Clinical Advisory Working Group
The Clinical Advisory Working Group (CAWG) supports the Amputation Prevention Alliance (APA) of the American Diabetes Association® (ADA). The APA’s mission is to reduce the number of avoidable, diabetes-related amputations by providing subject matter expertise, developing educational material for providers and at-risk populations, and helping to inform and shape our advocacy work. Members of the CAWG, including leading clinical experts and innovators, enhance the work of the APA by providing a clinical perspective on how the APA positions our work around regulatory opportunities and federal legislation.
Meet the members of the Clinical Advisory Board who lend their perspective and time to the mission of saving limbs and lives:
Dr. Alper is a member of the Board of Trustees at the American Podiatric Medical Association, a member of the Executive Board at the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards, chair of the Advocacy Committee and a member of the National Advocacy Board at the ADA. He sat as the president of the Leadership Board at the ADA until 2018, and retired his private podiatrist practice in Belmont, Massachusetts after 30 years of patient care last year. Dr. Alper graduated with his medical degree from Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine where he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021.
Dr. Armstrong holds a Master of Science in Tissue Repair and Wound Healing from the University of Wales College of Medicine and a PhD from the University of Manchester College of Medicine. He is currently a professor of surgery at the University of Southern California (USC) and is the founder and director of the Southwestern Academic Limb Salvage Alliance. Dr. Armstrong has produced more than 540 peer-reviewed research papers in dozens of scholarly medical journals as well as over 100 books or book chapters. He is co-editor of the ADA’s Clinical Care of the Diabetic Foot, now entering its fourth edition. Armstrong is director of USC’s National Science Foundation funded Center to Stream Healthcare in Place which places him at the nexus of the merger of consumer electronics, wearables, and medical devices in an effort to maximize hospital-free and activity-rich days. Dr. Armstrong was selected as one of the first six International Wound Care ambassadors and is the recipient of numerous awards and degrees by universities and international medical organizations, including the inaugural Georgetown Distinguished Award for Diabetic Limb Salvage. He is the founder and co-chair of the International Diabetic Foot Conference, the largest annual international symposium on diabetic feet in the world. He is also the Founding President of the American Limb Preservation Society, a medical and surgical society dedicated to building interdisciplinary teams to eliminate preventable amputation in the U.S. and worldwide.
Dr. Dove earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida before continuing her studies at California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco, CA, where she earned the degree of doctor of podiatric medicine. She also completed her post-graduate training at The University of Texas, Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Dove was the director of podiatry at the Diabetic Foot and Ankle Center at New York University before opening her own practice. She is involved in research and has multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals, in addition to actively participating in numerous industry-sponsored clinical trials, which offer the latest technology available. Dr. Dove has over 20 years of experience, and currently operates a private practice in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Dr. Fakorede is a physician, entrepreneur, and advocate for health care injustice. He currently serves as CEO for Cardiovascular Solutions of Central Mississippi, CEO and endovascular specialist for Fusion Vascular Center, and as an Advisory Board member of Men’s Health magazine. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in economics from Rutgers University, and his medical degree from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Camden, New Jersey. Dr. Fakorede specializes in preventative cardiovascular management, women’s heart health, and catheter-based procedural focus in coronary atherosclerosis disease and peripheral atherosclerosis disease. He currently serves on the Society of Cardiac Angiography and Intervention vascular disease committee and as part of the American Heart Association Patient Advocacy Group. Dr. Fakorede’s work for health equality has been highlighted by Business Insider, Men’s Health magazine, and Reader’s Digest. He was honored by The ROOT 100 most influential African Americans 2020 and was also invited to become a member of the Men’s Health magazine Advisory Board.
