NMC Commentary

What is ‘Walk & Talk With A Provider’?

It is a fantastic way to build a bit of fitness into your day once a week while getting to know the medical professionals in our community, learning a bit more about your health, and even having the chance to ask any questions you may have.  Mark your calendars for 5:30pm on Tuesdays July 11, 18, and 25 and join us on the walking path at Collins Perley Sports Complex to take part in this gentle, informative new offering!  Bring your family and friends and even your dog as these are family-friendly, kid-friendly, and pet-friendly events!

RiseVT, NMC’s Lifestyle Medicine team, and members of NMC’s Medical Staff are partnering to pilot a new ‘Walk & Talk With A Provider’ style of the very popular “Show Up” events that RiseVT has made so popular.  At one of these walks, a host from RiseVT or Lifestyle Medicine welcomes attendees, gets everyone signed in, and introduces the featured local physician or advanced practice provider.  In a very informal setting, that provider shares thoughts and insights on a health topic and answers questions from participants. Then, the group enjoys a walk with each participant setting their own pace. It’s a nice mix of learning and exercise.  We really appreciate the physicians and advance practice providers joining in to make these offerings possible and our thanks go out to Collins Perley for providing the wonderful free resource of the community walking path on their grounds.

We are mid-way through our summer pilot of these offerings.  Dr. Toby Sadkin of St. Albans Primary Care was our featured walker at the initial offering in June.  She spoke about the importance of building physical activity into your day and some practical strategies for making that workable in busy lives. Making and taking the time to invest in your own health is so important and a daily walk is a great way to start.  After Dr. Sadkin spoke, the attendees (including a number of leashed furry friends) walked on the Collins Perley walking path.  Attendees walked at their own pace, chose their own distances, and enjoyed ongoing conversation and laughter in the resulting small groups that formed on that windy evening.

Dr. Deanne Haag of Northwestern Pediatrics was featured at the second offering.  She spoke of the benefits of walking with children – and was joined by her own daughter for the walk. When walking with young children, Dr. Haag suggested playing games along the way such as ‘I Spy’ or ‘Red Light Green Light’ or collecting little items for an art project to connect the walking trip to another fun activity.  Dr. Haag suggested walking with teens as a way for the family to unplug and connect, creating an opportunity to discuss highlights of what is happening and challenges at hand.  These walks can become family traditions – a walking Wednesday, for example – or a chance to share in walking the dog each day.  In keeping with the theme of Dr. Haag’s talk, three children participated in the walk that evening (with one pushed in a stroller and one mixing scampering about and being carried – so any approach is welcomed).

There are three more on the schedule. Nurse Practitioner Katja von Sitas of NMC’s women’s health services practice Northwestern OB/GYN will be leading the walk on Wednesday, July 11.  Dr. Denise Durant, an orthopaedic surgeon with a specialty in hand surgery from Northwestern Orthopaedics will be leading the July 18th walk. We are working on calendars with our physicians right now for July 25 (it may be Dr. Mary Woodhouse of Northwestern Associates in Surgery), so stay tuned to RiseVT.com and the RiseVT Facebook presence for details on that offering!  ‘Walk & Talk With A Provider’ opportunities are all held at Collins Perley Sports Center (we will walk inside if the weather is unkind) and begin at 5:30 pm.

Walking is a wonderful way to build physical activity into your daily routine and it has many health benefits.  For a complete calendar of upcoming offerings, please visit RiseVT.Com or call us at 524-8825.  Please grab your friends and family and join in on these opportunities to get to learn some more about an interesting health topic and get to know our local physicians and advance practice providers better.  By embracing healthy lifestyles, we put ourselves on the path to a healthier future.

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer