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Preventing Amputations: The SALSAL Foundation

February 9, 2017

TMP_6927Nearly half of unhealed diabetic foot ulcers result in death within five years. In fact, 85% of lower-limb amputations in patients with diabetes are preceded with a foot ulcer, according to Diabetes Care. New Cardiovascular Horizons estimates the associated cost with amputations is $10-20 billion, every single year. These figures are staggering.

The consequences of amputations are devastating, yet many amputations can be prevented through early screenings and care. The Save a Leg, Save a Life (SALSAL) Foundation aims to reduce the incidence of lower-extremity amputations through education and patient advocacy. The SALSAL Foundation works closely with First Coast Cardiovascular Institute to inspire hope in those patients told nothing could be done for them.

Of the people who have benefited from the work of the SALSAL Foundation is Carla Urff. Carla has been a diabetic since the age of 11. She found out she had peripheral artery disease (PAD) at the age of 37. “In less than 2 years of diagnosis, they told me I needed to prepare for amputation because I had developed gangrene in the foot,” Carla said. She had several surgical procedures, which bought her some years, but were not a permanent solution.

After developing gangrene a second time and having three toes turn black, Carla decided to search the internet for a solution. She found the SALSAL Foundation and contacted Dr. Desmond Bell, the Founder & President of the SALSAL Foundation, as well as a top Wound Care Specialist. “He sent me to an Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Yazan Khatib, who confirmed he could help me,” Carla says.

“Dr. Khatib started cleaning out my arteries and stenting, putting stents in my legs and my heart,” Carla says. Dr. Khatib worked on her for five and a half hours straight to get the first stent in.

“He was not going to stop. He told me I can fix this,” Carla says, “I can’t tell you how overwhelmed I was, knowing that I was so close to amputation, that there was actually help out there.” Carla now lives a healthy life without the fear of amputation.

It is stories like Carla that inspires Dr. Bell to spread the mission of the SALSAL Foundation. “We are trying to educate people so they can be proactive and avoid getting to a state where amputation is their only choice,” Dr. Bell says.

To learn more about the Save a Leg, Save a Life Foundation or to donate to the cause, visit www.thesalsal.org. Donations will go towards raising awareness and assisting those in need to purchase diabetic shoes, socks, and supplies for PAD screenings.
Continue reading “Preventing Amputations: The SALSAL Foundation” »

Thoughtful Tuesday

February 7, 2017

IMG_9657“Pay attention to the things you are naturally drawn to. They are often connected to your path, passion, and purpose in life. Have the courage to follow them.”
-Ruben Chavez

Dr. Satish Goel, Electrophysiologist, says it is a commitment to serving his community that inspires him to get up in the morning. “When you are rewarded with a patient doing well and feeling healthy, it inspires me to keep going,” says Dr. Goel.  

Thoughtful Tuesday

January 31, 2017

TMP_5302“You attract the energy you exude.”

Our values focus on compassion and patient-centered care.You will find our values instilled in each of our employees, from our administration to our physicians. When we put these values at the forefront, our patients become empowered and dedicated to their health.

Good News: Deaths Related to Heart Disease Going Down

January 26, 2017

TMP_5603Heart disease has remained the number one killer in the United States. Many efforts have been made to raise awareness on the prevention of heart disease. Organizations such as the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have succeeded in making this their number one mission and spreading the word around prevention.   Continue reading “Good News: Deaths Related to Heart Disease Going Down” »

Thoughtful Tuesday

January 24, 2017

TMP_9385
“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”

-Rumi

As the landscape of healthcare evolves, it is important to stay at the forefront of any changes necessary to keep patient care at the center. Life is about  learning how to strike a balance between what to let go of and what to grow from.

Thoughtful Tuesday

January 17, 2017

TMP_5021“An empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you are the author.”
-Charlotte Moss

We are excited to showcase our new Palatka facility this Thursday at our Palatka Open House! When we first moved into the empty office, we saw the potential it had to become something great. We are proud that the office is now a fully-accredited facility, housing a freestanding outpatient catheterization laboratory and a team of board-certified physicians.

Updates in Innovation: Dr. Al-Saghir performs MitraClip Procedure

January 12, 2017

mitraclip_vs_dime_image

Photo courtesy of Abbott

We have done it again! It is our mission to always be the first to bring residents of the First Coast the latest treatments and advancements in medicine. Our patients deserve the best. Dr. Al-Saghir has done it again by being the first in Clay County to perform the MitraClip procedure for patients with mitral regurgitation. Continue reading “Updates in Innovation: Dr. Al-Saghir performs MitraClip Procedure” »

Thoughtful Tuesday

January 10, 2017

tmp_5832“What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.”
-Paulo Coelho

The word “doctor” in Latin means teacher. For our physicians, being a teacher is not about sharing facts. Instead, being a teacher means that they inspire their patients to live to their fullest potential.

How to Spot a Stroke

January 5, 2017

addshoot-48We’ve all heard the terms heart disease and stroke often talked about together. One key difference between the two is awareness. We both know that at the first sign of chest pain or shortness of breath, we should head to the nearest emergency room. But what are the warning signs behind a stroke? Continue reading “How to Spot a Stroke” »

Optimistic People May Live Longer

December 30, 2016

tmp_6793We know optimistic people are generally cheerful and pleasant to be around.  A new study recently found that even your heart doctor will thank you for an optimistic attitude.

A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that heart attack survivors who had an optimistic outlook were more likely to live longer. The study examined  over 600 individuals under the age of 65 between 1992-1993. Researchers followed up with the patients in 2015 and found that participants who had scored in the highest third of optimism levels were 33% more likely to have survived than those who had scored in the middle and lowest third. That’s something to be said about having a positive attitude!

Optimism in this context refers to a hopeful outlook of the future. This doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to hardships but rather learning how to deal with the hardships in a productive way. Optimists typically take proactive steps in their health, compared to pessimists who can often engage in health-damaging activities.

Increasing your optimism levels can take time and personal growth. Test out these strategies to help increase your optimism:

  • Set reasonable goals for yourself
  • Keep a journal of your progress with your goals
  • Take the time to tell yourself three things you are grateful for everyday
  • Identify stressors and identify a strategy to cope with them
  • Spend time around people who uplift you
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