Dr. Stephen Farrow, trained in medicine, endocrinology, and geriatrics, was a physician-investigator with Detroit’s Wayne State University. He also studied at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda and trained at and conducted research with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He served with Wayne’s faculty until 2005, when he relocated to the U.S. Gulf Coast. He rejoined Wayne in 2022 as adjunct professor of medicine and endocrinology to provide patient consultation and clinical education and to conduct community-based research. He studied executive business at Vanderbilt and with the American Association for Physician Leadership. Additionally, he completed executive fellowships with the VA and the Office of Personnel Management. His three decade’s service with the VA included patient care, clinical and military human performance research, and teaching. His VACO Veterans Affairs Central Office—funded initiatives included an original algorithm for cancer evaluation tracking and a novel electronic health record clinician review accelerator now in use at 30 VA medical centers. He was founding medical director for the VA enterprise Locum tenens program, and he implemented the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Health and Human Services partnership which brought Public Health Service (formerly Marine Medical Service) Commissioned Corps physicians to VA clinical service for the first time. In 1995, Dr. Farrow formalized the 501c3 Community Health & Hypertension Research Education and Screening Team (CHHREST). CHHREST worked with Detroit residents who were apprehensive about clinical trials to teach them about cardiovascular risk, how clinical research helps improve our ability to manage disease, and how to safely participate in research studies. CHHREST worked with the American Heart Association, the Michigan Department of Public Health, the Detroit VA Medical Center, Wayne’s medical school, and professional and student groups to launch Michigan’s Blood Pressure Sunday mass screening program. He established the accredited Urban Hypertension Update to provide a unique clinical perspective on the relation between select organ systems and urban cardiovascular disease. His work with CHHREST earned the VA’s Provider-of-Choice and Multicultural Workplace awards, and CHHREST was a featured topic at the NIH’s 2003 Pan-American Hypertension Initiative conference. In 2020, Dr. Farrow became executive director for the 501c3 National Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute (NDORI). A state-public-private initiative based in Mississippi, NDORI is building an expanding partnership framework to prevent, mitigate, and cure diabetes and obesity-related disease. NDORI provides remote consultation to the underserved Delta region, and NDORI’s clinical trials program facilitates underrepresented group participation in new-drug validation research. Each year, NDORI sponsors an accredited clinician summit and undergraduate research competition on diabetes and obesity. Dr. Farrow serves as a mentor for William Carey University osteopathic medicine students who conduct diabetes screening and case-finding at faith and other community venues. Dr. Farrow is treasurer for the Diabetes Coalition of Mississippi and physician co-chair for Mississippi’s Obesity Task Force where he helps implement state-wide access to the Diabetes Prevention Program, expand nutrition-security tracking, and increase health promotion activities for youth. In 2022, Dr. Farrow received the American Association for Clinical Endocrinology’s International Award for Outstanding Promotion of Endocrinology Service to the Underserved.
Dr. Gabbay is the chief scientific and medical officer for the ADA where he leads the ADA’s efforts to drive discovery within the world of diabetes research, care, and prevention. Previously, Dr. Gabbay served as the chief medical officer and senior vice president at Joslin Diabetes Center, and associate professor at Harvard Medical School. He has traversed many arenas, including an initial career as a basic scientist researcher to develop better patient communication tools—creating the first broad scale diabetes registry, designing and implementing a care management training program, leading Pennsylvania’s statewide implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home and defining the medical neighborhood and the role of centers of excellence in diabetes, and envisioning the digital health as the latest member of the diabetes team. Dr. Gabbay has received funding from the National Institute of Health Diabetes, Digestive and Kidneys Diseases, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for his care transformation work. He has served as visiting professor, keynote speaker, and organizing committees for global meetings of the ADA, International Diabetes Federation, Endocrine Society, and the Diabetes Technology Society. Along with an extensive peer-reviewed publication record, his views have appeared in popular press such as the New York Times, CNN, Oprah, the Washington Post, and NPR. Dr. Gabbay completed his Bachelor of Science degree at McGill University and his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin where he published on mechanisms of insulin signaling. He received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Brooklyn School of Medicine with a residency in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell and fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at a joint Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess-Brigham and Women’s Hospital program at Harvard.
