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Free foot clinic to help with health inequity in Buffalo neighborhoods

“Zip codes dictate our outcomes"
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Posted at 5:28 PM, Oct 24, 2022

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — In some of Buffalo's poorest neighborhoods major health inequities remains. But the University at Buffalo is stepping up to bring a much needed foot care clinic to the city's Fruit Belt, Cold Spring and Masten Park neighborhood this Saturday.

The clinic will be held inside a small Michigan Avenue church in Buffalo.

Jacbos School of Medicine Director of Surgical Education Mike Lamb conducted a walk through inside St. James House of Prayers.

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Jacbos School of Medicine Director of Surgical Education Mike Lamb working to set up foot clinic.

Lamb is helping the church prepare for the free Kickstart Buffalo Foot Clinic to be held at the church Saturday, October 29th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“What we see here is a community opening their doors and surgeons coming out of the hospitals to be of service in the community — it's really special. It's really inspiring,” remarked Lamb. 

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St. James House of Prayers, Michigan Avenue, Buffalo.

The pastor of the church, Larry Daniel, who is also a security office at the Jacobs School, came up with the idea, realizing there was a very strong need in his church community and neighborhood.

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Pastor Larry Daniel.

His wife, Christine Daniel, says she and her husband know so many who suffer from poor foot care in their community.

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Christine Daniel, first lady, St. James House of Prayers church.

“My love one is in the hospital, they're dealing with facing surgery because of diabetes, not being able to take care of themselves — not having the right resources available or not knowing that the resources are out there,” explained Daniel, first lady, St. James House of Prayers church.

“If they have any concerns, if they are having pain in their legs or feet, if they have sores on their feet that aren't healing. If they have pain when they walk or pain at night in the legs or feet they should be coming in,” described Dr. Linda Harris

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Dr. Linda Harris, with Jacobs School, is a vascular surgeon

Dr. Harris, with Jacobs School, is a vascular surgeon. She says African American men have a five times higher likelihood of amputation due to peripheral arterial disease.  

“We have some family members who have been subjected to surgeries, losing of limbs and so fourth. We feel this is such a need,” replied Daniel. 

“We are disproportionately impacted by diabetes, and cardio vascular health in multiple facets — in multiple things,” explained Ebony White, community engagement, Buffalo Center for Health Equity.

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Ebony White, community engagement, Buffalo Center for Health Equity.

White says the 14209 zip code has a great deal of health disparities.

“Zip codes dictate our outcomes — our lives — our life spans — our life expectancy, living here in the City of Buffalo, and it shouldn't be that way,” reflected White. 

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Free foot clinic.

"We're trying to start bridging the gap. This is not going to fix everything. There's no question about that, but this is a first step,” responded Dr. Harris. 

The clinic will include surgeons and UB medical students, like Malika De Weever.  As a woman of color, says this is an important outreach event.

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UB medical students Malika De Weever will help at clinic.

“It feels really nice to be that familiar face when people come into the clinic and be able to see some color too,” stated De Weever.  

De Weever noted the clinic is free and no health insurance is required.  

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Past UB foot clinic.

“Even if you want a foot cleaning and you’re not really sure whether or not you have any issues that require referral, I still think it’s important to come in — have them take a look at your feet,” De Weever said. 

“Who would have thought, coming into a faith community to embark with health care,” White noted. “But health care is all of us. It should be around us. It should be accessible to us.” 

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Past UB foot clinic.

UB says it's hoping to hold these foot clinics every few months throughout this community.

“We're praying that this is a kick start to something maybe monthly we can do —  clinic here at our sanctuary and then not just us, but branch off to other churches,” Daniel said. 

“I fully expect that we will have more free clinics for the neighborhood,” Dr. Harris added.