Influence
May 3, 2022

Regenstrief researcher participates in expert panel discussion on life sciences and business climate

Nicole Keith, PhD, speaking on IBJ panel

Topics included EHRs, wellness, COVID dashboard

Regenstrief Research Scientist NiCole Keith, PhD, took part in a broad discussion among life sciences leaders on Friday, April 29, 2022 at the downtown Indianapolis Westin hotel.

The expert panel discussion was hosted by the Indianapolis Business Journal as part of the IBJ Power Breakfast Series. In addition to Dr. Keith, featured panelists were Kent Hawryluk, MBX Biosciences, Inc.; Marcela A. Kirberger, Elanco Animal Health, Inc.; Theresa S. Mayer, Purdue University; and Brandy Matthews, Eli Lilly and Company. The discussion was moderated by Indianapolis Business Journal reporter John Russell.

The panel discussed the pandemic’s effect on research and product development, federal policies, industry trends and venture capital investments in Indiana companies, among other subjects.

In particular, Dr. Keith discussed Regenstrief’s 50-year legacy of innovation in electronic health records and health information exchange, which Regenstrief pioneered more than 20 years ago. In both EHRs and HIE, she said professionals have just scratched the surface and cited the continuing promise of this interconnected data for propelling the state forward as a digital hub in life sciences.

Dr. Keith went on to talk about the importance of prevention, especially in making Indiana’s youngest citizens nutritionally and physically literate. She stressed the concept that exercise is medicine and reminded listeners that Indiana is largely medically underserved, so seeking healthcare can be challenging. Therefore, it is vitally important to employ cross-sector strategies among public health, public safety, healthcare, city planning, policy making and beyond to give people opportunities to safely be active.

“I don’t want people to have to go on medicines. I want them to be physically active and participate in preventive activities that will keep them off medication forever,” Dr. Keith said.

Dr. Keith is a physical activity researcher specializing in community-based participatory research with a focus on health equity. For many years her research has focused on middle aged women, an under studied population, living with obesity and urban poverty. She co-created the Physically Active Residential Communities and Schools (PARCS) program — a partnership among Indianapolis Public Schools, Eskenazi Health Federally Qualified Health Centers and IUPUI. This award-winning program provides exercise opportunities for more than 3,000 adults and children living in Indianapolis inner-city communities. She also helped to write the State of Aging in Indiana report.

In addition to her role as a research scientist at Regenstrief, Dr. Keith is the associate dean of faculty affairs and a professor at the School of Health & Human Sciences at IUPUI. Dr. Keith was the 2020-2021 president of the American College of Sports Medicine, an Indianapolis-based organization of more than 55,000 members.

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