BACK TO HIS ROOTS: Grammy Award-winning drummer turned child-nutrition advocate to address UIC medical students

Prescott Ellison

Chicago native and Grammy Award-Winning drummer, composer, best-selling author, inventor-turned entrepreneur and educator, Prescott Ellison is returning to his hometown as part of University of Illinois Medical Colloquia Course on Sept. 3 to speak to 150 medical students about the Superfood Friends, a K-5 nutrition and fitness curriculum he has created to combat childhood obesity.

Prescott was invited by Dr. Joanna Michel, director of the Urban Medicine Program (UMed) at the University of Illinois Chicago.

“The Superfood Friends comprehensive curriculum offers an important addition to medical school training that historically includes very minimal education in nutrition and fitness,” Dr. Michel said. “Prescott’s presentation for our first- and second-year medical students will get them thinking about fun and engaging ways to educate children and their families about nutrition and fitness. Prescott’s comprehensive self-care program will also inspire our medical students to take care of themselves while in training to become physicians.”

Ellison, CEO and Founder of the Las Vegas-based Ellison Lifestyle Group, created the Superfood Friends, a team of super-powered fruit and vegetable characters to engage, inspire and educate children about nutrition, fitness and environmental awareness. The curriculum is currently taught in schools in Las Vegas.

“Youngsters these days have access to so much information, but often they’re bombarded with misinformation that can lead to counterproductive nutritional choices that can affect them for the rest of their lives,” Ellison said. “My K-5 Nutrition Program, the Superfood Friends, helps teach children to be nutrition literate, to make informed choices about their lifestyles, and encourages them to stay active.”

“The next generation of medical doctors can be strong allies for this effort,” Ellison added. “Doctors know all too well how choices early on can create bad habits and impact health down the road.”

Ellison’s grassroots efforts, which are inspired by his father’s military and entrepreneurial background and his mother’s emphasis on nutrition and fitness, have been recognized by leaders across the country. In addition to receiving the Barack Obama Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award, Ellison has received the 2017 Childhood Obesity Prevention Award, secured endorsement from the Nevada Department of Agriculture, and was given the 2016 Field to Fork Award.

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