Training for Health Professionals

We offer in-person and online seminars and other training opportunities throughout the year, including:

Comprehensive Management of the Neuropathic Foot

This course combines classroom instruction and hands-on techniques for a comprehensive approach to managing the insensitive foot.

Dates: April 22 - 24, 2020  |  September 23 - 25, 2020

Cost: None

Register Now: Complete the registration form (PDF - 54 KB)

Training Facility Location:

1770 Physicians Park Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Call: 1-800-642-2477 (toll-free) | 225-756-3761
Fax: (225) 756-3760
Email Mickey Templet

Approximately 20 miles from the Baton Rouge airport. And 85 miles from the New Orleans airport. Exit at O’Neal Lane from Interstate 12 (I-12).

What will you learn?

  • Understand the features of neuropathy;
  • Perform a foot screen, assign risk category, and formulate an appropriate treatment plan;
  • Understand the rationale and benefits of a basic prevention program;
  • Learn the treatment principles for neuropathic foot lesions;
  • Understand the causes of foot ulcerations;
  • Identify charcot foot deformities and describe their role in ulcerations;
  • Identify the four mechanisms by which patients develop plantar ulcers;
  • Identify bony deformities and biomechanical faults which place the patient at high risk;
  • Apply a cast or splint used for the treatment of foot ulcerations;
  • Describe orthotic and footwear appliances used to reduce foot pressure;
  • Correctly measure shoe fit in the high risk individual.

Who should attend?

  • Nurses
  • Physical Therapists
  • Podiatrists
  • Orthotists
  • Pedorthists
  • Diabetic Educators

Where can you stay?

You can find many major hotel accommodations within one to five miles of the training facility.

Can you receive continuing education credit?

Yes. Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) will apply for:

  • Louisiana State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners
  • C.E. Board for Certification in Pedorthics
  • Contact hours pending approval by the Louisiana State
    Nurses Association (LSNA), an accredited approver by the
    American Nurses Credentialing Center, Commission on

Diagnosis & Treatment of Hansen's Disease in the United States

This seminar will improve health care providers' understanding of the unique characteristics and current concepts in the diagnosis and treatment of Hansen’s disease (leprosy).

Date: November 2 - 3, 2020

Cost: None (limited seating)

Register Now: Complete the registration form (PDF - 132 KB)

Training Facility Location:

Gillis W Long Center
5445 Pt Clair Rd
Carville, LA 70721

What will you learn?

  • National Hansen's Disease Program (NHDP) mission and general concepts of Hansen’s disease (HD)
  • Biological characteristics of M. leprae
  • Pathological changes in the skin and nerves from HD
  • Cardinal signs and criteria for diagnosis
  • Current treatment protocols recommended for HD in the United States
  • Management of two types of HD reactions
  • Physical changes due to inflammation of the skin and nerves and secondary neuropathic changes (face, hands, feet)
  • Prevention of disability

What will the course include?

  • Clinical Aspects
  • Treatment of Uncomplicated HD
  • Immunology of HD
  • Pathology of HD
  • Management of Reaction
  • Eye Care in HD
  • Patient Presentations
  • Dermatological Aspects
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Disability Prevention
  • Ambulatory HD care in the United States

Who should attend?

  • Dermatologists
  • Infectious Disease Specialists
  • Primary Care Providers
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Other Medical Specialists, ER and Urgent Care Physicians (particularly those residing in areas of high prevalence such as California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New York, Massachusetts and Hawaii)

Can you receive continuing education credits?


  • Contact hours pending approval by the American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Contact hours pending approval by the Louisiana State Nurses Association (LSNA), an accredited approver of continuing nursing education

Online Courses

Awareness of Hansen’s Disease in the United States: Basic Diagnosis, Treatment & Management of Complications

This online course will increase health care providers’ awareness of this unique and misunderstood disease.

Cost: Free

Continuing Education: One contact hour. | Only physicians can receive Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) at this time. Receive 1.5 CME credits from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Application for Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) credit has been applied for through the Louisiana State Nurses Association (LSNA). The LSNA is an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, Commission on Accreditation.

(The American Medical Association accepts AAFP Prescribed credit as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 Credit toward the AMA Physicians’ Recognition Award.)

Register: Complete the registration form (PDF - 222 KB)

Once you register, we'll send you a username and password. You'll then have 24 hour access to the course materials.

You must complete all modules and post-tests within two weeks. Once you complete the course, we'll mail you a CME certificate of completion.

Who should take this course?

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants
  • Public Health Workers
  • Social Workers
  • Therapists

What will you learn?

  • Provides private practice and academic healthcare providers with the basic knowledge necessary to diagnosis and treat Hansen's disease.
  • Introduces methods used to prevent the disabilities caused by Hansen's disease.
  • Aids in the clinical diagnosis and management of more complicated Hansen's disease (Leprosy) cases.

