Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront (BRPW) and Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB) began a pilot Park Rx program on the 16th of July. ParkRx seeks to improve individual and community health by getting patients out and active through free park activities and health coaching.
Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront (BRPW), in partnership with the Community Health Centers of Burlington (CHCB), is pleased to offer a second session of Park Rx this summer of 2019. Park Rx seeks to improve individual and community health by getting patients outside and active through free park activities and health coaching.
Building on the connections and lessons from last summer, Park Rx will continue to offer a healthful alternative/supplemental treatment for preventable and lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Noah Praamsma, a former AmeriCorps member with BPRW and current graduate student in dietetics at the University of Vermont, coordinates the program. Park Rx utilizes Burlington’s existing park infrastructure and benefits from the generous donations of local business and organizations for the incentives component of the program.
Park Rx in Burlington uses a “push-pull” collaboration model between the healthcare providers at CHCB (and others) and Burlington Parks and Rec. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals “push” patients by recommending them to outdoor activity, exercise, and more time spent in nature. The patient and provider work together to fill out a short registration form and goals worksheet that Praamsma (who serves as the program’s health coach) collects and uses to plan group activities. He makes regular contact with each participant via phone or text and encourages individuals to exercise and participate in group activities.
Group activities occur throughout the week and at times designed to accommodate the schedules of participants. Activities primarily consist of walking but may also include gardening or other special events put on by our partner organizations (chair yoga, tai chi, Bone Builders, memory café, etc.). Park Rx offers incentives, such as gift cards to local businesses, free yoga class coupons, bike share memberships and others, for participants that regularly attend group sessions or report exercise/park visits done on their own. The current session will run the duration of the summer.
If you’d like to participate in Park Rx, ask your healthcare provider to refer you. Any Burlington-area providers may prescribe this program but first need to enroll as a prescribing physician. Joining Park Rx is easy and free, so ask and encourage them to participate! For information on how to bring Park Rx in Burlington to your medical center, contact Noah Praamsma at (802) 825-6980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.