The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville has been awarded a $400,000 grant by The Duke Endowment to evaluate the implementation of Exercise is Medicine Greenville, a physical health promotion model for health care providers.
Exercise is Medicine Greenville is a patient-referral program through which highly qualified professionals work to improve the health and well-being of the community through physical activity, lifestyle changes and education. The comprehensive 12-week exercise program is designed to help Prisma Health patients with chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Researchers from the SOM Greenville, USC Department of Orthopedics, Prisma Health and Temple University will use a retrospective analysis study design to review medical records and patient referrals. They will also use patient interviews to examine the program’s initial success, explore potential areas for improvement and assess the program’s cost.
Critically, the study will also identify the program’s strengths and health benefits for patients.
“We’ve seen a statistically significant reduction in body weight and blood pressures with our first graduates, but we’re always trying to improve our model,” says Jennifer Trilk, program director of Exercise is Medicine Greenville and an associate professor of biomedical sciences.
Trilk hopes to expand the program to other parts of South Carolina, but researchers first need to identify the facilitators and barriers to its success. “We want to know what is helping and what is hindering the patient referrals so that we can improve the program before we scale it across the state,” she says.
EIMG pursued the funding because its mission to improve health outcomes in South Carolina aligns closely with the mission of The Duke Endowment, which aims to strengthen communities in the Carolinas by promoting health, enriching spirits, nurturing children and educating minds.
“We are grateful to The Duke Endowment for its generosity and to our partners, Prisma Health and YMCA, which helped develop EIMG into a robust clinic to community health program,” says Dr. Marjorie Jenkins, dean of the SOM Greenville. “This grant will ultimately help bring this impactful, clinic-community model to the national stage to benefit the health of many communities.”
This article was originally published in Carolinian, the alumni magazine for the University of South Carolina. Meet more dynamic Carolinians and discover once again what makes our university great.View Carolinian