfar Menachem in Israel to treat patients before Israel had official podiatrists in the Ministry of Health. He was one of the driving forces, which ultimately resulted in the establishment of the foot clinic at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.


Source: AFP Newsletter [February 2014]



Complaints Against UK Podiatrists Orchestrated by Orthopaedic Surgeons

Orthopaedic surgeons claim they regularly have to repair disasters caused by podiatric surgeons. "There are two groups of podiatric surgeons, one of them is willing to work alongside orthopaedic surgeons in hospitals, and the other is not," says Anthony Sakellariou, spokesman for the British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. "All the problems I have seen come from this second group."

The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists insists the complaints about podiatrists are being orchestrated by orthopaedic surgeons anxious to protect their territory. Spokesman Ron Finlay said: "A small number of cases go wrong, whether conducted by podiatric surgeons or orthopaedic surgeons. It is not the case that podiatric surgeons are any less competent than orthopaedic surgeons when it comes to foot surgery."

Source: Lois Rogers, Daily Mail



UK Elderly Forced to Pay $27 to Get Toenails Cut

Elderly residents in a number of Sheffield care homes are being forced to pay up to £17 ($27) to have their toe nails cut. ‘Significant’ numbers of old people face a waiting list of more than four months to get basic foot care from the NHS, meaning they have no choice but to fork out for a private podiatrist. A lack of trained members of care home staff, and a shortage of training spaces, worsen the problem.

Only four NHS podiatrists are available to cover about 500 new referrals a month from the city’s 91 care homes. Sheffield Podiatry Service has less than 25 per cent of the proportional number of staff than the national norm.

Source: Gael Stigant, Postcode Gazette [10/30/12]



Furor Over Closure of Podiatry Clinic in South Africa

Cape Town pensioner Rachel Jacobs, 80, suffers from chronic diabetes and, since being diagnosed in 1993, has suffered complications related to the disease such as foot ulcers and foot infections. Her conditions steadily worsened as she could not afford to pay a podiatrist to treat the symptoms. But since trained podiatric volunteers opened up a foot clinic in 2005 at the provincial-run day hospital in Kensington, she received treatment that saved her from possibly having to undergo amputation.

However, the treatment she and over 1,000 other diabetes patients receive at the Kensington-Factreton KENFAC Foot Clinic is running out as the volunteers have been ordered to vacate the room they occupy at the clinic by the end of this month. The decision to evict the KENFAC Foot Clinic podiatrist has sparked anger among the Kensington residents, the hospital's health committee, and the patients who receive treatment there, with calls to the provincial health department to intervene in the matter.

Source: Peter Lahanga, West Cape News [9/18/12]



Podiatry Clinic Cancellations Prompt Peninsula Trust Apology

About 140 patients requiring treatment on their feet and legs had appointments cancelled at short notice. Peninsula Community Health (PCH) said "unexpected" staff sickness had forced it to suspend the clinics, although that had now been addressed.

But Diabetes UK said missing routine treatment could lead to complications which could result in amputations. A podiatrist diagnoses and treats conditions which affect the foot, ankle, and lower legs. These range from relatively minor conditions, such as corns and bunions, to serious issues such as ulcers and circulatory disorders.

Source: BBC [8/20/12]



UK Podiatrists Given Right to Independently Prescribe Meds

Physiotherapists are to be allowed to prescribe medicines without a doctor's authorization, as long as they receive the appropriate training, the government has announced. Podiatrists are to be given similar independent prescribing powers, increasing access to treatments for patients with conditions affecting their feet or ankles.

Alan Borthwick

Alan Borthwick, from the College of Podiatry, said the change in legislation "will provide the podiatry profession with greater flexibility to prescribe and supply appropriate treatment to meet individual patient needs."

Source: Netdoctor [7/24/12]