St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital and Avedis Foundation aim to raise health awareness with a free community activity.

St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital and Avedis Foundation aim to raise health awareness with a free community activity.

The April 1 event, located at the airport walking track, is in participation with the American Heart Association’s National Walking Day.

Carla Tollett, public relations, communications and marketing consultant at St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, said 80 people participated in the 2014 event. She anticipates a greater turnout this year.

“It’s a great event for people to come out with their family and just walk,” she said.

As incentive, Avedis Foundation will give pedometers to the first 75 participants. Foundation president and CEO Michelle Briggs said the organization is excited to collaborate.

“We are in hopes that by distributing pedometers, participants will be encouraged to walk more every day,” she said. “Walking is such a natural form of exercise…”

According to the American Heart Association, physical inactivity doubles the risk of heart disease. Hospital president Chuck Skillings said the hospital is committed to improving community health.

“We’re participating in National Walking Day,” he said, “because it’s a great way to remind our community that something as simple as walking each day can have a big impact on your health.”

The city is expected to proclaim April 1, 2015 as National Walking Day in Shawnee.

The walk starts at 5:30 p.m. in front of St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital Surgery Center, on the corner of MacArthur Street and Kethley Road. One lap around the track is just over 3 miles, though participants can walk any desired length. Registration is not required.

For more information, call 405-878-3407.