Upon completion, you should:

  • Be knowledgeable of the services provided by the National Hansen’s Disease Program
  • Recognize the cardinal signs and symptoms
  • Describe the microbiology and pathology of HD before and after treatment
  • Identify the varied clinical presentations of HD
  • List two basic treatment regimens used in the U.S. for HD and how patients are classified into these two groups
  • Recognize complications and be better able to recognize adverse effects

What do you include in the lecture series?

  • Introduction, epidemiology of Hansen’s Disease and the services provided by National Hansen’s Disease Program (NHDP)
    James Krahenbuhl, PhD
  • Basic microbiology and pathology of Hansen’s Disease, pathologic changes seen during treatment and pathologic basis of complications
    David Scollard, MD, PhD
  • Clinical presentations of Hansen’s Disease, cardinal signs and symptoms, classification systems used in Hansen’s Disease, treatment regimens, and management of complications
    Barbara Stryjewska, MD

Who are the course instructors?

James Krahenbuhl, PhD – Former Director, National Hansen's Disease Program

Dr. Krahenbuhl has 35 years experience in leprosy research and general leprosy expertise. He has authored 120 peer-reviewed publications and 180 peer-reviewed scientific presentations.

He has lectured numerous times on this subject and has organized comprehensive seminars on the need for leprosy awareness in Springdale, Arkansas; the Lahey Clinic in Boston, Emory University in Atlanta and the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

As Director of the NHDP, a top training priority has been to increase the awareness that leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) does still exist in the U.S. and that the NHDP provides diagnostic, treatment, management and consultative services that assist private sector health care givers to manage cases of leprosy.

David Scollard, M.D., PhD – Former Director, National Hansen's Disease Program

After receiving M.D. and Ph.D. (Pathology / Immunology) degrees from the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, Dr. Scollard, completed a one year of residency in Internal Medicine. He has taught pathology at the University of Hong Kong, the University of Hawaii, and currently at Louisiana State University in New Orleans.

Starting with a leprosy research interest at the University of Hong Kong in the late 1970s, he participated as Field Director for the combined Chiang Mai Uni. versity / University of Illinois Leprosy research project in Thailand.

Dr. Scollard has more than 30 years’ experience in leprosy work in the field, clinic, and laboratory venues. He has over 60 peer-reviewed publications and has authored several book chapters on leprosy and was the Editor of the International Journal of Leprosy from 2003-2005.

He was the Chief of Pathology for the NHDP Laboratory Research Branch from 1993-2008.

Barbara Stryjewska, M.D. – Chief, Clinical Branch, NHDP

Dr. Stryjewska obtained her medical doctorate in 1977 from the Jagiellonian University School of Medicine in Krakow, Poland. After completing her residency in Radiation Oncology, she served as an attending on the Oncology Service at the Centre of Oncology at the Curie Memorial Institute in Krakow until her immigration to the United States in 1988.

After immigrating to the U.S., she retrained in Family Medicine at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Yonkers, New York. She served as a Primary Care Provider in Baton Rouge, Louisiana until 2002, when she assumed the position of Director of Medical Services for the National Hansen’s Disease Program Clinical Branch, the only facility in the United States solely devoted to the treatment of leprosy.

In addition to her duties coordinating the overall care of Hansen’s disease patients who are seen at NHDP, Dr. Stryjewska also provides consulting support to physicians and health departments around the country and she regularly leads educational seminars on the medical, surgical and therapeutic management of leprosy.

John F. Prestigiacomo, MD, MBA – NHDP Blackboard Instructor

"Awareness of Hansen's Disease in U.S." Course Developer
After receiving an undergraduate B.A. Degree in Chemistry, Dr. Prestigiacomo attended Louisiana State University (LSU) Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana receiving his MD degree in 1983. He then completed three years of postgraduate residency training in Family Medicine at both Charity Hospital and Hotel Dieu Hospital (now called University Hospital) in New Orleans as part of the LSU Medical Center Family Medicine Residency Program.

In January 2000, Dr. Prestigiacomo began participating in a joint pilot MBA educational program initiated by the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. In December 2002, Dr. Prestigiacomo was awarded his Masters of Business Administration degree.

Since graduating from the LSU Family Medicine Residency Program, Dr. Prestigiacomo has served as a Primary Care Provider in the Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana area.

In October 2006, Dr. Prestigiacomo assumed a part-time staff position with the National Hansen’s Disease Program. He serves as a Medical Officer involved in the diagnosis and treatment of new and ongoing cases of Hansen’s Disease.

Why is this important for the general medical community?

Although Hansen's disease (HD), more commonly known as leprosy, is not a common infectious disease, it has not been eradicated from the U.S. population.

HD is endemic in the U.S., particularly in the Gulf Coast region, with 100 to 150 new cases diagnosed each year.

But--more cases are being detected in the heartland of the country.

This increases the likelihood that those in the general medical community may encounter one or more cases of HD. Therefore, this information will be useful in the detection and management of the disease.

