On December 5, 2012 Every Body Walk! partners convened an historic conference in Washington DC to ignite a broader movement to promote walking and walkability in the United States.  The event was attended by thought leaders and experts from more than 100 prominent organizations representing public health, medicine, business, fitness, science, community design and development, education, active transportation and the environment.  Among the results of the conference was an announcement by US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin of a future “Call to Action on Walking,” and the formation of an Every Body Walk! Collaborative to build the supports needed to grow the walking movement and deliver a set of desired impacts.

In response to success of the conference, and the strategies it produced, Kaiser Permanente has provided America Walks with two years of funding, providing the financial resources needed to provide organizational leadership and staffing.  These resources will allow America Walks to build its capacity to serve as the backbone organization of this quickly expanding movement.

Tyler Norris, vice president, Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente offered enthusiastic confidence in this new partnership, stating “America Walks is the premier organization working to make walking an everyday option for healthy transportation and recreation across America.  Kaiser Permanente is committed to making walking an everyday activity and is proud to support America Walks and their capable leadership to serve in this new defining role for the health of people and places.” Mr. Norris will co-chair the Every Body Walk! Collaborative with Deb Hubsmith, director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership.

America Walks executive director Scott Bricker acknowledged the impact of this investment by stating “restoring walking in America as the safe and easy choice can be a solution to many of the problems – health, equity, transportation, and even economic – that we face today. This investment in America Walks to lead the invigorated Every Body Walk! Collaborative is an honor and a leadership step in bringing walking back into the forefront of the awareness leaders and citizens.”

To learn more, visit www.everybodywalk.org, and to participate in the collaborative, please email info@americawalks.org

With a proud history of more than six decades, Kaiser Permanente is the nation’s largest not-for-profit health maintenance organization with approximately $50 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1945, the company has grown from a 12-bed hospital into a leading integrated health delivery system that serves nearly 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia.  Today, Kaiser Permanente is nationally and internationally recognized for providing innovative, high-quality, evidence based healthcare through the advantages of its integrated insurance and care delivery infrastructure.

America Walks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit national organization, is building a diverse and powerful coalition to be a strong voice to advance and protect walking at the national level serving as a coordinator, information clearinghouse, and resource provider; America Walks advances game-changing campaigns with national and local partner organizations. Its mission is to make America a great place for walking by working collaboratively to share knowledge, advance policies and implement effective campaigns to promote safe, convenient, and accessible walking conditions for all.

Find out more at the America Walks website.