Regenstrief research scientist and IUPUI professor NiCole Keith, PhD, has become the 64th president of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which is headquartered in Indianapolis. She is the first person of color to hold this position.
Renowned for her work in community activation and physical fitness, Dr. Keith has been instrumental in Indianapolis health initiatives such as the Eskenazi HealthyMe program and the Physically Active Residential Communities and Schools (PARCS) program, which provides low-cost fitness and wellness services to urban Indianapolis neighborhoods. Throughout her career, she has especially focused on participatory research and health equity.
Her research focuses on health disparities including race, age and socioeconomic status and on preventive health interventions to counter these disparities. For example, in a study on health behaviors of obese, low income, middle-aged urban women, she found that women viewed weight differently depending on their race. She notes that understanding the perceptions of populations is key to successfully reaching them with health interventions.
As president of the American College of Sports Medicine, Dr. Keith will participate in determining, monitoring and strengthening the organization’s programs and services. She will also help ensure resources are adequate to fulfill the organizational mission of advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.
“A new focus will involve better engagement of fitness professionals and health care providers to support the health of people from all populations,” said Dr. Keith. “This will help us move toward health equity through physical activity and sport participation.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACSM’s 2020 Annual Meeting was canceled and replaced with a virtual experience. Instead of the traditional ceremonial gavel handoff that would usually occur during this event, Dr. Keith was welcomed to her role with a drive-by parade.
About NiCole Keith, PhD
In addition to her role as a Regenstrief research scientist, NiCole Keith, PhD, is the associate dean of faculty affairs and a professor at the Indiana University School of Health and Human Sciences at IUPUI. Dr. Keith is the president of the American College of Sports Medicine and the Vice-Chair of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.
About Regenstrief Institute
Founded in 1969 in Indianapolis, the Regenstrief Institute is a local, national and global leader dedicated to a world where better information empowers people to end disease and realize true health. A key research partner to Indiana University, Regenstrief and its research scientists are responsible for a growing number of major healthcare innovations and studies. Examples range from the development of global health information technology standards that enable the use and interoperability of electronic health records to improving patient-physician communications, to creating models of care that inform practice and improve the lives of patients around the globe.
Regenstrief Institute is celebrating 50 years of healthcare innovation. Sam Regenstrief, a successful entrepreneur from Connersville, Indiana, founded the institute with the goal of making healthcare more efficient and accessible for everyone. His vision continues to guide the institute’s research mission.
About the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 members and certified professionals around the world are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to improve educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. A global leader in promoting the benefits of physical activity, ACSM advocates for legislation that helps the government and health community make physical activity a priority. ACSM encourages Congress to support continued funding of parks, trails and safe routes to school to better enable all Americans to meet the prescribed physical activity recommendations included in the National Physical Activity Guidelines. Find details at www.acsm.org.
About IU School of Health and Human Sciences at IUPUI
The School of Health & Human Sciences advances healthcare, kinesiology, sport, and event tourism through education, research, and community engagement. Leveraging its urban location, university reputation, deep community partnerships, and highly regarded faculty, the school prepares students to influence the future of these professions through a variety of degree offerings and scholarly activities.