Diabetic Wound Certified Nurses Paying It Forward in Philadelphia

Diabetic Wound Care certified nurses had a dream to create a free diabetic foot screening clinic and open it up to the city of Philadelphia, PA. Their dream came true.

Philadelphia Nursing Team, WCC's and DWC's getting ready to open up the clinic.

Philadelphia Nursing Team, WCC’s and DWC’s and Dr. Fanelly getting ready to open up the clinic.

Wound Care Education Institute’s (WCEI®) clinical team presented a session last year called “Paying It Forward” at our annual “Wild on Wounds” convention. This session was all about developing and coordinating free community diabetic foot screening clinics. We walked attendees through every step necessary to conduct such a clinic, from choosing a location to marketing and funding, and including logistics such as station supplies and staffing.

As a result, Stanley A. Rynkiewicz III RN MSN WCC® DWC® CCS and Administrator at Deer Meadows Home Health was inspired to coordinate a one day clinic in his home town of Philadelphia. He asked if WCEI could help him coordinate the event making it available to the whole city. We were thrilled at the invitation!

The event took place on Saturday May 11th with staff that included volunteer nurses, Wound Care Certified (WCC®) and Diabetic Wound Certified (DWC®) clinicians and a local podiatrist and co-sponsor, Dr. John M. Fanelly DPM.

The clinic was a huge success!  Close to 100 Philadelphians came from all over the community, ranging in age from 35-85 years.  We were a welcome sight to them and you could see the appreciation in their faces.  They came to us with conditions that ranged from calluses to fungus and included hammer toes, Onychogryphosis (also known as “ram’s horn nails”), diabetic ulcers and Charcot foot .

Polymem Silver Toe dressing to combat bioburden

Polymem Silver Toe dressing to combat bioburden

We will never forget Willie, an older man who walked with a slow shuffle and a big smile. Because he had not seen a doctor in many years, he was thrilled to have his feet checked. When he took off his slipper we saw the “ram’s horn toe nails” shown in this photo. They had not been cut in years and were excessively thick and curled under and over.

Ram Horn Nails

Ram Horn Nails

Our post clinic meeting discussions made it clear that our outreach work has just touched the surface of a great need. Much more needs to be done and our knowledge and expertise has the potential to have enormous impact. There are many more Willies out there that need our help.

We plan to share our experience in detail at this year’s Wild on Wounds annual convention in Las Vegas on September 11-14, 2013. Our hope is to inspire more clinicians to do this in their own communities across the country.

Thanks again to all the wonderful nurses who donated their time on a very long Saturday and to the wonderful sponsors:  Deer Meadows Home Health Select DataFerris Manufacturing (Polymem Dressings) / Dr. John M. Fanelly DPM and Wound Care Education Institute.


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