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Press & Announcements

Department of Veterans Affairs Expert Holds Diabetes Awareness Month Educational Webinar for Veterans on Diabetic Foot Care and Limb Loss Prevention

The Amputee Coalition and Organogenesis Inc. convene webinar to promote diabetic foot care awareness and education among U.S. veteran population

Canton, Mass / Manassas, Virg. (November 24, 2015) – As part of Diabetes Awareness Month, the Amputee Coalition and Organogenesis Inc. convened an educational webinar for U.S. Veterans, their families, caregivers, and clinicians on preventing limb loss for patients battling diabetes. The webinar comes at a time when nearly half of the U.S. population is diabetic or pre-diabetic and the rate of diabetic patients at the Veterans Health Administration is around 25 percent.1,2

As of 2012, just over 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and just over eight million of them are undiagnosed.3 Approximately 25% of patients living with diabetes will develop a diabetic foot ulcer (DFU), an open sore or wound.4 Unfortunately, 14-24% of patients with DFUs have an amputation of a toe, foot, or more.5 Today, DFUs are the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the U.S.6

For these reasons, it is critical that patients living with diabetes take proper care of their feet and have access to podiatrists and wound care specialists to avoid a life-altering amputation. The webinar, "Preventing Secondary Limb Loss," focused on steps patients can take in their everyday lives to stop a DFU from occurring and if one does occur, how to stop the ulcer from leading to an amputation.

"Patient education on proper care of the diabetic foot is an absolutely critical component of diabetes management and prevention of lower limb amputations," stated Jeffrey Robbins, DPM, Director of Podiatric Services at the Veterans Administration and Lois Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. "This is evidenced by the estimate that 50-75% of amputations are preventable."

During the webinar, Robbins advised diabetic patients to check their feet daily for any cuts or sores, wear appropriately fitting shoes and socks, and avoid going barefoot at all times as even the smallest cut or blister has the potential to turn into a chronic non-healing ulcer. Robbins also discussed the Amputation Prevention program at the VA and how patients can best navigate the system to get the care they need.

"November marks Diabetes Awareness Month and includes the Veterans Day holiday, so we want to be sure the men and women who so bravely served our country have access to comprehensive education as they take on the battle of diabetes," stated Sue Stout, President & CEO of the Amputee Coalition. "If hearing from experts like Dr. Robbins and having this webinar as an ongoing resource prevents just one Veteran from losing a limb, that's a success."

The webinar is sponsored by Organogenesis Inc., a leading U.S. developer and manufacturer of advanced wound care technologies, through an unrestricted educational grant to further patient education in recognition of National Diabetes Awareness month. The program is part of an overall 2015 grant provided by Organogenesis to the Amputee Coalition, designated for veteran health education programs and funded by proceeds from 2014 Dermagraft sales in VA hospitals and wound care centers.

"We're honored to be a part of this webinar to help raise awareness among our nation's veterans about preventing limb loss," added Gary S. Gillheeney, Sr., President & CEO of Organogenesis. "Our hope is that through patient education efforts like these, along with good wound care, we can help prevent DFU-related amputations and help our veterans enjoy healthy, active lives."

The webinar will be archived on the Amputee Coalition website.

About The Amputee Coalition

The Amputee Coalition, headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a donor-supported national nonprofit organization whose mission is "to reach out to and empower people affected by limb loss to achieve their full potential through education, support and advocacy, and to promote limb loss prevention." For more information about limb loss, please call 888/267-5669 or visit the Amputee Coalition Web site at amputee-coalition.org.

About Organogenesis Inc.

Massachusetts-based Organogenesis Inc. is a global leader in advanced wound care innovation and technologies, including bio-active wound healing and tissue regeneration. The company's mission is to bring safe and effective wound care products to patients and to standardize their use in everyday medical care. Among Organogenesis' suite of products are FDA-approved Apligraf® and Dermagraft®, the best-in-class products for bio-active wound healing and recently launched, FDA-cleared PuraPly Antimicrobial™, which advances wound management for a wide variety of wound types.

  1. "Prevalence of and Trends in Diabetes Among Adults in the United States, 1988-2012," Journal of the American Medical Association 2015;314(10):1021-1029.
  2. Veterans Health Administration website.
  3. American Diabetes Association website.
  4. Singh Nalini, Armstrong David, Lipsky Benjamin. "Preventing foot ulcers in patients with diabetes," Journal of the American Medical Association 2005; 293(2):217-228.
  5. Amputee Coalition website.
  6. Amputee Coalition website.

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