The latest physical-fitness initiative of the North Side Health Advisory Committee is a collaboration with a nonprofit that was founded in central Ohio and grew to national proportions.
Walk With a Doc is once again concentrating its efforts closer to home.
The first of the exercise club's mile-long events will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, starting at the Woodward Park Community Center, 5147 Karl Road.
The walks -- which last an hour although participants may stay for as little or as long as they want -- are held in the community center's gym during bad weather and after Thanksgiving.
Members of the advisory panel discussed the initiative during last week's meeting.
"This is a neat program that's been going on in other parts of the country," committee co-chairman Scott Dowling said. "We're pretty excited about this."
The North YMCA is also a sponsor, according to Kate Robb, a program manager with Columbus Public Health.
Health department officials created the North Side Health Advisory Committee and others around the city to gain insight into the issues and concerns in specific sectors of Columbus.
The mission of Walk With a Doc, according to its website, is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle.
Walk with a Doc was created by Dr. David Sabgir, a board-certified cardiologist who practices with Mount Carmel Clinical Cardiovascular Specialists at Mount Carmel St. Ann's Hospital.
T-shirts and pedometers will be given to Walk With a Doc participants as incentives, Robb said at the meeting. This is a pilot program of the nonprofit organization, she added.
Future walking club sessions are scheduled for Sept. 21, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 2, Nov. 16 and Dec. 7.
Mount Carmel's Mobile Medical Coach is scheduled to be at the Oct. 19 Walk With a Doc.
"We'll schedule more dates and see if we can continue to use the recreation center," Robb said. "We hope to continue it."
"At this point, the only thing we need to do is have people show up, which is always the hard part," Dowling said.
Walk With a Doc was founded in Columbus in 2005, with events taking place at Highbanks Metro Park, according to Robb. The program grew to national proportions, she said, and the website lists walking clubs in, among numerous other states, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi and Ohio, as well as some in Canada, Australia and even Russia.
"But now they want to focus more on Columbus," Robb said.