Ken Baker—Ann Arbor, MI Step Out to Fight Diabetes
As the CEO of a nonprofit healthcare research institute, Ken Baker firmly believes that the value of health is a lifelong experience. In addition to his personal commitment to losing weight and staying fit, he has joined the efforts of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to encourage others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Baker knows that by promoting prevention and treatment he can make a difference in the lives of those affected by diabetes. This belief carries into his professional life—his institute, Altarum, is dedicated to ensuring quality healthcare to everyone who needs it. "I think that a lot of what the ADA is doing and what the mission calls for is totally in alignment with my company's belief in shifting the balance toward education, nutrition and wellness," Baker said.
Baker recently became involved in the ADA's walk event in Ann Arbor, Michigan. As the Corporate Recruitment Chair (CRC), he dedicates time and energy to contacting and recruiting business colleagues as participants and fund-raisers for the event. He is currently trying to involve the local area Chamber of Commerce and the mayor of Detroit.
Although it is his first year with the ADA's walk, Baker is no stranger to walking. A year ago, Baker challenged 100 of his employees to "walk around the world in 80 days." He asked them to wear a pedometer and keep track of their daily steps as a way of incorporating exercise into their daily lives. Collectively, they walked 30,000 miles in 80 days, and the impact was tremendous. This initiative eventually led to an improvement in morale and health where many of his employees quit smoking, began weight loss programs and continued walking to maintain good health.
Baker enjoys walking so much that he incorporates it into his work day. He makes it a personal goal to get 10,000 steps in each day. "Instead of sending an e-mail to a co-worker one floor below me, I now get up with my pedometer and actually walk down and talk to the guy, resolve the problem and walk back up the stairs," he said.
With his pedometer at his side, Baker is ready to Step Out to Fight Diabetes again next year. He looks forward to walking both for a mission and for a cure. "It's something I believe in my heart, and therefore something my feet can follow very easily."
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