Doctors Manitoba Announces its Endorsement of National Nature Prescription Program
Doctors Manitoba is excited to announce its endorsement of PaRx, Canada’s first evidence-based nature prescription program.
“As physicians, we recognize that spending time in nature can offer measurable benefits to patients’ physical and mental health,” said Dr. Kristjan Thompson, President of Doctors Manitoba. “The PaRx initiative will allow doctors to actually prescribe nature to their patients, while also removing barriers for patients to access a national park in Manitoba. It’s truly a win-win initiative.”
PaRx, an initiative of the BC Parks Foundation, was first launched in British Columbia in November 2020 and then spread to other provinces over the following year, including Manitoba in October 2021. Doctors Manitoba joins other local organizations supporting the PaRx initiative, including the Manitoba College of Family Physicians, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Association of Regulated Nurses of Manitoba.
Winning a prestigious Joule Innovation prize from the Canadian Medical Association and recognized by the World Health Organization at COP26 as a way to inspire protection and restoration of nature as the foundation of our health, PaRx now has almost 4,000 possible prescribers across Canada.
“It is so exciting to see Doctors Manitoba endorse PaRx, because it has never been a more important time for folks to get outside. Not only is outside one of the safest places to be right now, but research also indicates that those who are more connected to nature are more likely to protect it,” says Anna Reed, a social worker and Manitoba PaRx coordinator.
PaRx recently announced a new partnering agreement with Parks Canada. Licensed healthcare professionals registered in the PaRx program can now help reduce their patients’ barriers to nature access by prescribing an Adult Parks Canada Discovery Pass. They are asked to prioritize those who live close to national parks, national historic sites, or national marine conservation areas, and who could benefit from the pass the most. In Manitoba, this includes Riding Mountain National Park. Each physician can prescribe one park pass per month.
Manitobans can learn more about the initiative by visiting www.ParkPrescriptions.ca.