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My name is Greg Williams, born and raised in New Orleans. So it’s great to be the hosts of this wonderful meeting and organization thats the National Medical Association. I’m actually the co chair for the podiatry section. I’ve been in practicing for 24 years in the specialty of foot and ankle, and a unique specialty as a limb salvage surgeon. As a foot and ankle surgeon, pretty much most of my patients that I see are diabetics and diabetes in this country is something that’s been paramount. Recently, about six months ago, CDC reported that in 2024, we’re going to see an increase in diabetes under the age of 20. And right now, diabetes is the leading cause of the amputation rate and amputations in this country. And usually, when a person gets an amputation, either below the knee or above the knee, the mortality rate is five years. So within five years, they’re going to die. And so I’ve been since preparing for for this, this wonderful meeting, my research that I’ve done, it has shown that diabetes amputation rate with the five years mortality is greater than colon cancer, colorectal, breast, prostate, and lung combined. And one of the articles stated that we are getting to the point that if you get a diabetic foot ulcer it’s equivalent to a woman feeling a lump on Her breasts. So the thing about it is, is that diabetes right now, especially in today’s age, has shown that, you know, it’s totally out of control. And the federal government has deemed it as an epidemic. And we are starting to see not only the amputation rate being so high, but there’s certain disparities, and we’re finding that doing the research over the years is that it’s affecting more of an African American population than others. And so this is one of the things that I see in my practice in New Orleans, I literally practice in New Orleans East, which was the location that was greatly affected by Katrina. And so you have to look back and think of issues such as Katrina have had an impact affected our city in our region. I feel that our city is still healing. The storm happened in 2005 and within particular region, it took 8 years for hospitals to open. So there’s still so many disparities and so many irregularities that we still have to deal with in the community where I practice.  

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