Dr. Shelley Gath, a dual board-certified podiatrist, has been practicing medicine for 23 years. She is the CEO of Vantage Foot and Ankle Center in Arcadia, California. In 2008, Dr. Gath became a contracted physician with one of the largest Federally Qualified Health Clinics where 80–90% of her patients suffer from diabetes-related complications. To date, she is part of a team that services medically underserved communities disproportionately harmed by social injustices such as poverty and discrimination. In 2014, she began her volunteer journey with American Diabetes Association® (ADA) advocacy groups. She currently holds the position as the ADA Foot Care Interest Group Chair. Over the past four years, she has been actively participating in the ADA Scientific Sessions program. Dr. Gath earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. She then advanced her education at the California College of Podiatric Medicine in San Francisco with extended rotations at the LAC + USC Medical Center. She has extensive training in limb salvage, minimally invasive surgery, and regenerative medicine.
In recent years, she has been focusing on new modalities to reduce plantar pedal pressures. In 2020, Dr. Gath was voted Readers’ Choice Favorite Healthcare Provider, and in January 2023, she began her term as Podiatric Department Chair at USC Arcadia Hospital. In addition, Dr. Gath holds a patent on a product that helps people with dysphagia.
Dr. Jonathan Labovitz is the dean of the College of Podiatric Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. As a professor at the college, Dr. Labovitz educates students and residents in the clinical setting. His research focuses on diabetic limb salvage, value-based health care, and health disparities. Dr. Labovitz earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a concentration in nutritional biochemistry from Cornell University, and his degree in podiatric medicine from the Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine. He completed a residency at Botsford General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan, followed by an international orthopedic trauma fellowship in Graz, Austria. Dr. Labovitz later pursued additional training in limb restoration and deformity correction in Kurgan, Russia. He also served as a visiting scholar at the University of California Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health studying health policy and management. Dr. Labovitz is currently a member of the Council on Podiatric Medical Education Accreditation Committee and the chair of the California Podiatric Medical Association annual scientific conference. He has served on several professional organization boards, including the American Diabetes Association’s Los Angeles Chapter Community Leadership Board.
Dr. Lavery is a professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is also the medical director of the Diabetic Limb Salvage (DLS) program at Parkland Memorial Hospital and works as part of the DLS team at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. Dr. Lavery’s clinic and research interests involve diabetic foot complications, infections, and wound healing. Dr. Lavery completed his undergraduate studies at Indiana University and earned his medical degree at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Dr. William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. He completed a residency in podiatric medicine and surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where he also earned a master's in public health. He is board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons (Glasgow). Dr. Lavery’s research group has published over 320 peer-reviewed scientific papers and textbook chapters. His H-index is 91. The research group has received research funding from the National Institutes of Health, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, ADA, Veterans Administration, Qatar National Research Foundation, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, American Podiatric Medical Association, and private industry.
Dr. Mills currently presides as a board-certified vascular surgeon in Houston, Texas specializing in diabetic foot amputation prevention and limb salvage. He earned his medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine and completed his surgical internship and residency at Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. He has served as president of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, president of the Western Vascular Society, president of the Association of Program Directors in Vascular Surgery, director of the American Board of Surgery (ABS), immediate past chair of the Vascular Surgery Board of the ABS, and is currently a member of the Surgery Residency Review Committee of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. He is co-editor of the prestigious Rutherford's Vascular Surgery (7th and 8th editions), the “go-to” textbook for vascular surgery. Dr. Mills has authored nearly 300 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters focused on his clinical and research interests in noninvasive diagnosis, vein graft stenosis, intimal hyperplasia, and limb-salvage in patients with diabetes. He has also been the principal investigator for over 40 clinical trials.
Dr. Jihad A. Mustapha graduated with a medical degree from St. George University School of Medicine in Grenada and is a board-certified interventional cardiologist specializing in endovascular revascularization for critical limb ischemia (CLI). He serves as clinical associate professor of Medicine at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, as a founder and director of the Amputation Prevention Symposium, and as a founding board member of the CLI Global Society. Dr. Mustapha is recognized throughout the world as a pioneer for his groundbreaking work in CLI, which is marked by the severe obstruction of arteries, drastically reducing blood flow to the extremities. He has authored numerous papers, contributes to clinical research in the field of CLI, and teaches and speaks internationally on the topic. He is co-founder of the first Advanced Cardiac and Vascular Center for Amputation Prevention in hopes it will serve as a national model for amputation prevention.
