Greatest foot ahead: Avenue Kicks group supplies footwear for hospital sufferers in want – College of Drugs Information

Greatest foot ahead: Avenue Kicks group supplies footwear for hospital sufferers in want – College of Drugs Information

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Greatest foot ahead: Avenue Kicks group supplies footwear for hospital sufferers in want – College of Drugs Information
A brand new College of Drugs scholar group, Avenue Kicks, collects and distributes footwear to assist sufferers in want at Henry Ford Hospital.

After a rotation shift at Henry Ford Hospital, Wayne State College medical college students Susan Wager and Nina Bourdeau watched a affected person who was experiencing homelessness stroll out of the hospital with solely yellow hospital socks to cowl his ft. Deeply involved in regards to the man and others like him, Wager and Bourdeau have been decided to discover a means for all sufferers to be discharged from the hospital with enough footwear. The pair started working instantly after that shift, buying a shoe rack and asking for shoe donations from colleagues, friends, family and friends.

They based Avenue Kicks, a College of Drugs scholar group that gives free footwear and socks to sufferers in want who’re discharged from Henry Ford Hospital.

“The expertise made me query how we may give somebody all of the medical remedies on the planet however not one thing as fundamental as footwear. We be taught loads about treating the entire affected person at Wayne State – the reply to somebody’s drawback isn’t at all times solely medication,” Wager mentioned. “We’re taught to take a look at every thing that performs a job in somebody’s general well-being, and on this case, enough footwear could be a very actual social determinant of well being.”

Treating the entire affected person

Insufficient footwear has a big affect on musculoskeletal well being and harm prevention and might create a cycle of issues. Past foot ache, harm and toe deformities, an absence of acceptable footwear may end up in diminished mobility and hygiene. In flip, an individual might face employment and monetary instability, which then additional limits their entry to footwear and different fundamental requirements.

Addressing such social determinants of well being is a key focus on the College of Drugs. Wager and her friends perceive that well being is about a lot greater than medication, train and diet – it’s additionally about eliminating environmental and societal limitations to care.

“An absence of footwear might result in increased danger of accidents and decreased mobility, which might contribute to sufferers ending up again within the hospital.” Wager mentioned. “Past the well being points, not having footwear can fairly actually be prohibitive for somebody in search of employment.”

The concept a single – and typically direct – motion could make a right away affect was particularly significant for Wager, who plans to pursue a profession as an orthopedic surgeon.

Sufferers have been appreciative for the holistic strategy to care.

“It makes an enormous distinction for individuals, they usually’re so grateful,” Wager mentioned. “We’re not solely addressing a well being problem right here, however we’re additionally speaking to sufferers that we care about them past their fast medical want.”

Placing ft to the bottom

Medical college students Susan Wager (left) and Nina Bourdeau (proper) launched Avenue Kicks after they watched a affected person discharged from the hospital with out footwear.

Since launching in July 2022, Avenue Kicks has collected greater than 100 pairs of footwear and distributed roughly 50 pairs. The footwear — new and gently used males’s and ladies’s sneakers and boots — are collected by the scholars after which saved in a workroom closet on the hospital for ease of entry.

Signage all through the hospital alerts workers to the group’s free assets, and sufferers are supplied footwear and socks if somebody on their care crew notices they could be in want or in the event that they ask upon discharge. Whereas most sufferers who interact with Avenue Kicks are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, others have misplaced their footwear in an emergency.

Bourdeau and Wager current analysis in regards to the well being impacts of insufficient footwear.

The thought was impressed partly by Wager’s earlier expertise working at MedWish Worldwide, a nonprofit that repurposes and distributes surplus medical provides and tools primarily based in her hometown of Cleveland. By way of that group, she gained expertise managing stock, donations and the distribution course of. Wager mentioned the preliminary response to Avenue Kicks was constructive, though it proved to be a problem discovering a location for stock.

“Many individuals don’t take into consideration this drawback – they only put their very own footwear on within the morning and assume nothing of it,” she mentioned. “After we began conversations about individuals not at all times having that luxurious, everybody agreed Avenue Kicks was an excellent thought.”

A sustainable future

Though Wager and Bourdeau have not too long ago accomplished their rotations at Henry Ford Hospital, the incoming cohort of third-year medical college students has already stepped as much as proceed this system. They plan to have interaction different College of Drugs college students in main shoe drives and serving to with donations. Avenue Kicks has additionally collaborated with the like-minded group Avenue Drugs to supply extra alternatives to assist sufferers in want.

Wager mentioned she hopes to see Avenue Kicks increase to different hospitals in Detroit and past, and to determine a precedent for hospital-provided footwear for sufferers in want.

“We are able to make a distinction in individuals’s lives, even via one thing so simple as giving them a pair of footwear.”

How one can assist

Avenue Kicks accepts new and gently used footwear (sneakers and boots) and has the best want for males’s footwear in sizes 10 to 13. To be taught extra or help the group, electronic mail streetkicks[email protected] and observe them on Instagram @streetkicksdetroit.

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