Arthur E. Helfand, DPM
To some degree, our involvement in the fields of public health, gerontology, and geriatrics are greatly related.
Much of the information has been published over the last sixty years and document not only our involvement, but our leadership as a profession in these two disciplines to protect the publics that we serve.
An article, Podogeriatrics: A Historical Review, was published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Vol. 64, Number 5, May 1974 and was developed by members of the profession who helped develop our participation from 1918 through 1974. A second segment was included in text published by the American Public Health Association in 2006 Titled, Public Health and Podiatric Medicine – Second Edition, in 2006 and edited by Arthur E. Helfand, DPM. In particular, Chapter 17, Aging and Selected Chronic Diseases, traced the subject through publication.
During World War II, most of our practitioner served without commission in the army but were commissioned in the United States Navy and United States Air Force with distinction. Im 1956, the first Podiatrist received his direct commission in the United States Army. These practices still continue today.
In 1965 Medicare was enacted by the US Congress and became the law of the land under President Johnson. It was a major law that brought our Profession into the main stream of health care and opened up coverage for care provide by doctors of Podiatric Medicine, within the individual state practice act. Section 1961r of the Act, also added Podiatrists to the definition of “physicians” for the purpose of service coverage and payment.
A prior element to enhance our status was the formation of the Selden Commission and its Report in 1961, to examine and restructure our educational system. Our training programs eventually became more compatible with and supportive to the educational content of Medicine, Dentistry, and Osteopathic Medicine. To that development, the Health Manpower Act of 1963 provided the funding for new construction and special projects that permitted the profession to grow and expand post-doctoral education to include residencies and fellowships, consistent with other professions.
During the same time frame, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals issued Bulletin #44, that granted medical staff membership and surgical privileges to members of our profession.
Members of our profession began to join the American Public Health Association in 1955 and to elected to Fellowship. In 1972, the APHA approved the creation and the Podiatric Health Section as an equal partner in Public Health. This was followed by the creation of the American Board of Podiatric Public Health and the appointment of a Special Commission on Podiatric Medicine and Public Health and a Report to structure our profession as an equal partner in the Public Health of the United States.
In 1976, the United States Congress revised Federal Legislation to elevate Podiatric Medicine to Professional status in the Department Veterans Affairs and permit the proper expansion of care services and the development of residencies, within the system to provide appropriate and proper foot and related care to American Veterans.
Public Health and Aging have been intertwined in the profession and has permitted our practitioners to raise the level of prevention and care for the American public.
ARTHUR ERWIN HELFAND, D.P.M
Arthur E. Helfand, DPM. is Professor Emeritus at Temple University, and a member of the Honorary Staffs at Temple University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Prior to these appointments, Dr. Helfand served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Health, Aging, and Health Policy at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Orthopedic Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College, and on the Staffs at Wills Eye Hospital and Presbyterian Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania Health System. Dr. Helfand serves as a Consultant to Temple University’s Institute on Aging and past Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, and Temple University School of Medicine.
Dr. Helfand received his DPM. degree from Temple University in 1957. He served as a resident in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at St. Luke’s and Children’s Medical Center – James C. Giuffre’ Medical Center (1957-1959). Dr. Helfand also completed a public health traineeship at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in cooperation with the American Public Health Association and Geriatric Traineeships at the University of Michigan, Columbia University, and the University of Pennsylvania.. Dr. Helfand is Board Certified in Podiatric Public Health, Podiatric Orthopedics, and Primary Podiatric Medicine.
Dr. Helfand is an emeritus fellow and member of various professional and honorary societies including The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Royal Society of Health, The American Geriatrics Society, The Gerontological Society of America, and the American Public Health Association. He served as President of the American Podiatric Medical Association (1982-1983) and a Member of the APMA Board of Trustees (1975-1984), American Board of Podiatric Public Health (Past President), American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics (Past President), Delaware Valley Geriatrics Society (Past President), Philadelphia County Podiatric Medical Society (Past President), American Society of Podiatric Medicine (Past President), American College of Podiatric Orthopedics and Medicine (Past President). Dr. Helfand also served as the first Chair of the Podiatric Health Section, American Public Health Association, Chair of the Pennsylvania Diabetes Academy, an affiliate of the Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, and Member, Vice Chair and Chair of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (1964-1975). Dr. Helfand served as an elected office of the American Podiatric Medical Association for twenty consecutive years, eleven years as a member of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education and nine years as a member of the Association’s Board of Trustees.
Dr. Helfand has authored or co-authored 405 publications, nationally and internationally, teaching programs, invited book chapters (146), and has edited ten texts dealing with podogeriatrics, rehabilitation of the foot, and podiatric public health. Dr. Helfand has served on the Editorial Boards of several scientific journals. Dr. Helfand has served as a member of several scientific review sections and committees for the Bureau of Health Professions, National Institutes of Health, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs (Special Medical Advisory Group), and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Long-Term Care Professional and Technical Advisory Committee).
Dr. Helfand has served in a consulting capacity for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Philadelphia Department of Health, and the US Public, and has lectured extensively to the academic, professional, and lay communities, with a particular expertise in foot problems relating to aging, diabetes, and public health. Dr. Helfand served fourteen years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Eastern Pennsylvania – Delaware Valley Geriatrics Society and is a Past President. Dr. Helfand currently serves as Board Member Emeritus Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging and completed three years as Treasurer and three years as Chair of the Board of Directors, and two years as Vice-Chair of the Board. PCA – Care Connections, Founding Board of Directors, Vice-Chair Board of Directors