News Release

Mormon Doctors Update Majuro Medical Professionals on Diabetic Foot Care

A team of three podiatrists, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who put their medical practices on a brief hold and travelled to the Marshall Islands to train health workers on diabetic care, have returned home to Utah, USA.

While in Majuro, Dr. Tom Austad, Dr. Kelly Stagg, and Dr. David Glover taught 26 hospital nurses, physical therapists and other health-care workers how to conduct comprehensive foot exams and provide proper wound care for diabetes patients.

Diabetes is a major medical problem in the Pacific Islands where poor circulation and neuropathy can lead to infections and wounds. Delayed or improper care can result in the amputation of limbs.

In addition to teaching the latest medical examination and wound care techniques, the visiting doctors trained the participants to train others.

The training of future trainers included instruction followed by hands-on experience.

“The first set of participants were given two days of training and then were given the opportunity to train another set of participants,” said Sister Anne Maughan, a welfare services missionary who helps oversee the Church’s humanitarian services throughout the Pacific.

The opportunity to train others with your mentors close by to observe and assist is invaluable, according to Sister Maughan.

Manuel Rodriguez, director of the hospital rehab unit, expressed his gratitude for the training. “Thank you so much for coming all this way to teach us how to help our patients.

“Now my staff can help do the things I’ve been doing and we can help more patients. It will be so much better now.”

He also shared his plans to extend the training received beyond healthcare professionals.

“We really like the idea of teaching the diabetic patients’ families and friends how they can help. It should help patients come into the clinic sooner instead of waiting for their wounds to become more serious.”

The diabetes care instruction and the hands-on training sessions were provided by the visiting volunteer doctors through LDS Charities in collaboration with the Marshall Islands Ministry of Health.

LDS Charities is a humanitarian service organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dr. Lyle Archibald and his wife Roslyn Archibald, who head the diabetes focused efforts in Marshal Islands for LDS Charities organized the initiative with help from Dr. Lusi Manoa, director of the NCD Clinic in Majuro.

They were assisted by Neilani Ackley, Country Welfare Manager for the Church, and Dr. David Ackley, a hospital emergency room doctor and local Church leader.

After days of conducting the diabetes “Train the Trainers” seminars and just prior to returning home, the visiting podiatrists spent a day in the hospital treating patients and giving more instruction to hospital staff.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.