Foot health promoted this month at SLMHC
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) is promoting healthy feet throughout the month of May.
“The best way to prevent wounds and a possible amputation is by checking your feet on a regular basis. A lot of people don’t think about looking at the bottom of their feet necessarily and, as a diabetic, you can potentially lose the sensory on the bottom of your feet, so you wouldn’t feel an ulcer necessarily until it’s become a bigger issue that’s harder to deal with. Checking your feet is preventing it from turning into something that’s harder to manage,” said Sierra Hartnett, patient navigator for Sioux Lookout Diabetes Program.
The Sioux Lookout Diabetes Program and the Centre for Complex Diabetes Care have teamed up to organize a shoe drive at SLMHC.
“Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre is currently doing a shoe drive for the month of May, so we have put it out to a couple of the organizations in the community to drop off any running shoes, closed-toe shoes, in case any of our patients who come out from the north, or anyone in the community, don’t have proper footwear,” said Hartnett.
SLMHC is working to help improve foot health not only in Sioux Lookout, but in northern communities as well. Foot care nurses are training in the north so that community members and workers can provide foot screenings.
“Our foot care nurses here in the hospital are building capacity in the north by teaching community members, and community workers, how to do foot screenings to prevent wounds… Our foot care nurses are going into the north and teaching community members how to do the 60-Second Inlow. It’s a sixty-second screen, and it’s very quick to identify issues with skin breakdown, temperature differences, or any wounds. Then they can be referred to the appropriate provider,” shared Hartnett.
“We do a yearly conference where we train people in the north, but our foot care nurses actually travel to the communities. The Sioux Lookout Diabetes Program, all of our clinicians travel to the communities, but our foot care nurses are training in the community,” she added.
Along with training, SLMHC provides information to northern communities to help community members maintain proper foot health.
“We hand out pamphlets in the north as well for people to be able to identify hotspots or any calluses that turn into ulcers to make it easy for people to understand and identify any issues with their feet,” Hartnett concluded.