5k Empowers Patients and Doctors to Get Healthy Together, by Diane Roberts-Tatum

Diane RobertsLet’s Get Healthy Together was the 2013 theme for the First Annual 5K Run/Walk with Your Doctor held at the Lehigh Parkway, Allentown on Saturday, July 13. One hundred walkers and runners registered for the event, with all proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association.

Physicians from Tilghman Medical Center, Westfield Hospital, Comprehensive Pain Centers, Westfield Surgery Center, and other healthcare providers ran with patients, staff, and community members while pledging to raise funds and live a healthier lifestyle. The 5K had children’s activities, healthcare vendors, blood pressure screenings, and healthy foods along with entertainment throughout the morning hours.

Trying to get patients to exercise and eat healthier is not always an easy task. TIlghman Medical Center’s Director, Elizabeth Khan, M.D., decided to challenge not only her patients but other physicians to Get Healthy Together! “This idea started as a dream, about four years ago. I wanted to sponsor a 5K event that would combine the medical expertise and the professional staff from our campus at Westfield together ‐ to work towards the common goal of getting everyone to live a healthier life. Motivating people to start an exercise regimen is never easy. I also had the desire to work with the American Academy of Family Physicians. I am proud to see all of these dreams come together ‐ with so many of my family members, dedicated and hardworking staff, loyal patients, other physicians, and community members involved in this year’s 5K.”

Working with Westfield Hospital, and other physicians, the 5K Run/Walk with Your Doctor was developed. Together, the physicians challenged their patients to run or walk with them.

“Through this 5K, it is a way to empower patients and doctors. Our goal is to motivate patients and doctors nationwide. In the coming years, insurance premiums will be higher for those who smoke or are overweight. Getting healthy is just the right thing to do,” expressed Dr. Khan. “Let’s as a nation strive to get healthy together!”

5k run-walkThe 5K Run/Walk with Your Doctor began with welcome  announcements made by the 5K Chair, Diane Roberts, followed by the singing of the National Anthem by Tyler Lesko, a Salisbury resident. About 8:30 a.m. on a perfect “running weather” morning, the participants began their race; walkers started their journey a few minutes behind. The first runner crossed the finish line in 18 minutes and 57 seconds; Garrett Collins, a Salisbury resident, won the overall top prize. Judy Walls was the first female to finish in a time of 24 minutes and six seconds. The second fastest runner was Salisbury high school senior, Ian Carey in exactly twenty minutes.

Packet pick-up was held at Westfield Hospital, Allentown, the night before the race. Along with the 5K, there were 37 donated baskets and gift cards raffled to close the event.  Approximately $7,000 will be donated to the American Heart Association.

“Each year, we will dedicate the money from our race to a different charity,” explained the 5K Race Chair, Diane Roberts. “This year the proceeds will be donated to the American Heart Association. We are already looking at next year’s race and considering donating to the Wounded Warrior Project.”

Details and photos  can be found at http://tilghmanmc.com/5K_Run_Walk.html http://tilghmanmc.com/5K_Run_Walk.html