Walk with a Doc Program Debuts in Greenfield on August 17

GREENFIELD – The national program Walk with a Doc will stroll into Greenfield this summer, beginning on August 17. Walk with a Doc allows community members to learn more about current health topics from a healthcare professional during a fun and inclusive bi-weekly gathering. 

The Valley Health Regional Collaborative, comprised of public health officials from Greenfield, Montague, Deerfield, Sunderland, Shutesbury and Leverett, is partnering to introduce Walk with a Doc to Franklin County. Dr. John Romano of Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Greenfield Family Medicine Residency Program will operate as the program’s lead physician. 

Each walk will occur on the first and third Thursdays of the month until the end of October, with the sessions starting at 6 p.m. at Highland Park. Each walk will last an hour. The program will begin in May when Walk with a Doc begins again in 2024. 

Romano, who is also a member of the Greenfield Board of Health, said he was introduced to the program by an inquiry to the medical center. He views Walk with a Doc as a great forum for strengthening the understanding between medical professionals and the public. 

“We felt like it was a great opportunity to engage with the community, promote healthy behaviors and be a friendly face to show who doctors are,” said Romano.  

Through the walks, Romano will talk with the public about contemporary health issues before welcoming open conversations with attendees. 

“We want to spend more time talking to and interacting with patients,” Romano added.

Walk with a Doc was started in Columbus, Ohio, in April of 2005 by Dr. David Sabgir. It has since expanded worldwide, including five other programs located throughout Massachusetts. Greenfield’s Walk with a Doc will mark the Western Massachusetts debut for the initiative. 

The Valley Health Regional Collaborative works together to meet public health needs in partner towns. The collaborative was formed with partial funding from a Public Health Excellence for Shared Services grant. The grant program, provided by Massachusetts, is designed to create cross-jurisdictional public health services sharing programs consistent with the recommendations of the Special Commission on Local and Regional Public Health’s (SCLRPH) June 2019 Report.

Members of Valley Health Regional Collaborative include Greenfield Health Director Jennifer Hoffman, Montague Health Director Ryan Paxton, Deerfield Board of Health member Carolyn Ness, Sunderland Board of Health Chair Bruce Bennett, Shutesbury Board of Health member Noren Pease, Leverett Board of Health member John Hillman, Greenfield Public Health Nurse and Shared Services Nursing Coordinator Megan Tudryn and Shared Services Grant Coordinator Athena Lee Bradley.