Comprehensive Management of the Neuropathic Foot

We modified our seminar “The Carville Approach to Management of the Neuropathic Foot" for an online environment. We cover time-tested principles and protocols effectively proven to prevent amputation in the lower extremity due to neuropathy.

Cost: Free

Continuing Education: Receive Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) for Louisiana Physical Therapy Board and/or American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics

Register: Complete the application form (PDF - 110 KB)

Once you register, we'll send you a username and password. You'll then have 24 hour access to the course materials.

You must complete all modules and post-tests within two weeks. Once you complete the course, we'll mail you a certificate of completion.

Who should take this course?

Any health professional working with patients who have lower extremity neuropathy.

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Orthotists
  • Pedorthists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Podiatrists

What will you learn?

This course will help you assess and treat the neuropathic foot and evaluate protocols (or treatment options). We also provide ways to reduce injuries and amputations.

Upon completion, you will be able to:

  • Understand the characteristics of lower extremity diabetic neuropathy
  • Identify the cause(s) and mechanical process of ulceration
  • List the five elements of the Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention (LEAP) program
  • Assign a patient into a risk category based on evaluation results
  • Formulate an appropriate management plan according to risk category
  • Describe orthotic and footwear appliances used to reduce foot pressure

What do you include in the lecture series?

Six modules provide the background theory. They also give you practical evaluation and treatment tools you can apply immediately in the clinic.

  • The Insensitive Foot: Mechanisms of Injury
    James Foto, BSME, C.Ped.
  • Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention
    Denise Brasseaux, PT, C.Ped., CWS
  • Foot Screen
    Dane Hupp, PT, CP, BS EX PHYS
  • Conservative Management of Neuropathic Foot Injuries
    Denise Brasseaux, PT, C.Ped., CWS
  • Footwear for Injury Prevention
    Alicia Hoard, LOTR, C.Ped.
  • Management of Charcot Fractures
    Ronnie Matthews, M.D. & Dane Hupp, PT, CP, BS EX PHYS

Who are the course instructors?

James Foto, BSME, C.Ped. is the former senior biomedical research engineer in the Paul W. Brand Biomechanics Laboratory at the National Hansen's Disease Programs. His understanding of pathomechanics of ulceration stems from his knowledge of plantar pressure and in-shoe materials, on which he has also extensively lectured and published. He obtained his bachelors of science in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University. He is a state registered professional engineer and a board certified pedorthist.

Denise Brasseaux, PT, CPed., CWS is the former Chief of the Physical Therapy Department at the National Hansen's Disease Programs. She received her BS degree in Physical Therapy from Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans. She worked at the National Hansen's Disease Programs for over 18 years and developed expertise in the area of neuropathic foot management which includes wound care and pedorthics.

Dane Hupp, B.S. Exercise Physiology, M.S.P.T., C.P. received his Bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology from Kansas State University in 1988 and his Masters in Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1990. After working in the field for three years, he attained his prosthetic certification from Northwestern University in 1993. He has 26 years experience working with the insensitive foot and has been working at the National Hansen's Disease Programs for the past 19 years.

Alicia Hoard, LOTR, MOT, CPed. is the former Chief of the Hand and Occupational Therapy Department at the National Hansen's Disease Programs. She received her Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and her Master's from Texas Women's University. She was involved in patient care, professional training, and clinical research. She has over 25 years working in the management of neuropathic limbs.

Ronnie Matthews, M.D. graduated from the Louisiana State University Medical Center in 1974 and has been the Orthopedic Consultant for the National Hansen's Disease Programs for over 30 years. He has extensive experience performing reconstructive surgery and managing the neuropathic hand and foot.

Single Day Seminars

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

For nurses, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and other allied health specialists.

Contact Mickey Templet for a schedule of upcoming seminars, a brochure and registration form

Observational Training

What is observational training?

An opportunity for those working, or planning to work as as professional Hansen's disease (leprosy) personnel, to learn current concepts in the management of Hansen's disease (leprosy). 

Typically, we offer highly specialized training in clinical aspects, rehabilitation methods, or clinical laboratory methods.

Is there a curriculum?

We don't provide a prescribed curriculum. We tailor training to provide an appropriate learning experience for each individual we accept to the program.

Who can take the training?

Generally, we accept practicing professionals in medicine or science. We recommend you begin by attending one of the two-day medical seminars above.

When do we offer it?

We offer observational training throughout the year. Training may last several days to one month, depending on individual needs.

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2020

Hansen's Disease

National Hansen's Disease Museum

Diagnosis & Management

Patient Information

Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention


National Hansen's Disease Clinical Center

Ambulatory Care Clinics

Training for Health Professionals

History of the Hansen's Disease Program

Frequently Asked Questions

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National Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) Program - Caring & Curing Since 1894

Related Links

Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)

Leprosy (National Institutes of Health)

Leprosy Elimination/Leprosy Today Exit Disclaimer (World Health Organization)