Diabetic foot ulcers
Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFUs) are sores or wounds on the feet that affect about 25% of people with diabetes1. Left untreated, DFUs may not heal and may lead to serious complications, which have the potential to severely compromise quality of life. DFUs are difficult to detect due to peripheral neuropathy in the feet – which means patients don’t feel these wounds. That’s why early detection and treatment are essential, and raising awareness of the signs and symptoms is so important.
To help with this, we have created Heal2gether in the US. Heal2gether is a national awareness program that is dedicated to promoting proper foot care for people with diabetes, educating individuals about DFUs, and encouraging those with DFUs to seek treatment from a wound care specialist in the US.
Heal2gether provides education and raises awareness about DFUs through outreach within the diabetes community. Some of these activities include providing educational resources to patients with diabetes and participating in local events within the diabetes community such as health fairs and industry conferences.
In addition, Heal2gether helps give a voice to the experiences of a number of DFU patients who, through greater understanding of the severity of their disease and advanced wound care treatments, have experienced complete recovery.
Reflecting on 2012
- Increased the reach of Heal2gether through an expanded online presence, including the launch of a Spanish version of the website, as well as Foot Notes, the official blog for Heal2gether. Heal2gether.org averaged 11,000 unique visitors per month.
- Enhanced our community involvement with patient organizations, such as American Diabetes Association (ADA), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD).
- Hosted policymakers, researchers and leaders in regenerative medicine and diabetes at the “New Horizons: Diabetes Care and Innovative Regenerative Medicine Summit” to gather stakeholder perspectives on the state of regenerative medicine as it relates to diabetes care, and identify strategies that will help accelerate the development and delivery of much needed therapies to patients.
Commitments for 2013
- Enable further understanding of diabetes, its complications, and the importance of seeking immediate treatment for a diabetic foot ulcer.
- Enhance our engagement with and support of patient organizations in their goal of providing support to patients and their families.
- Continue to facilitate discussions among leaders of regenerative medicine and diabetes to help accelerate the development and delivery of much needed therapies to patients.
United for Diabetes
Last November, eight million people living in New York, Dallas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland woke up to a special supplement in the U.S. national newspaper USA Today. “United for Diabetes,” the fourteen-page independent insert had been sponsored by Shire as part of a continuing effort to raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetic foot ulcers.