MADISON (WKOW) -- SSM Health and Dean Health are partnering with the Foundation for Dane County Parks and Dane County Parks on the "Healthy Parks, Healthy You" initiative.
Over the next three years, the groups will focus on finding creative ways to engage youth, seniors and their families in improving their mental, physical and emotional health through the use of the Dane County Parks system.
"During the pandemic, our parks have seen record use," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "Last year, we saw a 25% increase in the use of Dane County Parks from about 3 million visits a year, up to 4 million visits a year. This just demonstrates how important parks are for our hearts and our souls and our minds, just to be able to get out and get some fresh air and get some exercise."
President of medical groups for SSM Health Wisconsin D. Mark Thompson said the health system intends to begin offering prescriptions to parks through their providers and the Dean Health Plan network. He did not elaborate on the prescription process.
SSM Health said under the partnership, it will offer seasonal health-related activities and events that encourage family health. The health system hopes the partnership will help build familiarity with the variety of parks and outdoor spaces available in Dane County.