Meredith Eicken, M.D., MPH
Clinical Assistant Professor
Clemson University School of Health Research
Who is Dr. Eicken?
Dr. Meredith Eicken was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended Washington University in St. Louis for her undergraduate studies where she majored in Spanish and Biology. She received her medical degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where she was selected for the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Societies. She completed her residency in Med-Peds at the Massachusetts General Hospital and served as Chief Resident in her fourth year. She then completed the Kraft Fellowship in Community Health Leadership and earned her MPH in health policy from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She joined the Prisma Health-Upstate team in 2017 working in primary care at the Internal Medicine Clinic and Center for Pediatric Medicine. Dr. Eicken was awarded the Primary Care Teaching Award in 2018. She is also the associate program director for the Med-Peds Residency Program at Prisma Health-Upstate and a clinical assistant professor at the UofSC School of Medicine, Greenville.
Her interests are in community and population health and care of vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on clinical-community partnerships to successfully screen and address the social determinants of health. Currently she is developing new collaborations with researchers at Clemson to apply for grants in the following areas: 1) an RCT to compare outcomes of medically-tailored meals vs. usual care in improving diabetes outcomes in adults (with a team including Dr. Lu Shi from Clemson University) and 2) to expand FoodShare, the healthy, low cost produce delivery box program in the pediatrics clinic and augment programming by developing a culinary education program for low-income families at-risk of metabolic disease (with a team including Dr. Marge Condrasky from Clemson University).
For more information, see her Curriculum Vitae.
How Dr. Eicken’s research is transforming health care
The CDC defines the social determinants of health as “conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play [that] affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.” It is becoming increasingly recognized that health cannot be improved only within the confines of a medical office, but rather that interdisciplinary approaches to improving issues such as food and housing security, education, transportation, and the built environment are essential for improving the overall health of a community. Dr. Eicken’s research and collaborations to date have focused around screening and addressing the social determinants of health, particularly food insecurity, as a way to improve health outcomes for vulnerable pediatric and adult populations. Her interest lies in building clinical-community collaborations as a tool to address these determinants. The unique power in clinical-community partnerships is the ability to leverage the trusted clinical relationship as a point of entry for at-risk patients combined with the need-specific resources and expertise available from community partners. While there is great interest in this concept nationally, there remains a significant gap in our understanding of how and when to best screen patients for the social determinants of health, and what best practices are for intervening when needs are identified.
Key Health Research Interest Areas
Social determinants of health, food insecurity, vulnerable populations, nutrition, resident education