Richard F. Neville, MD, FACS, is currently the chairman of the Department of Surgery and associate director of the INOVA Heart and Vascular Institute, as well as system director of Vascular Services. Dr. Neville is professor of medical education at the University of Virginia and clinical professor of surgery at The George Washington University where he previously held the position as professor of surgery and Carole and Gene Ludwig chief of vascular surgery. He also served as chief of vascular surgery at Georgetown University for many years. Dr. Neville completed medical school at the University of Maryland and his general surgery residency at Georgetown University before his fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in endovascular device development. Dr. Neville then completed a vascular surgery fellowship under the direction of Dr. Robert Hobson. Dr. Neville is a distinguished fellow of the Society for Vascular Surgery, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, as well as a member of many other societies, including the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery. Dr. Neville is a national and international lecturer, having published over 125 manuscripts, 250 abstracts, 35 book chapters, and 150 invited lectures while remaining actively involved in research and the education of students, residents, fellows, and other physicians. He has consistently been named in the Best Doctors in America, Washingtonian Top Docs, and Who’s Who in the World. His clinical interests include lower extremity revascularization, wound healing, amputation prevention, carotid artery treatment for stroke prevention, and hemodialysis access.
Kittra Owens, DPM, FACFAS, FACPM, serves as chief of staff at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. As chief of staff, she is the lead physician of two medical centers and eight community-based outpatient centers. Dr. Owens graduated from Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, Alabama) with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biology. Her postgraduate education continued at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) where she earned her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree. She completed a three-year podiatric medicine and surgery residency at Oakwood Health Care System (Dearborn, Michigan). Immediately after residency, Dr. Owens was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy and assigned to Naval Hospital Camp LeJeune (Jacksonville, North Carolina). There she served as assistant department head of Orthopedics and Orthopedic consultant for foot and ankle injuries. Dr. Owens deployed to Afghanistan on a medical embedded training team in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. As the orthopedic trauma surgeon mentor to the Afghan National Army, she trained Afghan orthopedic surgeons to manage complex foot and ankle trauma. She was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, and International Security Assistance Forces Medal for her valiant efforts. Other military assignments include Naval Hospital Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Florida), Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba), and Naval Hospital Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan). In 2015, Dr. Owens completed her active-duty service obligation as a lieutenant commander and transitioned to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to her role as chief of staff, she was employed by the VA Southern Nevada Heath Care System (Las Vegas, Nevada) as podiatry section chief. Dr. Owens is board certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery, as well as the American Board of Podiatric Medicine. Her adjunct clinical staff appointments include Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Western University of Health Sciences College of Podiatric Medicine (Pomona, California), and assistant professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Medicine. She has received academic publication in multiple journals and chapter co-authorship in the fourth edition of the textbook, McGlamry Foot and Ankle Surgery. Dr. Owens holds the distinction of being the first podiatrist to serve as chief of staff within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Siddhartha (Sid) Rao, founder of Amputation Prevention Center of North Carolina and Vascular Solutions of North Carolina, is an interventional cardiologist whose clinical practice includes care of patients with advanced peripheral artery disease (PAD), venous disease (deep venous thrombosis/DVT and varicose veins). Dr. Rao is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, interventional cardiology, and vascular ultrasound. He is a registered physician in vascular interpretation and recognized by the American Board of Vascular Medicine Diplomates in vascular medicine and endovascular medicine. Dr. Rao has served as faculty at multiple national and international educational meetings like AMP, NCVH, and LINC Mount Sinai. He’s involved in multiple peripheral arterial disease clinical trials. Dr. Rao has published articles in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, CLI Global Society Journal, Journal of Invasive Cardiology, Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, and Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology. He graduated from one of the most competitive medical schools in India, the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) in 1998 with honors and continued his medical residency at Wayne State University. Dr. Rao completed his cardiology fellowship at UNC, Chapel Hill.