USC professor selected for Health Innovators Fellowship

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Jennifer Trilk, PhD, FACSM, assistant professor of physiology and exercise science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, was named to the third class of the Aspen Institute’s Health Innovators Fellowship.

Dr. Trilk and the other 20 Health Innovator Fellows will spend four weeks over the course of two years exploring their leadership, core values, desired legacies, and their vision for the healthcare system. Each Fellow commits to launching a leadership venture that will stretch and challenge them and have a positive impact on health care in the U.S. The Health Innovator Fellows join more than 2,200 other entrepreneurial leaders from 49 countries to become members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

“I am thrilled to recognize an extraordinary group of leaders who reflect the best of passion and commitment in the U.S. healthcare system,” said Rima Cohen, managing director of the Health Innovators Fellowship. “The Fellows bring a diverse set of life experiences and skills to their work; we’re delighted to be able to give them a platform from which they can address significant system challenges at this critical time in health care.”

In her role at the USC School of Medicine Greenville, Dr. Trilk is responsible for leading the lifestyle medicine curriculum, which includes nutrition, physical activity/exercise, behavior change, self-care and resiliency for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. In addition, she is co-founder and co-director of the Lifestyle Medicine Education Collaborative, which provides leadership, guidance and resources surrounding lifestyle medicine curriculum to medical schools across the globe.

Dr. Trilk is also program director of Exercise is Medicine® Greenville, a first-in-nation coalition that brings together medical school-based research with doctors, community resources and exercise professionals to slow the progression of chronic disease. The program goes beyond prescribing exercise to also tracking it as part of the patient’s electronic medical record – as a vital sign comparable to blood pressure or cholesterol – so that the clinician and fitness team has nearly real-time access to exercise programs and can intervene with the patient to get them back on track as needed. Program partners include the USC School of Medicine Greenville, Greenville Health System, YMCA of Greenville and the American College of Sports Medicine.

“I am honored to be named a Health Innovator Fellow and to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the best minds in health care to improve the health of our nation,” said Dr. Trilk.

The Health Innovators Fellowship Program was created in 2015 in partnership with Greenville Health System to strengthen the leadership of innovators across the U.S. healthcare ecosystem and to connect, inspire and challenge them to create new approaches that will improve the health and well-being of all Americans. This two-year program is modeled on both the highly successful Henry Crown Fellowship and the Liberty Fellowship, using the time-tested method of text-based dialogue and building upon the Aspen Institute’s commitment to values-based, action-oriented leadership. The Aspen Institute controls the content of the Fellowship and the selection of the Fellows.

“The Health Innovators Fellowship challenges leaders to create meaningful change in health care,” said Spence Taylor, president of GHS. “As an academic health center with a vision to transform health care, we are excited to continue our partnership with the Aspen Institute and witness the power of the Fellows’ collective ability to innovate care.”