The new Bike Rx program, which “prescribes” patients with Houston BCycle memberships, kicked off with a ribbon-cutting at Legacy Fifth Ward (3811 Lyons Avenue) on October 28, according to a press release. The program is a collaboration between Legacy Community Health, Houston BCycle, American Heart Association, technology company Bosch, and Precinct 1.
With Bike Rx, providers at participating clinics like Legacy Fifth Ward can recommend physical activity and help the patient sign up for a free BCycle membership which includes unlimited 90-minute bike rides for a year. The activity and bike use is then tracked in the clinic’s electronic health records.
“Bike Rx is an innovative solution addressing health inequity in under served communities,” said Felicia Latson, senior director of programs for social determinants of health at Legacy. “Physical activity can be difficult when you don’t have access to equipment. Many community events have been taking place outdoors in response to the pandemic; this is a solution that can bridge the two to keep people active and give them a sense of community.”
Bike equipment will also be provided with the memberships by the non-profit Houston BCycle. There are more than 140 stations where members to get bikes and they don't have to stop where they started. People can ride for fun or bike to work or school.
The Legacy Community Health Fifth Ward BCycle Station and three other stations were installed around Fifth Ward this year with funding from Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation (CRC) and Harris County Precinct 1.
“As Houston’s non-profit bike share, we are thrilled to collaborate with Legacy Community Health, the American Heart Association, Bosch, and Precinct 1 to expand a key tenant of our mission: access,” said Bryan Reed, Houston BCycle’s executive director. “Biking is exercise and it’s so much more. It’s the chance to interact and see each other in ways that do not confine us to looking out the window of a vehicle. Let’s get Houston rolling!”
Dr. Doug Lawson is the Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke’s Health and president of the Board for the American Heart Association Greater Houston Division. He says that removing the barriers that make healthy living a challenge has the power to transform a community.
“The launch of the Bike Rx program is an important step to recognizing and addressing those social determinants of health that often lead to poor cardiovascular and brain health within priority populations,” he said.