Verbum Incarnatum: An Academic Journal of Social Justice


The concept of social justice emphasizes the need for the basic essentials of life, including health care, for all. Catholic social teaching confirms this with the principles of human dignity, common good and community, and option for the poor and vulnerable. When health care access and quality is compromised, persons with diabetes experience a greater risk for complications including a higher risk for lower extremity amputations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005). Poverty and ethnic minority status are accompanied by health care disparities as reflected in a higher incidence of lower extremity amputation in these groups. (Wachtel, 2005). A foot care program, sponsored by the University of the Incarnate Word’s School of Nursing and Health Professions and St. Philip of Jesus Parish (UIW/SPJ) Health Ministry, works with older, primarily Hispanic, adults to improve self care practices and reduce the risk for amputation. The program involves nurses, nursing students and clients in health promotion relationships. This paper presents the challenges older adults encounter in maintaining healthy feet, the essentials of the foot care program, an initial outcome evaluation and a presentation of the program’s impact on client health and student learning.

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