Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Committee for Activities and Recognition of Employees (C.A.R.E.) is literally taking step-by-step approach to fitness with a program that motivates people to walk more.

The BMH Step Into Action program provides team-oriented goals and individual rewards that encourage staff members and volunteers to stay in shape by paying attention to how much they walk. The 74 participants count steps with pedometers purchased through C.A.R.E. and each month the total number of steps are tallied by committee chairwoman, Debbie Partrick.

Partrick has posted a United States map on one of the hospital’s public bulletin boards, and marks progress by calculating the number of steps it takes to walk to each state capital. In October, the program’s first month, Step Into Action members walked a total of 11,690,698 steps, the equivalent of 5,845 miles. That total got the group from Augusta, Maine to Little Rock, Arkansas with stops at 26 other state capitals along the way. Then in November, the group walked another 8,052,590 steps (4,026 miles) despite chillier temperatures, which put them in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Prizes are also given to individuals who walk the most steps in a given month. Dan Holden was the top walker in October with 548,016 steps and Gail LeVasseur was the November winner, walking 562,353 steps. Partrick says that Gail has lost 10 pounds since starting this journey.

“Our hope is that the community will realize how something as simple as putting a pedometer on and moving can help with your health, your weight, your emotional well-being and be fun at the same time,” says Partrick. “It is very interesting to write your daily totals down and see just how many steps you have taken in a day.”

Partrick encourages people in the community who want to start a team of their own to contact her with questions at 802-257-8228 or