Podiatrists Provide Medical Treatment at Homeless Shelter


In early December 2021, a team of our podiatrists attended an event sponsored by students from East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and College of Allied Health Sciences to provide free foot exams to homeless residents of Greenville during the annual In Your Shoes Foot Clinic at the Community Crossroads Center.

The Daily Reflector picked up on the event and provided this news article. (Source). Dr. Brian L. Jones has a quote in the article below.

Free Foot Clinic

ECU Brody School of Medicine students provide a free foot clinic at a homeless shelter in Greenville NC. (Photo credit, Rhett Butler, ECU News Service)

From the Daily Reflector

Students from East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine and College of Allied Health Sciences recently spent an evening providing complimentary foot exams and physical therapy services to homeless residents of Greenville.
The effort was part of the annual In Your Shoes foot clinic organized and staffed by the students at the Crossroads Community Center, Greenville’s homeless shelter.

Due to COVID-19, the shelter was operating at limited capacity this year, but the students were still eager to hold the event and serve those in need.

“I think it’s great that students at Brody are able to come up with an idea, make it a reality, and we care enough to make it a tradition and keep the clinics going years after the founder has graduated and actually gone into residency,” said Virginia Vazquez-Rios, a second-year medical student from Charlotte. “I think it also says a lot about how we care about all aspects of peoples’ health, so we tackle it from different service opportunities and clinics.”
Medical students spent the evening washing shelter residents’ feet, as well as providing free foot exams and treatment. Meanwhile, physical therapy students were in a different part of the building conducting balance assessments and providing exercise tips to residents.

“Physical activity is so vital for everybody, but especially in populations where they may not have insurance or may not have access to health care. Doing stuff like this can help set them up for success, as they might not have access to further appointments,” said Tyler Ricks, a third-year physical therapy student from Princeton, North Carolina. “It’s great to be part of an opportunity like this and hopefully we’ll be able to give these individuals some tips to help them improve their quality of life.”
In addition to the students, area podiatrists provided complimentary evaluations and treatments for residents.

“A lot of times with the homeless population, we see calluses, because they’re on their feet for extended hours of the day and they walk long distances. Other conditions include long, painful toenails, foot fungus and actually a lot of abrasions because they often don’t have the proper shoes to protect their feet when they’re walking on harsh terrain,” said Dr. Brian Jones, a podiatrist from Family Foot and Ankle Care of Greenville, who volunteered at the event.

The shelter residents who took part in the clinic also received packages of new socks, as well as the opportunity to select from an assortment of donated footwear.