Regenstrief research scientist NiCole Keith, PhD, has been elected the Vice President of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA). Dr. Keith, an expert in physical fitness and community activation, will provide leadership in the effort to promote physical activity across the United States.
The NPAPA is a coalition of many national organizations, including the YMCA, the American College of Sports Medicine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many others. They work together to encourage Americans to do more physical activity, and they are guided by an evidence-based strategic plan known as the National Physical Activity Plan (NPAP).
The NPAP was first released in 2010. It is a comprehensive set of policies, programs and initiatives designed to increase physical activity in all segments of the U.S. population. The ultimate purpose is to improve health, prevent disease and disability, and enhance quality of life. Hundreds of researchers and experts from the private and public sectors worked together to create the plan.
“I’m excited to use this opportunity to improve the health and well-being of Hoosiers and all Americans,” says Dr. Keith. “The National Physical Activity Plan is a powerful tool for improving lives.”
Dr. Keith is a research scientist with the Regenstrief Institute and a professor and associate dean of faculty affairs at the Indiana University School of Health and Human Sciences. She has specialized in participatory research and health equity over the course of her decades in research.
In addition to her research with Regenstrief and IU, Dr. Keith co-created the Physically Active Residential Communities and Schools (PARCS) program, which provides low-cost fitness and wellness services to urban Indianapolis neighborhoods.
“Dr. Keith’s work has had great impacts for health improvement locally, regionally and nationally,” said Peter Embí, M.D., Regenstrief president and chief executive officer. “We applaud the foresight of the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance in her selection as vice president, and look forward to how her expertise and vision will improve physical activity for all Americans.”
As vice president, Dr. Keith will support the increased communication about and awareness of the NPAP across sectors and among partner organizations that position physical activity as a primary method of improving public health. Her two-year term will run from 2019-2021.