APMA News - September/October 2017 - 26

Public Health Profile-Arthur E. Helfand, DPM

A

rthur E. Helfand, DPM, has
to provide quality care and service to the
spent more than 50 years
American people."
dedicated to promoting the
His work in the field is still influenrole of podiatry in public health. He is
tial today. In 1966, he contributed a
considered one of the "fathers" of the
chapter on podiatry for a project under
field by his peers, and his legacy continthe Gerontological Society of America.
ues to this day.
Shortly after the project was complete,
Dr. Helfand's career in public health
it was turned into a federal document
started in the late 1950s when the City
for the US Public Health Service. This
of Philadelphia saw a need to create
document has been revised and reprintawareness about the importance of foot
ed several times, most recently in 2015,
care among the elderly. Dr. Helfand
but Dr. Helfand's contribution remains
participated in a pilot study focused on
within the volume, unchanged from his
this issue, and the results of the study
original submission.
led to a three-year study called "Keep
"The mold was broken after Dr. HelThem Walking," which focused on infand came to be," said Janet Simon,
formation, education, and screenings.
DPM. Dr. Simon is a member of the
Arthur E. Helfand, DPM
Eventually, this larger study resulted in
APMA Podiatric Public Health and
the opening of several poPreventive Medicine Commitdiatry clinics in city health
tee and a longtime advocate of
Dr. Helfand became an
centers, and Dr. Helfand
podiatric public health. "For
honorary member of the
ran these clinics as the projthe few of us involved in leadPennsylvania
Public
Health
ect director.
ing our profession's public
Dr. Helfand became an
health efforts, Dr. Helfand has
Association in 1965 and today
honorary member of the
been a mentor and archivist.
stands as the longest-serving
Pennsylvania Public Health
"As podiatric surgery
member in the organization.
Association in 1965 and togained in recognition, palliaday stands as the longesttive podiatric services became
serving member in the organization. From these local beginless glamorous," continued Dr. Simon. "Dr. Helfand continued
nings, Dr. Helfand embarked on a career that would see him
to encourage the public health leadership to not forget that
spread the message of the importance of podiatric public health
podiatric medicine serves all, and he would consistently send
nationally. He was instrumental in establishing podiatry's footout reminders about the need to include aging concerns in
hold within the American Public Health Association (APHA)
our discussions."
and fought for the creation of the Podiatry Section (POD)
"Public health gives you a broader look at where we are in
in 1972.
the health-care system," said Dr. Helfand. "It touches every"It wasn't easy," said Dr. Helfand. "There was an objection
thing from children's foot health to the elderly. Diabetes is
from the commissioner of Medicaid in New York. We had sevonly one chronic disease. You also need to consider arthritis
eral studies that backed up our claims that podiatry was vital,
and others."
but the conversation went on. Finally, the representative from
In honor of Dr. Helfand's numerous contributions to
West Virginia, George Pickett, said, 'I agree we shouldn't inpodiatry and public health, in 2015 the POD created the
clude podiatry. Now all of you amputate your feet, and we'll
Outstanding APHA Podiatric Health Section Student Public
see how much it is needed.' After his comment, the motion to
Health Poster Abstract and Arthur E. Helfand, DPM, Award.
create the section was passed unanimously."
The award is given at the APMA Annual Scientific Meeting as
Dr. Helfand elevated the standing of public health within
part of the Poster Abstracts Competition.
the podiatric community when he served as president of APMA
"Attaching Dr. Helfand's name to the student poster public
in 1982. Addressing the need for podiatrists to populate the
health competition was done to carry forward the message
POD, he wrote, "Being a part of APHA means many things to
of what he represents: teacher, activist, and advocate," said
many people. But to podiatrists, it means expanding our efforts
Dr. Simon.
n
26 APMA News September/October 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of APMA News - September/October 2017

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APMA News - September/October 2017 - Cover1
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APMA News - September/October 2017 - Contents
APMA News - September/October 2017 - 9
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APMA News - September/October 2017 - Cover3
APMA News - September/October 2017 - Cover4
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