“I hope we learn a lot”: New ALPS student chapter in Florida

12. October 2022
Eskild Bang Heinemeier
The local student organization for wound care had barely been accepted as an ALPS student chapter before they grew to almost double size. In a single recruitment event, they got 20 new members, growing to now 48.

There was already a student organization for wound care and limb salvage at Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine (BUSPM) in Florida under the name Save a Leg, Save a Life. But as Zaria St Lawrence, president of the newly established ALPS student chapter, says:

“There was a desire to have a national partnership from our student organization. To be able to participate in conferences and have guest speakers from other universities. Because after Covid, I think a lot of people realized that we are better when we work with others rather than just staying contained.”

ALPS Student Chapter at Barry University

Amrit Sandhu (President-elect), Zaria St Lawrence (President) and Olutobi Jinadu (Vice president) from the new ALPS Student Chapter at Barry University, FL.


Olutobi Jinadu, third year student at BUSPM and vice president of the ALPS student chapter, also points to the opportunities and philosophy of ALPS as intriguing:

“Additionally, ALPS provides the backing of a well-established organization, and the mission of ALPS aligns with our goals as future clinicians: to eliminate preventable amputations over the next generation,” Olutobi Jinadu says.

So, with the help from another recently established student chapter at Temple University, they applied for membership as a student chapter of ALPS. What Zaria St Lawrence hopes to get out of this membership is simple but crucial for any aspiring health care professional.

“Honestly, I hope we just learn a lot. We are thankful that other podiatry schools are going to be partnering with us, and we are going to share speakers and resources, and I honestly think that’s the best part of it. We are all learning together. It’s just a collaborative effort of everyone trying to help with limb salvage and learn it,” she says.


Limb salvage is a team effort

Another big part of the motivation for joining ALPS, explains Zaria, is the aspect of the multidisciplinary approach to limb salvage. It is not just collaboration across universities, but across medical specialties and professions. As ALPS members consist of people with many backgrounds and specialties, it offers insight into a lot of different areas of health care, that are relevant to limb salvage.

“For me, it’s very special, just because prior to this we had stayed only in the podiatry realm for many things. We just started last year looking at vascular, so I very much enjoyed that. We are looking at the multidisciplinary account, since it’s not necessarily what we were originally taught, but it’s something that we need to know, so that’s what I’m very excited about,” she says.

According to her, the multidisciplinary approach is important.

“We understand our role as future podiatrists, but we also need to better understand the role of vascular, dermatology, and primary care, because it’s a team effort. We don’t work together unless we understand what each one does. “

Olutobi Jinadu sees this as one of the major challenges of limb salvage, that ALPS can help with:

“To educate students on the importance of limb salvage and informing them of the role relationships with other clinicians have when trying to improve the results of patients who are susceptible to limb loss. Limb salvage is a team effort.”

Zaria St Lawrence thinks this aspect is also a big factor in why so many new members have joined the student chapter at Barry University.

“That’s also another reason why people liked how we talked about our event, because not only could we get them to come, we could make them get why we are doing things as well,” she says.


Help and give back to the community

By being part of ALPS and to have access to those resources, Zaria St Lawrence and Olutobi Jinadu hope their work with limb salvage can have an impact on the community they live in and come from.

“Even as a child, I recall one of my close friends needing to have his toe amputated due to complications of a diabetic foot. I know that I can make a difference to prevent these types of complications that result in amputation. It is my hope to minimize patient amputations and I would like to focus on limb preservation and wound care in the future,” Olutobi Jinadu says.

Zaria St Lawrence agrees and having had a lot of experience with veterans and homeless people in Miami, many of whom are affected by amputations and diabetes, she sees an opportunity to help.

“I really think part of my job as a person and a professional is to always be able to serve your community the best you can,” says Zaria.


Key advice: Reach out

Lastly, Zaria St Lawrence has one key advice for other students, who are considering starting an ALPS student chapter of their own:

“Reach out to your other chapters, because we would not have been nearly as successful and we would not have gotten as much help as we did if it wasn’t for the Temple Chapter, so we are extremely thankful for their advice.”

Related Articles