PODIATRY CLINIC: The New Orleans Mission has opened a podiatry clinic for homeless people in its facility at 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans. It will operate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Dr. Robert Miles Jr. will lead the clinic’s volunteer staff.

“The goal of the clinic is to protect, educate the individuals and care for the feet of patients, with a focus on the reduction in foot and lower leg amputations related to diabetic complications via early diagnosis with prompt treatment,” Miles said.

Foot care is a critical part of treating homeless people with diabetes due to several factors, including exposure to weather combined with poor nutritional conditions associated with high blood glucose levels. These elevated blood sugars lead to inflammatory nerve response such as burning, tingling, and stinging sensations in the feet, known as neuritis. Eventually these nerve cells die, causing a lack of sensation of feeling in the feet, a secondary condition known as diabetic neuropathy.

The continual progression of diabetic neuropathy or nerve death further restricts the sweat gland production in the feet, resulting in lack of moisture leading to peeling, cracking and eventually breakdown of the skin, resulting in the formation of foot ulcers. The protective barrier or outer layer of the bottom of the foot, called the epidermis, is now exposed to outside contamination, leading to foot infections.

“I am excited to get started with the work and treating patients that struggle to find relief for their podiatry ailments,” Miles said. “In my short time of working with the mission, I can really see that this organization treats the people it serves with love and respect and not only feeds and shelters them, but provides for their emotional, social and now more extensive medical needs.”

For information on the New Orleans Mission and its medical services, visit www.neworleansmission.org.

MUDBUG MARCH: The LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing Alumni Association will hold a Mudbug March to stomp out pulmonary hypertension at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at the New Orleans City Park festival grounds.

There will be a 5K race, a 1-mile fun walk, a silent auction, music and food.

The event honors the memory of Chelsea Umbach Yates, who was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension when she was 15 years old. Despite the disease, Chelsea excelled academically, worked and married. Her struggle with the disease lasted 11 years and included a heart-double lung transplant. She died in 2011.

According to the National Institutes of Health, pulmonary hypertension is increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. These arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs to pick up oxygen. PH causes symptoms such as shortness of breath during routine activity (for example, climbing two flights of stairs), tiredness, chest pain and a racing heartbeat. As the condition worsens, its symptoms may limit all physical activity. PH has no cure. However, research for new treatments is ongoing. The earlier PH is treated, the easier it is to control.

To register and learn more, visit www.crowdrise.com/MudbugRace.