CINCINNATI – June 26, 2014 – Mercy Health, which provides advanced, quality, compassionate care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that it is taking a “Walk on the Wild Side” in forming a unique partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. “The mission and vision of the Cincinnati Zoo has four pillars: to create adventure, convey knowledge, conserve nature and – like Mercy Health ¬– serve the community,” said Thane Maynard, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Zoo. “With our ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ partnership, the Zoo and Mercy Health have found a creative way to help our community not just recognize but also enjoy the benefits of walking.” The Cincinnati Zoo will map out steps beginning in the Historic Vine Street Village at the Zoo’s main entrance and following the main path so that visitors can take a “Walk on the Wild Side.” Adults can compare their steps against those of an elephant, while children can see how their steps measure up against those of a penguin. Map stands will note how many fractions-of-a-mile visitors have logged in addition to the animal steps so that visitors can set a walking goal or simply note the distance they’ve covered while at the Zoo. For those who like to move a little faster, Mercy Health is also supporting the Cincinnati Zoo’s Cheetah Run as part of its “Walk on the Wild Side” partnership. The Cheetah Run is the Zoo’s annual 5k that lets participants Run Wild and will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year. “Mercy Health’s greatest wish is for area residents to be well and one of the best ways to ensure good health is regular exercise, which benefits us mind, body and spirit,” said Yousuf J. Ahmad, Mercy Health Cincinnati Market President and CEO. “The Cincinnati Zoo, a regional treasure and one of the top zoos in the nation, offers visitors the chance to enjoy the best scenery in town as they walk. Where else can a walk take you past exotic animals and breathtaking gardens? Together, we’re partnering to promote those walks and make them even more fun for adults and children alike.” # # # Mercy Health makes advanced, compassionate, quality healthcare easy to help you be well in mind, body and spirit. Mercy Health has been serving Greater Cincinnati for more than 160 years. Mercy Health provides an integrated network of leading physicians, compassionate caregivers, comprehensive services and exceptional care at more than 140 locations across the region. The Mercy Health network of care includes five award-winning hospitals, senior living communities, primary care and specialty physician practices, outpatient centers, social service agencies, fitness centers and a variety of outreach programs. Mercy Health hospitals have earned national Truven Health Analytics’ 100 Top Hospitals honors more times than all other Cincinnati hospitals combined, placing them among the best hospitals in the nation. Truven has also named Mercy Health as one of the nation’s Top 15 health systems two years in a row. Mercy Health is the only health system in Cincinnati to earn this honor. Mercy Health is part of Catholic Health Partners – the largest health system in Ohio and fourth largest employer. To learn more visit, e-mercy.com and engage in the conversation via Mercy Health’s social media channels (@mercy_health on Twitter and Mercy Health on Facebook). The world famous Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was rated the #1 attraction locally and one of the top zoos in the nation by Zagat Survey and USA Today. It was recognized by Parents Magazine as #7 on the “Top 10 Best Zoos for Kids.” It has also been recognized by Child Magazine as one of “The 10 Best Zoos for Kids.” Over 1.5 million people visit the Zoo’s award-winning exhibits, and more than 500 animal and 3000 plant species annually. The Zoo is an accredited member of the American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA) and the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants, and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide. Visit www.cincinnatizoo.org for more information.