From the desk of Kaweah Delta Hospital Media Director Laura Florez-McCusker
On Saturday, Jan. 12 from 8-9:15 a.m., the Healthy Visalia Committee working in partnership with Kaweah Delta, Family HealthCare Network, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency, Key Medical Group, Humana, Health Net and the Visalia Parks and Recreation Department will kick off its fifth annual Visalia Walk with the Doc Program.
The walk will take place at Blain Park, 3101 S. Court St., and the topic for January’s Walk will be cervical cancer. Throughout the year, topics will also include colon cancer, pain management/arthritis, immunizations, diabetes and kidney health, etc.
Visalia’s walks take place on the second Saturday of the month, encourage a healthy and active lifestyle, and are open to people of all ages. Walkers will enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating walk with friendly doctors and healthcare professionals from Kaweah Delta, Family HealthCare Network and other local health organizations who will provide support and answer medical-related questions.
Dr. Ron Marconi, who serves as the Physician Advisor, encourages everyone in the community to join the walk. Walking was recently recognized by the Surgeon General of the U.S. as one of the single most important things we can do for our health. Walking is low impact; easy to start activity. It is safe – with a doctor’s okay – for people with orthopedic ailments, heart conditions, and those who are more than 20% overweight.
Walk with a Doc was started in 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio. Frustrated with his inability to effect behavior change in the clinical setting, Dr. Sabgir invited his patients to go for a walk with him in a local park on a spring Saturday morning. To his surprise, over 100 people showed up, energized and ready to move. Since that first event in 2005, Walk with a Doc has grown as a grassroots effort, with a model based on sustainability and simplicity. A doctor gives a brief presentation on a health topic and then leads participants on a walk at their own pace. Healthy snacks, water and resource information are also a standard part of a Walk with a Doc event.
The Walk with a Doc program now extends from California to New York with over 425 chapters in between. The walk is in 47 US States, 21 countries and counts close to 200,000 walkers. Participants report learning a lot of new information, getting more exercise than before, and feeling empowered through the interactions with the medical doctors and health professionals.
This is a FREE program and pre-registration is not required. A health topic will be presented at each walk, healthy snacks will be provided as well as raffle prizes. A list of walk days will be announced through: www.walkwithadoc.org and www.healthyvisalia.org