Free Protective Footwear Available for Qualifying Diabetics
Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Hansen's Disease Programs, the Mississippi Department of Health's Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (DPCP) is the recipient of a one-time donation of 1,000 pairs of protective footwear for people with diabetes. The footwear donation is part of the Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention Program (L.E.A.P.) in Mississippi.
Protective footwear is prescribed for the diabetic who has experienced a loss of feeling in the feet, placing him or her at increased risk for an undetected foot injury. Undetected foot injuries are the leading cause of lower limb amputations in people with diabetes. It is estimated that there are about 1,350 diabetes-related amputations every year in Mississippi.
The protective footwear will be donated to people with diabetes who have been prescribed such footwear but have no payment source, including private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid.
Twenty of the twenty-two Federally Qualified Community Health Centers in Mississippi that are members of the National Diabetes Collaborative will serve as the local distribution points for the protective footwear.
Prior to distributing the shoes, the National Hansen's Disease Program will provide a training to update community health center clinical staff on proper shoe-fitting. Community health centers will be required to report to the DPCP their progress on distributing the shoes. Diabetic individuals who would like to see if they qualify for free footwear should contact one of the participating community health centers.