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Statewide ‘Walk with a Doc’ Campaign Promotes Health and Nature

09/16/2021

​Harrisburg, PA -- As part of a movement to promote health, nature, and local parks and trails, the departments of Health and Conservation and Natural Resources today hosted a “Walk with a Doc” event. The hour-long walk around downtown Harrisburg is part of a larger campaign across Pennsylvania to encourage communities and health professionals to get active together. The statewide initiative is running throughout the year but being highlighted in September, which is PA Trails Month.

“Mitigation efforts are still underway to combat COVID-19, including getting more Pennsylvanians vaccinated, but we still encourage individuals to maintain an active physical lifestyle to be healthy,” Department of Health Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said. “This means participating in outdoor recreational activities as much as possible. Physical activity provides immediate and long-term health benefits. Take advantage of the beautiful nature trails and parks across Pennsylvania this fall to increase recreational activities and maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

The Walk with a Doc effort is a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and DOH. The initiative will provide communities the opportunity to take an active role in their health while exploring their local outdoor recreational areas with the medical professionals who care for them.

“This Walk with a Doc program has been a great collaboration and we thank all of our partners helping us to advance wellness in nature and meet a goal of our statewide outdoor recreation plan,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “I am especially proud to have the support of Pennsylvania’s top physician as we continue to spread the word of the program. The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of spending time in natural spaces and making the direct connection to our health is something we hope resonates in communities across the commonwealth."

Communities and health organizations are encouraged to get active and host their own Walk with a Doc event through DCNR. Walk with a Doc is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire communities through movement and conversation. During the event, participants will enjoy a light walk with physicians and other local healthcare professionals who will provide support to participants and answer questions during the walk.

Those interested in hosting a Walk with a Doc event in their community can find more information online. As new Walk with a Doc events in September are scheduled around the commonwealth they’ll be added to the DCNR Calendar of Events.

The two departments are also partnering to provide free COVID-19 vaccine at several state parks including the following state park vaccination clinics from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M:

  • Shikellamy State Park (Union/Northumberland Counties) on Saturday, Sept. 18; 
  • Codorus State Park (York County): Sunday, Sept. 19; 
  • Keystone State Park (Westmoreland County): Saturday, Sept. 25; and 
  • Nockamixon State Park (Bucks County): Saturday, Sept. 25.

To find a vaccine clinic nearest you, visit www.pa.gov/covid.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Mark O’Neill, Health

                                  Wesley Robinson, DCNR

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