The Tomah Memorial Hospital Foundation has stepped forward to help elderly Monroe County residents who suffer from foot health issues. Officials from the philanthropic arm of Tomah Memorial Hospital have donated $2,500 to Viterbo University of La Crosse to fund a free foot care clinic for seniors later this year.
“By providing comprehensive nail and foot care, we can prevent a lot of the complications that plague older adults and those with chronic diseases,” said Mary Ellen Stolder, Viterbo University graduate nursing program director. “We are thrilled to be the recipient of this generosity from the Tomah Memorial Foundation.”
According to Stolder, Monroe County is home to more than 7,000 adults over the age of 65, and foot problems affect 75 percent of those adults.
“Foot care is not typically provided with Medicare funding, and if they have to make tradeoffs, foot care is one consideration that they will eliminate,” she said.
Stolder said the clinic, titled “Sole Providers,” will be conducted by Viterbo graduate nurses who will trim, cut, clip nails, corns and calluses using state-of-the-art equipment. She added that a comprehensive foot assessment will be included to determine if there is a need for a referral to a local healthcare provider.
“It gives them (nurses) a lot of experience in terms of a brief health history, conducting an assessment, how to handle the tools and to be able to ascertain if there is a need for a referral, which is critical,” she said.
Stolder said officials are determining a location in Monroe County for the clinic, which will be held sometime in August.
“This will be a service that I anticipate will be very well received within the community and reduce the number of complications that older adults suffer from foot care and also provide a teaching moment for our graduate nursing students,” said Stolder. “This is a first for Monroe County, and this is the first time that we have been a beneficiary of a grant to put this program together, and I commend the foundation for their foresight.”
Foundation ex-officio Eric Prise said the foundation’s donation fulfills the mission of the organization to support health related initiatives that benefit area residents.
“It’s unfortunate that so many area older adults are affected by poor feet health. With the financial support from the foundation, the Sole Providers foot care clinic will help to give area seniors much-needed relief and enhance their overall health,” said Prise.