Featured Leader: Dr. Gebre Nida

Gebre Nida grew up in a rural Ethiopian village where nearly everyone struggled to survive. “Everything was in short supply except air, sun, and soil,” says Nida. “Walking for several miles barefoot was not a big deal. I got my first pair of shoes at age 14.”

Looking back, Gebre had no idea he would end up where he is today. With a drive to overcome the poverty in which he grew up, he pursued a medical degree and is now a multiple board-certified physician in Greensboro, North Carolina. He credits the support of his family, friends, teachers, and even strangers who helped him along the way. One thing remains from his childhood: Dr. Nida still travels many miles on foot as an avid long-distance runner. He has completed 33 marathons so far including 5 Boston Marathon races and 3 world major marathons, with a personal best time of 2:47:09 at age 48.

Though he was established as an esteemed physician and marathon runner, Dr. Nida still felt something was missing. That’s when he discovered the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, which he says transformed him as a person, professional, and citizen. A lifelong learner, Dr. Nida explored the research and learned all he could about using lifestyle changes as a tool to prevent and treat chronic disease.

Armed with knowledge about the power of lifestyle medicine, Dr. Nida knew what his next step needed to be: helping others take a first step toward better health. Dr. Nida launched the Greensboro Walk with a Doc program on January 14, 2023.

After a successful kick-off event, Dr. Nida began reaching out to colleagues from Cone Health and invited them to get involved in the monthly walk events as well. He quickly began to see results for his patients, community, and even himself. “Walk with a Doc has given me an incredible opportunity to connect with my beloved community. The little gesture of being willing to share my passion, time, and knowledge has elevated the whole union among us.”

Dr. Nida believes that the field of medicine is unique as it allows you to “do good while also doing well”. While he originally set out to volunteer as a way to give back to his community, Nida says he’s gotten even more out of it than he’s put in. “The decision to start a Walk with a Doc program almost immediately started to give me dividends in terms of my personal satisfaction and respect from my colleagues, community, and friends across the globe.”

Recently celebrating the one-year anniversary of WWAD Greensboro, the leaders and participants are looking forward to many more years of walking, building relationships, and taking charge of their health together.

Looking toward the future, Dr. Nida intends to help his 3 children complete their college education and become compassionate members of society, expand his lifestyle medicine practice, and devote more time to philanthropic endeavors.