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The Save A Leg, Save A Life Foundation

Promoting Patient Education and Advocacy Through White Socks

The Save A Leg, Save A Life Foundation (SALSAL, the “Foundation”), founded by Desmond Bell, DPM, CWS, in 2015, aims to reduce lower extremity amputations and improve wound healing outcomes through patient education and advocacy, evidence-based methodology, and community outreach. Patient engagement is crucial to encourage change within the industry. By driving this message to the public, patients are able to become more engaged and increase their understanding of how to seek proper treatment and what conditions can lead to nonhealing wounds. By increasing a patient’s level of understanding, they are able to be more proactive in their health care. 

salsal leadership

The Foundation is led by a board of directors who work tirelessly to develop new initiatives and support the Foundation’s mission. Dr. Desmond Bell is Founder and President of SALSAL, and the Board includes Cynthia Fleck, PhD, MBA, BSN; Jayer Chung, MD, MSc; Tracey Gardner-Paulfrey, BS; Thomas E. Gardner; Julie Rhodovi, MBA; Charles Andersen, MD, FACS; and Tay Sha Howell, MD. In addition, there are 7 SALSAL ambassadors committed to driving the Foundation’s message to health care providers and patients: David Armstrong, MD, DPM, PhD; William Marston, MD; Robert McLafferty, MD; Lee Rogers, DPM; Jill Sommerset, RVT; Amol Gupta, MD; and Carla Urff. 

Changing Lives Through Initiatives 

The patient assistance program helps patients cover medical expenses that their insurance may not cover. This program is funded through private and online donations that go into a separate account specifically set up for patient assistance. In the past, this program has helped patients receive walkers, diabetic shoes, socks, and other medical supplies. The Board of Directors are responsible for voting on each request to ensure proper use of the funds. 

In the past year, SALSAL launched a scholarship in partnership with the American Board of Wound Management (ABWM). This scholarship program helps offset some of the costs associated with the exams required to become certified in wound care. 

Solidarity With Amputees 

The White Sock Campaign, created by SALSAL, was founded with the intent to raise awareness of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), diabetes, and amputation prevention. The White Sock Campaign encourages physicians, clinicians, and staff across the country to wear a white sock on 1 leg, take a photo or video alone or with other health care professionals, and share the photo on social media using the hashtag #WhiteSockCampaign. The white sock symbolizes patients with diabetes and late-stage PAD who have had an amputation or are at risk for an amputation due to delayed treatment. Not only does this campaign promote solidarity with amputees, but it also signifies the many wound care patients that often can only wear 1 shoe because of bulky dressings on the affected foot. 

There are many opportunities to become involved in the White Sock Campaign. The easiest way is to pose with your coworkers wearing your white sock and post to social media, but you can also sport a pin with a sock on just 1 end of the ribbon. If interested in joining these initiatives or getting involved, you can become an ambassador or form a local SALSAL chapter in your area. Visit www.thesalsal.org to learn more about the Foundation.

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