The DIL Walk Foundation (DWF) is a volunteer run charity, and an acronym for Do It for Life (DIL). DWF focuses on Wellness, Access, Linkages and Knowledge. Since it’s inception, DIL Walk Foundation has touched the lives of over 25000 people through educational activities, and has saved the health care system over $10 million (this number is a rough estimate, based on the number of DIL Walk participant seen by specialists, GP’s, Dentists, and Allied Health professionals, not billed to AHS, over the past 5 years).

DWF is committed to increasing the awareness of chronic disease across the life continuum, in vulnerabe populations, such as women, children, ethnic minorities and refugess. With a focus starting on children, where prevention begins, to youth and into adulthood, the Foundation focuses on primary care prevention strategies to help individuals, and secondary prevention to help lower their risk of chronic disease.

The objectives encourage members of the community to take a proactive role towards their health. DIL Walk Foundation believes in creating more opportunities for people to get involved with local initiatives, because when people are included and participate in their community, good things happen, such as feeling confident about their health, feeling better about their future. This further leads to building capacity in the community around them. Funds raised will support vulnerable populations such as children, refugees, women and ethnic minorities, helping people feel a sense of belonging to their local community and creating shared experiences for people from different walks of life.

To help achieve these goals, the DIL Walk Foundation has collaborated with the University of Calgary to focus its efforts on heart research, by establishing a Heart Research Chair. The Foundation also holds a number of events throughout the year, including the annual DIL Walk. At this, participants get a free heart health screening, and an opportunity to learn how to reduce their risk by meeting with a variety of health professionals, and take home valuable resources. Other events include CPR training, supporting health initiatives in youth, and working in partnership with organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation to educate the public. In March 2015, the Foundation, in partnership with the Mosaic PCN, launched the DIL Walk Magazine – the only dual language health magazine in Canada. Goals will be achieved by:

• Creating awareness about the impact of chronic diseases

• Educating community members and creating linkages

• Raising funds for research and resource development to improve the equity of health outcomes at the patient, clinical and community level

• Building community capacity

• Focusing on innovative Solutions to help increase investment in research, technology that improve access to care for all.

The success of DWF can be attributed to community partners and the individuals that volunteer their time and resources to help make it a reality.

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