Dr. Melissa Lem is a dedicated family physician and environmental advocate based in British Columbia. She is renowned for her fervent advocacy of the profound health benefits derived from immersing oneself in nature. In 2020, Dr. Lem put her beliefs into action by starting PaRx through the B.C. Parks Foundation.
PaRx encourages healthcare providers to prescribe time in nature to improve patients’ health. In just two years, the program has grown to operate in eight provinces with over 6,000 registered prescribers. In January, PaRx made a significant move by partnering with Parks Canada. This collaboration allows doctors to prescribe Parks Canada Discovery Passes to patients through the PaRx program.
Dr. Lem recently talked with Canadian Geographic about the positive effects of being outdoors. She also sees PaRx as part of a bigger effort to address climate issues. Her work reflects a commitment to connecting healthcare, the environment, and a shared vision for a healthier world.