Regenstrief Institute research scientist NiCole Keith, PhD, was honored by the Indianapolis Business Journal as a 2019 Woman of Influence. The media outlet’s program recognizes women who have risen to the highest levels of business, the arts and community and public service.
Dr. Keith is a wellness champion for Indianapolis and the nation. Through her research and activities, she works to promote healthy lifestyles, especially for those who are underserved.
“Physical activity is so important for everyone,” said Dr. Keith. “It prevents disease, improves health and makes you feel better both physically and mentally. I am honored to be recognized for my work to make physical activity accessible to everyone.”
Dr. Keith helped develop a fitness program for the Indianapolis Public School system. The initiative focused on teaching K-12 students to lead healthier lives and also offered a service learning experience to IUPUI undergraduate students by allowing them to teach the IPS students.
The program rapidly expanded and was offered to everyone living in IPS communities, including adults, at very low or no cost. It eventually became known as PARCS (Physically Active Residential Communities and Schools) and has served more than 7,000 adults and children.
Dr. Keith also helped implement the Eskenazi Health Healthy Me program, a free lifestyle-management program offered to patients and employees. Coaches and dietitians help patients improve their health and overall wellbeing by providing education, encouragement and accountability.
Her current research examines ways to improve physical activity and health as individuals age.
She is also involved in professional and community organizations. Dr. Keith is the president-elect of the American College of Sports Medicine, where she has served in many leadership roles, and the vice president of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance. In addition, she is heavily involved with the YMCA, sits on the board of the Wayne Township Education Foundation and regularly volunteers as the nursery coordinator at her church.
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. The Regenstrief Institute and its researchers 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.
A key research partner to Indiana University, 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 NiCole Keith, PhD
In addition to her role as a Regenstrief research scientist, Dr. Keith is the associate dean of faculty affairs and a professor at the Indiana University School of Health and Human Services.