Walking to the moon and back sounds like an ambitious if not insurmountable task. Transforming Health wants the community to collectively prove that it can be done by participating in the fun-filled “To the Moon & Back Walking Challenge.”

Together as partners of the Transforming Health “Here With You” campaign, WITF, Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health invite everyone in central Pennsylvania to join the free, 12-week initiative. The walking challenge promotes wellness by encouraging participants to walk in honor of those on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis: essential workers, healthcare staff, first responders and others. Each week, a participant will be randomly selected to receive a prize package. At the end of the challenge, a $500 donation will be made to two nonprofits chosen by the individual and team winners.

“So, how does one walk to the moon and back? Well, it is 238,900 miles to the moon. Together, we can get there and back with a combined 1,008,923,520 steps,” explained Heather Woolridge, WITF’s director of community engagement.

Over a billion steps is a hefty goal, even as a community. To reach the goal, it is estimated that it will take 1,750 participants walking nearly 7,000 steps a day over the 12 weeks of the campaign. Participants are encouraged to complete at least 7,000 to 8,000 steps per day to meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.

“’To the Moon & Back’ offers a simple and fun way for people of all ages to get outside and exercise, improve cardiac health, and alleviate some of the stress and fatigue that we’ve all faced over the past four months,” said Maria Royce, senior vice president strategy & market development, and chief strategy officer for WellSpan Health.

“We’re happy to be a part of this community-wide effort to promote health and wellness,” said Karie Batzler, Capital BlueCross’ director of behavioral health. “Walking not only benefits physical health, it’s a real boost to mental well-being. It’s a natural mood lifter, and summer is a perfect time to get out and walk, whether you’re starting an exercise routine, building on one, or just getting outside for a relaxing stroll.”

The “To the Moon & Back Walking Challenge” begins Monday, June 15, and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 7. Participants may register as individuals or as part of a team. Registration is open now at

About WITF

WITF is a trusted provider of public media news and programming for approximately 2.3 million citizens in 19 counties of Central Pennsylvania, encouraging children and adults to Live Inspired®. A member station of PBS and NPR, WITF uses its broadcast and digital media to connect us to each other and to opportunities for lifelong learning. In 2012, WITF launched Transforming Health to address the rapid changes in the healthcare landscape. Transforming Health is about health care, its quality and its costs, but most importantly it’s about maintaining health in the first place, through individual and collective action. WITF, in partnership with Capital BlueCross and WellSpan Health, are dedicated to empowering Central Pennsylvanians to make choices that lead to better personal health and a strengthened community. For more information, visit

About Capital BlueCross

For more than 80 years, Capital BlueCross has served Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley by offering health insurance products, services and technology solutions that provide peace of mind to consumers and promote health and wellness for our members. The company delivers innovative solutions through a family of diversified businesses to create healthier lives and lower healthcare costs. Among these solutions are patient-focused care models, leading-edge data analytics and digital health technologies. Additionally, Capital Blue health and wellness centers provide in-person service and inspiration to help people reach their health goals. Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.

About WellSpan Health

WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization is comprised of more than 1,600 employed physicians and advanced practice providers, a regional behavioral health organization, a home care organization, eight respected hospitals, approximately 20,000 employees, and more than 200 patient care locations. WellSpan is a charitable, mission-driven organization, committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities.