Dr.'s typically prescribe medicine but one DC Physician is adding "get outside to play, walk and connect with nature" to his list of potential scripts. In an article from the Washington Post Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician at Unity Health Care’s Upper Cardozo Health Center, shares about his special interest in the unseen benefits of getting outside and how he uses a website to prescribe time with nature to his patients.
He is the “physician champion” of DC RX Parks an innovative community health program committed to combating the woes of urban living by prescribing time outdoors.
Convinced by a growing body of scientific evidence that many of the plagues of city life can be prevented or alleviated by reconnecting with nature, Zarr has created an online database of about 350 green spaces in the District, from grassy triangles at the at the intersection of roads to swaths of Rock Creek Park.
The site includes specific data about access, safety and facilities that physicians need if they are to prescribe a stroll in the park rather than a trip to the pharmacy. It is the first such tool in the country that allows providers to type a patient’s Zip code into their records and retrieve specially tailored summaries and maps. This allows park prescriptions to be integrated into doctors’ workflows and enables Zarr to collect the resulting data.
Read more from the Washington Post here.