A health program that brings doctors and patients together each month to walk and to chat is being implemented by an area hospital.

Northern Light AR Gould Hospital is urging local residents to take a step toward better health with Walk with a Doc. Walk with a Doc is an international non-profit organization. Its mission is to inspire communities through movement and conversation.  Northern Light AR Gould has joined the program to bring it to the Presque Isle community.

A driving force behind bringing the program to the area is Andrew Lederman, MD, a physiatrist and interventional pain specialist in the Northern Light Orthopedics practice at the hospital. He was also involved in the program when he was chief resident at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, saying how he was able to see first-hand the success of the program. “This is a wonderful opportunity for providers and patients to interact outside of the clinical setting."

Lederman says both patients and providers benefit from the program, helping to create a better, more interactive relationship and encouraging people to get out and get active.

This program is free and open to people of all ages and physical abilities. The walk will be held at locations that allow people to easily walk at their own pace for whatever distance they choose. Locations will also be wheelchair and stroller accessible.

The first Walk with a Doc session will take place on Tuesday, January 28, from 12-1 pm at the Sargent Family Community Center in Preque Isle. Dr. Lederman will lead a brief talk about the program as well as ways to restore your functional ability and way of life.  This will be followed by a walk around the track.

The February Walk with a Doc will be with John Raymond, PA-C, from Northern Light Heart and Lung, who will lead a discussion on ways to protect your heart, followed by a walk around the Aroostook Center Mall on Tuesday, February 25, from 11 am to 12 pm.  The March Walk with a Doc session will also take place at the mall during those same hours.  David Weed, DO, who heads up Northern Light Sleep Diagnostics, will lead a brief discussion on sleep-related issues prior to the March 31 walk.

Light snacks and water will be provided at each of the Walk with a Doc sessions. Participation is free and pre-registration is not required. Simply stop by and enjoy a walk.