Thursday, June 12, 2014

Walk With a Doc Inspiring Communities to Get Active

Editor’s note: In 2012 Georgetown plastic surgeon Susan Pike, MD, hosted Texas’ first Walk With a Doc (WWAD) event to encourage health and fitness in her community. WWAD is a program where physicians, specialists, and other health care professionals host free and open walking events while providing support and answering questions for anyone who wishes to participate. After two years of helping patients and fellow Georgetown citizens take “ ‘actual’ steps toward improving their health and fitness,” Dr. Pike reports she’s seen great results:   

I have had an older couple coming [on walks] with regularity for many months. They learned about the program from a sign they saw in the hospital during the husband’s stay. He has multiple medical problems, and mobility has been an issue. I am guessing diabetes is among his issues. He has grown steadily stronger and leaner in the months I have known him, and his effort is considerably diminished [compared with] when they first joined us.

They told me this weekend they are moving to Tucson. Before I could say I would miss them, the wife shot out, “Don’t worry, we have already looked up the WWAD program and found our group out there!"  This is impact.

Another regular walker, one of the speedy ones who comes with her entire family, was waiting for me at the snack area after completing her walk, as I always bring up the rear for safety reasons. She told me two women, new to our community, had stopped by to see what the program was about, and she had filled them in on the purpose and schedule and had them sign up for the email list. This is (community) ownership.

Finally, you know I support the WWAD program wholeheartedly.  I come away each time feeling energized, positive, and as if I have touched someone in a way I cannot otherwise do in my office. This is physician and community wellness.

Susan M. Pike, MD
Baylor Scott and White Healthcare, Round Rock
Director, Cosmetic Surgery Center
Director, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Assistant Professor, TAMUHSC

To join Dr. Pike on a Walk With a Doc event or to see if any events are happening in your area, check out the Walk Directory for Texas on the WWAD website. If you are interested in becoming a walk leader, contact WWAD for more information. 

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