Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

In it Together: Building a Culture of Health 

2015_RWJF_Presidents Message

We intend to help our nation increase its demand for healthy places and practices by promoting systematic change in policy, laws and living conditions. We will provide data and tools that communities, agencies, organizations, institutions and individuals need to make better health a priority at all levels. And, we will shine a spotlight on the places and people who are leading the movement.

One of these individuals is David Sagbir, MD, a cardiologist from Columbus, Ohio. He is the founder of a program called Walk With a Doc, which started out of sheer frustration. When he met with his patients, he would stress that their lifestyle choices were a matter of life or death, and they had to take charge of their own health. In the office, they would promise to start exercising, to watch their diets and quit smoking. Six months later, they’d be back and their promises hadn’t stuck. Sagbir knew he needed to come up with a better way to motivate them. So one day he asked a patient: “What are you doing Saturday morning? Do you want to meet me and my family in the park for a walk?” And that’s how it started. With one patient, walking and talking about getting and staying healthier. Word of Sagbir’s walks got out and soon other doctors in other communities invited their patients to walk. Now there are 150 Walk With a Doc programs across the country and the program is striding across Europe, India and Russia.