“Alternate Route” documentary premieres at Berry College

Two Berry professors and David McCoy produce a documentary about the program, Walk with a Doc.

Allie Crain, Viking Fusion Assistant News Producer

Berry College Assistant Professor of Communication Kimberly Field-Springer, Viking Fusion Advisor and Technology Specialist Steven Hames, and David McCoy co-produced the documentary “Alternate Route” which premiered at Berry on Monday.

The documentary follows Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist, and the program that he founded called, Walk with a Doc. Sabgir founded the program in 2005 as a way to strengthen the bond between doctors and their communities. He began meeting community members in the public park on Saturday mornings to walk and provide them with advice on health topics.

Sabgir said community members love being able to meet with a doctor outside of the normal office setting and speak with him like a friend and an equal. The idea spread and the program is now present in 263 communities around the country.

Sabgir, as well as two doctors and the Director of Wellness from Harbin Clinic, attended the documentary screening and answered questions from audience members. The Harbin Clinic representatives also discussed the possibility of a Walk with a Doc program in Rome, Georgia.

“I feel like we are the perfect place for this to take off in Northwest Georgia,” Dr. Mary Margaret Beauchamp said about Rome. “I am passionate about getting this community healthy.”

Walking is one of the most important things for benefitting health, according to the Surgeon General of the United States. Walking reduces risk of breast cancer, heart disease and more, which is why Sabgir chose to walk while he interacts with and advises community members on their health.

“If we can sneak in a story about getting your flu vaccine, we found that works,” Sabgir said about addressing health topics before and during the walk.

The producers of the documentary said they wanted to create an engaging portrayal of “reimagining healthcare between doctors and communities” and of a rapidly expanding program that could potentially reach Rome in the future.

“The goal is to educate and inform, but it’s also inspiring,” co-producer Kim Field-Springer said about the documentary and its intentions.

To view the documentary or to learn more about the Walk with a Doc program, visit walkwithadoc.org.

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