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VA2K Walk and Roll encourages active lifestyle

Charleston VAMC employees Rebecca Luhrs, MOVE! Program Coordinator, and Jan Shriner, Clinical Nurse Educator, participate in the 2018 VA2K. This year’s event will be held May 15 and is open to Veterans, VA staff and visitors. (Photo by James Arrowood)

Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center will join VAs across the country to participate in the 9th Annual VA2K Walk and Roll event May 15.

Veteran patients, employees and visitors will have a chance to lace up their walking shoes for a two-kilometer walk in the spring sunshine while also contributing donated items for homeless Veterans in need.

“This is my first year coordinating this yearly wellness event and it’s been so much fun seeing it all come together,” said Ginny Forney, Charleston VAMC’s Employee Wellness Coordinator. “This year we’re hoping to have many more of our Veterans and staff get out and get moving together during this fun walk – we’ll even have food trucks onsite that day serving healthy lunch options.”

The event, sponsored by the facility’s employee wellness committee, will encourage walking groups to accomplish the 1.2-mile course together – building trust and comradery between coworkers and patients alike. The first group will step off at 10:30 a.m. and small teams will continue to depart every 30 minutes until the final group starts their walk at 2:00 p.m. that day.

Charleston’s walk participants will stroll the marked route at the back of the facility and can also participate in other planned games and activities to get their heartrates up. The fun will also filter to the facility’s outlying offsite clinics, which will each have a designated walking path for local participants to enjoy together on the May 15 VA2K nationwide event day.

Additionally, attendees are encouraged to do their part for the community by providing donations such as clothing, toiletries, and other supplies that would directly benefit homeless Veterans in the area. The Charleston VA homeless program needs new items including bottled water, book bags, packaged snacks, reading glasses, new, unused socks and undergarments and men’s toiletry kits. Donations will be collected on the day of the event.

“We’re proud to promote healthy living while also supporting our homeless Veterans,” said Forney. “Anything you can offer helps a great deal.”

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