Canada to Key West Walk - Dr Marcalee Sipski
2,350-mile walk from Canada to Key West spotlights how people with disabilities are affected by extreme weather:
“Canada to Key West,” a 2,350-mile walk to raise awareness about the impact of increasingly frequent extreme weather events will start on June 21, 2019, the day of the summer solstice. The Association of Academic Physiatrists is a co-sponsor of the walk, which will focus on improving disaster preparedness for people with disabilities.
The mission of Canada to Key West is being highlighted in a session on climate change and its potential impact on people with disabilities this week at the Association of Academic Physiatrists Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico was devasted by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and thousands of citizens were left without power, clean water, medical supplies and access to medical services for months. Puerto Ricans with disabilities were the most vulnerable of all during the disaster and its aftermath.
Canada to Key West will include professionals in academic medicine, whose goal is to raise awareness about extreme weather, and how it affects persons with physical and cognitive disabilities. During the 2,350-mile route, walkers will visit rehabilitation hospitals in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Richmond and Charleston to engage with academic partners about more effective mechanisms and planning to help people with disabilities during extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, floods, polar vortices and heat waves.