Local physicians lace up their sneakers to improve community health

SUGAR LAND, Texas- Instead of just advising their patients, Dr. Heather Hamilton and Dr. Benedict Ifedi, put on their sneakers and joined them for an hour-long walk on Tuesday afternoon.

 Their small group assembled at Physicians at Sugar Creek (PSC) to participate in the Walk with a Doc program.

Both doctors are Chief Residents at Memorial Hermann’s Memorial Family Medicine Residency and PSC. 

“As primary care physicians, we are very passionate about preventative medicine,” said Hamilton, who along with Ifedi launched the Walk with a Doc chapter at PSC. “We’ve realized that much of what we do in the office may only account for 10 or 20 percent of our patients’ health. So, we’re really trying to help them develop healthy lifestyles. By doing the walk with them they are helping us as doctors to get them on a healthy path.”

Ohio cardiologist Dr. David Sabgir launched the Walk with a Doc program in 2005 after he found that only five percent of his patients were getting the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. 

At the first walk, 101 people showed up. Today the Walk with a Doc program boasts more than 250 chapters across the country.

His example helped these two doctors start  a Walk with a Doc chapter in the Sugar Land area.

"We don’t just want to tell our patients to exercise; we want to be there with them,” said Hamilton.

Lety Edmonson, a first time participant with the PSC walking group, learned about the program from a resident making rounds at the hospital where she works. 

“My doctors told me I needed to exercise more so I’m pushing myself,” said Edmonson. “I get motivated by walking with other people in the group. In my case, the best medication is exercise. I’m trying to exercise, eat healthier and get more sleep. I want to be healthy for my family.

Hamilton hopes the Walk with a Doc will take-off in the Sugar Land and Southwest Houston community and reach a critical mass of people wanting to improve their lives and get healthy. 

The Walk with a Doc program is free and open to the public. The walks take place every Wednesday beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Physicians at Sugar Creek located at 14023 Southwest Freeway in Sugar Land.

For more information about the walk, call (281) 325-4100.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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