Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin

I’m one of the lucky ones whose passion, purpose and profession are perfectly intertwined with one another. Twenty years ago, I left my native community of Englewood (Chicago) as a first-generation college student. I had no money and no solid plan but I did have lofty ambitions of changing people’s lives in healthy ways.

Solely motivated by my own ambitions, I earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Kinesiology and Movement Science, and simultaneously completed a Clinical Massage Therapy Sciences diploma program. I also earned professional certifications in exercise physiology and group exercise after which I launched my first health consulting company.

This was the point at which I began to design my own personalized system to support healthy living and self-care behaviors among people with various goals ranging from weight loss to chronic disease management.

My Philosophy

My personal philosophy is simple: Self-care is medicine and an enabler of good health. This might sound a bit cliché, but, for better or for worse, by taking good care of ourselves, we can have tremendous sway over our health and longevity.

These days we are seeing the glimmerings of very sophisticated, consumer-centric and patient-focused options aimed at supporting self-care behaviors. However, their overall success and impact on health outcomes is highly contingent on whether people are willing and able use them.

My intent is to work directly with people, academic institutions, healthcare organizations and businesses to develop better quality programs, products and services that effectively improve self-care practices and, ultimately, lead to better health outcomes.

Brief Resume

Education

2006 – 2012

PhD in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Rehabilitation

My doctoral studies were conducted at the University of Illinois Chicago. With translational research concentrations in integrative physiology and vascular biology, I largely examined the impact of various lifestyle interventions (diet, exercise, and massage therapy) on cardiovascular disease and stroke-related risk factors among sedentary, overweight and obese populations.

2004 – 2006

MS in Movement Science

I obtained my Master’s degree from the University of Illinois Chicago. With concentrations in clinical and applied exercise physiology, the bulk of my training was centered on exercise prescription for people with chronic illnesses (cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, diabetes, and neuromuscular diseases and disabilities) in addition to athletic and non-athletic populations.

2003 – 2004

Diploma in Clinical Massage Therapy

My clinical education in massage therapy began at the Soma Institute located in Chicago. With specific areas of focus in pain management and physical rehabilitation, my training was primarily centered on the assessment and treatment of soft tissue injury and dysfunction using specialized techniques ranging from deep tissue massage to neuromuscular therapy to trigger point work.

1998 – 2002

BS in Kinesiology

I initiated my college career at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. With areas of specialization in exercise physiology, health promotion and disease prevention, my undergraduate studies were largely focused on physiological mechanisms by which physical activity and other healthy lifestyle behaviors prevent disease and positively influence health outcomes.

Career Highlights

2016 – 2017

Workplace Wellness

I’ve recently begun establishing multiple continuing education paradigms in self-care, primarily aimed at business leaders, health professionals, and employees in various workforce sectors. These paradigms largely focus on tools and practical strategies for healthy eating, exercise training and stress management for personal health optimization and career longevity.

2014 – 2016

Health Promotion

During my stint as a research faculty member at the University of Illinois Chicago, I conceptualized and established the post-baccalaureate certificate in Technology-Based Health Communication and Promotion, a program focused on preparing health professionals for successful industry and research specialties in digital health communication and strategic social marketing.

2014 – 2015

Public Health Policy

Recognized as a leading expert in preventive medicine, I had the honor of participating in a collaborative writing project for which I co-authored a pioneering policy statement addressing the need for more strategic healthy lifestyle initiatives to combat the global chronic disease epidemic. This statement was jointly published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings and European Heart Journal.

2010 – 2014

Translational Research

Combining my expertise in the domains of exercise science and massage therapy, I led the ideation and execution of a pioneering study investigating the circulatory effects of massage therapy on muscle injury. My initial findings were published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and syndicated to over 50 top national and international media outlets.

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