March 7, 2012
On Saturday hundreds of people will take to the pavement in downtown Charlottesville for the 16th annual Martha Jefferson 8K Run and 4K Walk.
Some will be running the 8K, others will walk a 4K and even a few children will take part in the 1/3 mile kid's dash to raise money for Martha Jefferson Hospital outreach programs.
“We're out there in the community doing free blood sugar and blood pressure screenings. We have the community come in for breast health screenings. We have a colon cancer awareness program, supermarket smarts, diabetes education and programs for kids of all grade levels,” said Jacklene Martin, Director of the MJH Outreach Programs.
Those are all preventive programs that health care providers say are necessary to spread awareness and save lives.
“You can't assume in health care that people are going to come to you. So it's important to get out there in the community and test people who may not go into their doctor's office for blood sugar or blood pressure [testing],” said Martin.
Not only will the race help fund screenings and education programs, it's a way to get the community and hospital staff active.
“We just finished our Martha in Motion program, which was a challenge for all Martha Jefferson departments to get out there and get active. We feel like we do need to be setting the example for the community, so the race is sort of an extension of that,” said Martin.
Come race day, Martha Jefferson Hospital officials are asking the community to put their best foot forward because every step taken could help save a life.