PA Students Deliver Foot Care to Local Shelter

Thirty Quinnipiac PA students participated in two foot clinics at the Grand Avenue Men’s Shelter where 28 shelter residents were served. Started by two PA students, the Quinnipiac University Foot Clinic has provided a way for medically vulnerable populations to receive foot care in New Haven, Connecticut since 2013. The student-managed clinic seeks to diagnose and address foot infections, painful dysfunction, and dermatological issues.

Quinnipiac PA students learn firsthand the benefits of interprofessional relationships by working with a collaborative student care team. The students represented medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing and work with the guidance of a volunteer podiatrist. Through patient interviews, physical exams and podiatric care, the students put communication and clinical skills into practice.

Shelter residents received such interventions as callus reduction, wound dressing, topical medication application, and monofilament exams for neuropathy. An integral part of the students’ outreach was donating items that could help shelter residents maintain or facilitate their foot wellness; such items included shoes and socks, foot powder, and anti-fungal cream. The students plan to hold three additional clinics this year.

“At the Quinnipiac University Foot Clinic at the Grand Avenue Men’s Shelter, we provided a valuable and underappreciated service to an underserved population,” shared Quinnipiac PA student Jennifer Bellucci. “I found great reward in providing this needed health care. Seeing the gratitude on the men’s faces by simply providing a pair of socks or addressing a small foot ailment is a humbling yet fulfilling experience.”

Quinnipiac students are not only committed to sustaining the foot clinic but also to expanding services beyond the clinic. By establishing relationships with two community health centers, the clinic has made it possible for former shelter residents to receive treatment for both their feet and overall health beyond shelter stays.

The outreach project was funded by the nccPA Health Foundation’s Be the CHANGE Grant.

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