What is DIL Walk?
DIL Walk is an acronym for Do It for Life (DIL) and is more than just a walk. DIL Walk is about Wellness, Access, Linkages and Knowledge (WALK). Co-created by Dr. Anmol Kapoor, Cardiologist and Raman Kapoor, Registered Dietitian, DIL Walk is a way of life.
DIL Walk is an established grassroots initiative to encourage members of Calgary’s vulnerable communities to take charge of their own health. It started as a community based walk in June of 2011, where over 250 attended to learn about their individual risk of heart disease, and today is a registered charity that has touched the lives of people both locally, nationally and internationally. Through a grand vision created by its founders, boundless energy provided by hundreds of volunteers and creative and innovative ideas. DWF is committed to increasing the awareness of chronic disease across the life continuum, with an emphasis on the social determinants of health.
The Foundation 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.
In September 2017, DWF held Western Canada’s largest CPR training. This was event held in local community centre, Genesis and simultaneously trained 500 community members in hands only CPR training. The event was free of cost for participants, and each participant received a CPR kit to take home, practice and build capacity.
DWF also held a gala to support Calgary refugees. The efforts of this planning committee, which was made up by concerned community members, helped to raise $21,000 to help with the purchase of medications. This money was donated to the Mosaic PCN Refugee clinic and was allocated to the purchase of medicines.
DWF supports health initiatives in youth, and works in partnership with organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation to educate the public. In March 2015, in partnership with the Mosaic PCN, DWF launched the DIL Walk Magazine – the only dual language health magazine in Canada. This magazine is distributed to health clinics in Calgary, places of worship, community centres and retail outlet. The magazine is free of cost for community members and written and reviewed by local health professionals.
Since the inception of the CHARM clinic (in March 2015), a community outpatient clinic for those living with congestive heart failure (supported by DWF), 88 hospital visits were prevented. This helped to save over $ 1 million of Alberta Health Services cost and saved 700 hospital bed days. This has a profound effect on both the quantity and quality of life of those being served. Research shows that multidisciplinary provider teams with personal communication lead to fewer hospital readmissions for people with heart failure.
Recently, DWF has supported the Dashmesh Cultural Center to set up a health committee in the Sikh temple. This committee will help to break barriers, and educate people about multiple health issues, in partnership with local professionals, groups and charities.
DWF has been working with IT experts to develop Health IT apps. The Congestive Heart Failure App helps solve the communication barriers between patients and their providers, in a multilingual manner. By providing the ability for patients to connect securely with their health provider team to support their chronic condition, will bring confidence and comfort to the patients. Innovation and technology, allows providers and the health system time and resources, while creating equitable access to human, social, and economic resources and services for all Albertans
Throughout the years, DWF has produced a number of Public Service Announcements to help promote chronic disease prevention in women, children, and visible minorities. These PSA’s can be seen at www.dilwalk.ca