OHS Encouraged Employees to “Take a Hike” Twice in April

Carolynne Keenan
Four people walking down the street.

Employees brave the cooler weather on April 2 to walk the 1.3-mile course around Fort Detrick during Take a Hike Day.

By Carolynne Keenan, Contributing Writer

The chilly weather didn’t dampen the spirits of Take a Hike Day participants on Wednesday, April 2. Over 50 employees braved cool, misty weather to walk or jog around Fort Detrick during their lunch hours.

“The Take a Hike Day is [a way] to encourage everyone to get up and get moving,” said Sarah Hooper, RN, manager of Occupational Health Services (OHS). “OHS and the R&W partnered to encourage employees to engage in physical activity to improve their health.”

Two people sounding horns to begin the hike.

Craig Reynolds, Ph.D., director, Office of Scientific Operations, National Cancer Institute (NCI) at Frederick, and Terri Bray, director of Environment, Health, and Safety, Leidos Biomedical Research, kicked off the walk at the starting line around 11:30 a.m. “Both blew air horns to start us off,” Hooper said.

Participants walked around a 1.3-mile course, with colorful balloons guiding their way. Pamphlets provided at the starting line in front of Building 549 included a map of the course. Walkers checked in at the water tables, both at the starting line and behind Building 539, to pick up free water and collect signatures. Attendees who had signatures from all three water table sponsors—OHS, R&W Club Frederick, and Nymeo—could enter a raffle for a lunch box stuffed with health and fitness products.

Group of people standing under a tent.The course was plotted ahead of time. “We partnered with our Cigna representative who had a great app on her phone to plot the course,” Hooper said. “It was interesting to have a non-employee with a different perspective to choose the nice path to walk.”

This was the second Take a Hike Day offered at NCI at Frederick in the past few years, but it won’t be the last. Hooper said OHS has received requests to make the event quarterly, which she hopes to offer. Plans are under way for another Take a Hike Day in August.

ATRF Take a Hike Day

Group of people walking.The Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) had its own Take a Hike Day on Friday, April 25, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Atsuo Kuki, Ph.D., chief technology officer, Leidos Biomedical Research, and Jim Cherry, Ph.D., scientific program director, NCI at Frederick, kicked off the event, which started in front of the ATRF. Kuki and Cherry led employees as they walked along the 1.43-mile course that loops around the building. Hooper said Take a Hike was offered there to “utilize the beautiful trails that exist on the grounds.”

Both Take a Hike Days were held rain or shine.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda also hosts a Take a Hike Day every year. Participants walk, jog, or run around the perimeter of the NIH campus, which is about two miles. The 2014 Take a Hike Day at NIH is scheduled for Thursday, June 5.

For information about future Take a Hike Days in Frederick, contact OHS at 301-846-1096.

For more information about Take a Hike Day at NIH in Bethesda, visit the Division of Amenities and Transportation’s website at http://www.ors.od.nih.gov/pes/dats/wellness/Pages/index.aspx.

Congratulations to Take a Hike Day Winners

Six walkers won lunch boxes full of health and fitness products during raffles at the NCI campus at Frederick and the Advanced Technology Research Facility (ATRF) Take a Hike Days. In order to participate, attendees had to collect representatives’ signatures from each of the water table sponsors: OHS, R&W Club Frederick, and Nymeo.

At the NCI campus at Frederick, the winners were Lori Larson, Pat Donnelly, and Valarie Porter. The winners at the ATRF were Nicole Shrader, Sujatha Gowda, and Becky Schneider.


Photo captions, top to bottom:

Ready, set, go! Terri Bray, center, left, and Craig Reynolds, center, right, signal the start of the NCI campus at Frederick walk.

Many participants for Take a Hike Day at the NCI campus at Frederick pause for a photo at the starting line in front of Building 549 before walking the 1.3-mile course.

Employees are all smiles as they hike around the ATRF.