Park Rx America

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Park Rx America


Program: Park Rx America

Based in: Washington, DC

Participating Agency(s): Unity Health Care, Inc., National Park Service, Institute at the Golden Gate, National Recreation and Park Association, National Environmental Education Foundation, George Washington University, DC Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics

Unique Feature(s): Searchable park database fully integrated into EHR




Park Rx America is a Community Health Initiative whose mission is to prescribe parks to prevent and treat chronic disease and promote wellness by connecting patients to parks. Park Rx America is a low-cost intervention that utilizes a known, generally trusted, and accessible resource – parks – to influence positive health outcomes by way of the provider-patient relationship in the health care setting. To date, Park Rx America has developed a standardized park rating tool, recruited and trained public health students to rate parks, mapped and rated ~350 parks in DC, developed Park Pages (one-page park summaries), searchable database linked to eClinical Works (electronic health record), and officially launched the prescribing of parks at Unity Health Care, Inc. on July 1, 2013. Unity Health Care provides >500,000 visits per year to over 100,000 patient users. 200+ health care providers have access to full database via the treatment “window” of the electronic health record, and have to date prescribed nearly 1000 prescriptions.

Tools Created:

  • Searchable park database within electronic health record embedded within eClinical Works (electronic health record) and accessible to public at large
  • Park Rx America website launched in February of 2016
  • Park Rx America infographic - poster-size graphic visual representations detailing the burden of chronic disease and the positive health effects of time in nature
  • DC Park Mobile device apps - currently under construction (expected go live date Fall 2016), will:
  1. provide patients (and public) access to full searchable park database with built-in GPS technology
  2. provide park users the ability to record time and activities spent in parks, and share with health providers
  3. develop goal/reward setting capacity within the app to encourage repeat visits to parks
  4. integrate app within social media platforms to allow users to connect to other potential park users for the purpose of joining and sharing in park activities