First Annual Preventive Foot Health Fair
The Institute for Preventive Foot Health and Davis Regional Medical Center recently co-sponsored a health fair focusing on healthy feet and preventive foot care. Six area podiatrists, including Dr. Kenneth Bloom, Dr. Shalonda Davidson, Dr. John Longobardo, Dr. William O'Neill, Dr. Rachel Rader, Dr. Timothy Vogler, and other health care providers and organizations joined together in Statesville, NC for the first annual Preventive Foot Health Fair on April 14, 2016.
Historically, effort and research have been dedicated to treating conditions and illnesses after they occur, but this event sought to change the focus from treatment to prevention. According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. Another 86 million have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2. For people over age 65, the prevalence of diabetes is three times higher than it is in the general population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that there are about 70,000 lower limb amputations each year in the U.S. More than half of these are due to diabetes and vascular disease and are highly preventable through regular foot exams, preventive foot care, and effective management of blood sugar levels.
In addition to the podiatrists and a diabetes educator, healthcare providers and exhibitors at the event included Hanger Clinics, Family Pharmacy, Davis Family Medicine, Davis Regional Wound Healing center, Davis Regional Medical Center, Thorlos, and the Institute for Preventive Foot Health. Attendees received information on all aspects of preventive health care related to the feet. Free foot screenings, as well as blood pressure and blood sugar checks were provided.
More than sixty free foot screenings were performed in an effort to determine at-risk individuals and prevent future foot health problems. Seventeen were referred for follow-up based on foot conditions that were identified during the screenings. Statesville and surrounding area foot health care providers are excited to lead the charge in emphasizing the importance of preventive foot health, and the goal is to make this an annual local, and eventually a national, event.