Dr. Bill J. Releford, a podiatric surgeon based in Los Angeles, is a graduate of the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia. He began his practice in 1990 and established the Diabetic Foot Institute. Dr. Releford specializes in diabetic amputation prevention in an effort to reduce the astronomical diabetes-related amputation rate experienced by African Americans. This disparity inspired Dr. Releford to dedicate his life to developing innovative medical as well as outreach strategies to promote the adoption of healthier lifestyles that will ultimately decrease the amputation rate in underserved communities. Because Dr. Releford’s mother passed away from diabetes-related complications, he’s made the fight against diabetes his career and “personal assignment”.
Dr. Bill J. Releford launched two innovative initiatives to address health disparities in the African American community. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program was launched October 2007 out of the need to address health disparities among African American men with the mission to SCREEN, EDUCATE and REFER men to local health care resources. Black men die prematurely from preventable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. To date, the program has screened over 30,000 men in over 750 black owned barbershops in over 50 cities. The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program has been used across the country as an effective model to engage underserved and disenfranchised segments of our society.
Additionally, Dr. Releford authored the book 5 Colors A Day to Better Health in February 2009 to address the lack of awareness about healthy food choices and the risk of experiencing complications from cardiovascular disease. 5 Colors A Day to Better Health highlights the benefits of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables with an emphasis on consuming at least 5 colors a day. The 5 Colors A Day Initiative aims to promote healthy food choices in churches, barbershop, schools as well as in the workplace.
Dr. Releford’s international outreach includes projects in Haiti, Ghana, Uganda, Brazil, Fiji as well as Costa Rica.
Dr. Releford openly shares his personal triumph over incarceration to motivate young people about the importance of taking full responsibility of their actions and their subsequent consequences that follow. Dr. Releford’s much anticipated book, “Restore, Redefine and Relauch: How To Find Peace and Prosperity Inside of Adversity”, will highlight the tools he used to overcome the fall-out from a bad business decision he made in 1999 that resulted in a 24 month sentence in federal prison.
Dr. Releford and his community outreach efforts have been highlighted in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek Magazine, Black Enterprise, THE VIEW, THE DOCTORS, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams as well as the TODAY SHOW.