Oak Valley Health recently announced the introduction of a new Mobile Diabetes Foot Care Clinic in Markham and Stouffville.
This new service will increase access to high-quality foot care for people living with diabetes to prevent serious complications that could include infections or even limb amputation.
It will also help patients struggling to travel to stationary clinics throughout northern York Region, Southern Simcoe County and Georgina Island, thanks to a collaborative partnership with Southlake Regional Health Centre, Mackenzie Health, Oak Valley Health, Humber River Hospital, North York Family Health Team, North York General, Vaughan Community Health Centre, SE Health and CareFirst.
It is essential people living with diabetes take good care of their feet. Diabetes is a lifelong disease that can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels over time, which can lead to loss of feeling and decreased blood flow in the feet. If left untreated, serious complications including ulcers and lower limb amputation can occur. This new mobile clinic addresses the challenges of accessing timely preventative foot care and maintenance by providing services closer to home for patients with mobility challenges.
By increasing access to care, the new mobile clinic is expected to help to reduce visits to emergency departments across the region by offering basic foot care from specialized foot care nurses that includes examinations, toenail trimming, and foot care education.
Patients interested in receiving care through the Mobile Diabetes Foot Care Clinic can do so through the Diabetes Education Clinic at their local partner hospital, family health team, or community health centre.
The Mobile Diabetes Foot Care Clinic will support more than 300 patients in its first year.
The clinic will offer treatment to people living with diabetes registered through one of the partner Diabetes Education Clinics, with a focus on providing care for those with financial difficulties, no extended health benefits, transportation and mobility issues, cognitive and physical impairment, issues with activities of daily living/basic self-care, diabetes neuropathy, diabetes nephropathy and diabetes retinopathy.
“This initiative is so important for our community, as it allows our diabetes patients to perform preventative foot care in a timely manner, conveniently accessible outside of the hospital, to ensure that their feet remain healthy and pain-free,” said Terri Stuart-McEwan, VP of Clinical Programs and Chief Nursing Officer at Oak Valley Health. “This is care beyond our walls that we can provide, in part, thanks to our collaboration with our community partners and trusted colleagues.”
The clinic, which is a one-year pilot project currently funded until March 31, 2024, will rotate throughout the local partner municipalities visiting each municipality at least once a month for a full day of patient treatments.