Keep­ing di­a­betic foot care avail­able

Carlo Rossini Memo­rial Di­a­betes Foun­da­tion do­nates $10,000 to help ex­pand foot care at Ac­tive Life­style Cen­tre

The Chatham Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - ELL­WOOD SHREVE THE DAILY NEWS eshreve@post­media.com @Dai­lyNewsES

Di­a­betic se­niors on low or fixed in­comes were fac­ing a chal­lenge ac­cess­ing af­ford­able and im­por­tant foot care with the clo­sure of a home care nurs­ing ser­vice in Chatham.

But the sit­u­a­tion has im­proved thanks to a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Carlo Rossini Memo­rial Di­a­betes Foun­da­tion and Ac­tive Life­style Cen­tre (ALC) in Chatham.

The ALC, which al­ready pro­vides weekly gen­eral foot clin­ics that serve ap­prox­i­mately 2,000 peo­ple a year, was will­ing to add di­a­betic foot clin­ics in the ro­ta­tion ev­ery other month, but didn’t have the spe­cial­ized equip­ment.

The foun­da­tion has stepped up with a $10,000 do­na­tion to help ALC be able to of­fer this ex­tra ser­vice.

“I’m thrilled,” said Jean Rossini, pres­i­dent of the Carlo Rossini Memo­rial Di­a­betes Foun­da­tion, that the ALC has agreed to pro­vide this ser­vice.

Linda Lu­cas, AL C ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, said ,“we could not have done this with­out (this) do­na­tion.”

She added Rossini helps peo­ple through the foun­da­tion in oth­ers ways, such as help­ing low-in­come res­i­dents get proper or­tho­pe­dic shoes and pro­vid­ing sev­eral free pairs of di­a­betic socks.

Lu­cas also cred­its the ALC board of di­rec­tors for agree­ing to ex­pand the foot care clin­ics.

She said the weekly and di­a­betic foot clin­ics are very rea­son­ably priced at $10-$15. How­ever, those who want to ac­cess the di­a­betic foot clin­ics must be re­ferred through the Di­a­betic Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre at the Chatham-Kent Health Al­liance, she added.

Rossini said the Cana­dian Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion closed its Chatham branch in late 2012, so now the foun­da­tion is the only char­ity in Chatham-Kent fo­cused on peo­ple with di­a­betes.

“The im­por­tance of foot clin­ics are huge if you have di­a­betes, es­pe­cially if you have fi­nan­cial is­sues,” she said.

Rossini said many peo­ple with di­a­betes can’t feel their feet, so they of­ten don’t know if they have a sore un­til they see blood on their stock­ing or sock.

When it gets to this point, the per­son of­ten ends up at the hos­pi­tal emer­gency room, she said, adding they may need to be ad­mit­ted or have surgery or even an am­pu­ta­tion.

Not­ing the foun­da­tion fo­cuses on pre­ven­tion, Rossini said one am­pu­ta­tion costs the health sys­tem $70,000 so “even if we pre­vented on am­pu­ta­tion (the sav­ings) could pay for foot clin­ics through­out Chatham-Kent.”

Rossini said there is a ser­vice gap in the health­care sys­tem, and has long ques­tioned why di­a­betic foot care is not part of the uni­ver­sal health­care sys­tem.

“It’s a frus­tra­tion, be­cause you think, ‘This should be a per­ma­nent part of the com­mu­nity,’” she said.

How­ever, Rossini said, “we’re de­ter­mined to keep those foot clin­ics go­ing,” adding there is a “tsunami if baby boomers” who are get­ting older with many hav­ing di­a­betes and liv­ing on fixed in­comes.

ELL­WOOD SHREVE/THE DAILY NEWS

Linda Lu­cas, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Ac­tive Life­style Cen­tre in Chatham, left, is pic­tured with Jean Rossini with the Carlo Rossini Memo­rial Di­a­betes Foun­da­tion in the foot­care room at the Ac­tive Life­style Cen­tre on Tues­day. The cen­tre has re­ceived a $10,000 do­na­tion from the foun­da­tion to en­sure di­a­betic foot­sore is avail­able for low and fixed in­come se­niors in the com­mu­nity.

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