Myrtle Beach to Knoxville in Walk USA for Health Equity
Reflections on Walking and Pilgrimage Health Justice through 3 Southern States
The takeaway from those 29 memorable days, from Myrtle Beach to Knoxville, is the overwhelming kindness shown toward a stranger.
On the road, I was not Dr. Goodby. I was just a passing stranger. The stranger who always seemed out of place, often seemed to be homeless, and periodically seemed ridiculous compared to the way the locals appeared in public. I often thought of the opportunity that being a white man afforded me to make this 605-mile journey without fear of the safety that some women and people of color might have to endure, no matter their physical resilience or endurance. The walk reaffirmed my belief that most people would help strangers if given the opportunity, especially if they were approached with humility, gratitude, and respect. She reiterated that people are generous too.
44 years of Hajj
Walking around the country, by itself, will not increase health equity, what I have experienced in my 44 years of doing this kind of pilgrimage is that people tend to trust the Messenger, and open their hearts to the message, because the way of da’wah seems sincere. The thinking goes something like this: If someone is going to do their best to get a message across, maybe I should at least pay attention. This was very evident even with US Senators in 2011 when my son, son and nephew testified about physical therapy on Capitol Hill during The Run Across the USA.
one of the goals Walking in the US for Health Equity is to raise awareness of the term health equity. Although disparities and disparities in health outcomes for “essential” workers, older adults, and people of color have often been highlighted during the pandemic, much education and conversation about the term is needed. The conversations I had during Phase 1 of The Walk allowed me to participate in the discussion and get a pulse on Americans’ daily awareness and concern for equitable health care for all. Everyone I’ve spoken to, without exception, whether they’ve heard the term health equity or not, seems to be embracing the idea. It seemed a kind of “no brainer” to most people. Of course, “the devil is in the details,” but at least, health justice has been promoted as a concept. Without exception, people across the board feel that all Americans deserve the opportunity to lead optimally healthy lives.
What is equity in health?
It is when “everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity to be in optimal health. This requires the removal of obstacles to health such as poverty and discrimination and its consequences, including disability and lack of access to quality jobs with fair pay, quality education, housing, and safe environments, and health care.”
During the walk, especially at the beginning, I sometimes wondered if it was silly to travel to the East Coast, to start walking across the United States for health justice. I mean, does anyone really care? Does this make any difference at all? At times like these, I would remind myself that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said six decades ago, “Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” I’m OK and that’s why I’m walking and talking. K PhysiotherapistAnd the Health equity does not just mean equitable access to traditional medicine, but to preventive, natural and lifestyle medicine.
We have been constantly reminded that local contacts are essential to the effectiveness of my efforts. Where we had local connections, as in Myrtle Beach and Chapel Hill, the media came out for the event. Building connections between those you know and their local connections in the towns we pass through will be highly emphasized for Leg 2. If you or people you know live in Knoxville, Tennessee; Louisville, Frankfurt; Lexington, Kentucky; West Lafayette, Indianapolis and Valparaiso University, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, please notify me.
People have asked and wondered about highway safety. It was certainly a concern, but with excessive vigilance, wearing reflective clothing and listening intently to cars coming from behind and those approaching on busy two-lane highways with little or no shoulder, I quickly developed a strategy, which was noted as I approached cars and trucks with Friendly, but what sounded like a warning sign (one arm waving, waving my hats under extreme conditions) made all the difference. And so the stranger behaves strangely.
This walk inspired so many people! I am so grateful to all the wonderful and wonderful people I met along the way. The naturopaths I met, or stayed with along the way, really made sure I felt supported and gave me the joy, companionship and encouragement I needed to keep going. I’m also thrilled with how my body and mind respond to the 22 miles a day run, and I’m definitely looking forward to next year’s rally from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The next stage of the journey
I’m excited to see how you will choose to participate in next year’s rally which tentatively begins on September 5, 2023. What can you do today, and in the weeks and year ahead, to help this nation achieve health equity? Will you vote in the next elections? Can you spread the health equity message? Will you help us on Instagram and Facebook? There are many things we can do to help achieve a healthier nation. Please talk to your friends, colleagues and family along the Leg 2 Route to find out how they would like to participate.
While I am thrilled with the results of the first round, we are just getting started. Will you help us? We are building a team.
Learn more through https://walkusaforhealthequity.org/
Dr.. Dennis Goodby, Physician, Physician, Sutter Medical Foundation.
may be accessed SAC-ND.com And the Facebook or at his office in Sacramento (916) 446-2591.
Explore additional topics from Dr. Godbey in Natural wellness.
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