“Walk With a Doc” Gets Callahan Moving
Kiersten Prince, DO, a Baptist Primary Care physician in Callahan, looks forward to her monthly Walk With a Doc as much as the growing numbers of walkers enjoy seeing her.
“I get to meet people and talk to them,” Dr. Prince said. “It’s not just our patients who show up. We have older people, families with small children and everyone in between coming out to Ewing Park. And several people have met ‘walking buddies,’ with whom they’ve exchanged phone numbers and are continuing to walk.”
Walk With a Doc is a national program that was started in 2005 by an Ohio cardiologist. Dr. Prince brought the idea to Baptist earlier this year, and the first event was held in Callahan last April.
“Many of my patients get no exercise and live a sedentary lifestyle,” Dr. Prince said. “Some of the elderly people are scared to start without a doctor’s approval. I tell them pretty much anyone can walk.”
Dr. Prince, who is from Virginia, came to the area with her husband, an internist in the Navy who was transferred to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. Dr. Prince divides her time between Baptist Primary Care and taking care of her toddler.
Family care — including pediatrics — is Dr. Prince’s area of specialization, and she’s seen some new patients as a result of Walk With a Doc. “We see newborns and up. A lot of families here are used to driving to Jacksonville to see a pediatrician, because they don’t know that we can provide everything right here in Callahan.”
The monthly walk is held at Ewing Park, a small park near the center of town. The group walks two miles in about 45 minutes and each participant receives a T-shirt and a pedometer to measure progress. Healthy refreshments are provided and free blood pressure checks are available.
Most of the staff at Baptist Primary Care comes to the walk, so parents of small children will know that someone’s watching the kids while they walk.
“It’s a fun, friendly way to get moving,” Dr. Prince added.