HEROForum17 Proceedings Now Available.
We are excited to announce the release of our HEROForum17 Proceedings. Read on for summaries of our pre-conference Summits and HERO members Think Tank, along with summaries of the keynote presentations. Reviews for HEROForum17 are in and as stellar as we could have hoped for! We have curated the faculty presentations that received the best reviews. Our thanks to the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their generous sponsorship of these Proceedings.

In this month’s HERO Briefs read on for information about our new HERO Web site, and HERO’s 20th Anniversary and your chance to win a free HEROForum18 registration just by submitting a story! Also, register for our next webinar, on emotional well-being in the workplace and for our Think Tank in Austin, Texas, March 1st and 2nd. Click here for open access to my editorial this month on “Incentives and Big E Engagement.” And check out HERO’s Facebook page, there are lots of great photos of you all in both work and play modes!

Emotional Well-Being in the Workplace:
Register for the Next HERO Webinars.
November 1, 2017 at 12pm CST
Building a Culture of Emotional Health: AMEX’s Healthy Minds Campaign with Charles Lattarulo

November 15, 2017 at 12pm CST
The Association of Employee Engagement at Work with Health Risks and Presenteeism with Wayne Burton and Alyssa Schultz

Proceedings Now Available! We are excited to announce the release of our HEROForum17 Proceedings. Read on for summaries of our pre-conference Summits and our HERO members Think Tank along with reviews of our keynote presentations. And check out HERO’s Facebook page, there are lots of great photos of you all in both work and play modes!

Reviews for HEROForum17 are in and as stellar as we could have hoped for and we have curated the best reviewed of our faculty presentations. Our thanks to the American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their generous sponsorship of these Proceedings.

It was not that long ago that learning tracks in health promotion conferences would have organized faculty according to fitness interventions, nutrition, stress management or return on investment in wellness. In these Proceedings you will see that our faculty organized their presentations to respond to our theme of Engagement and the Emerging Workforce. Our speakers reflected on generational differences, racial and ethnic issues, the “gig economy” and other emerging workforce issues in learning tracks organized around “culture change; well-being; measures that matter; skills, motivation and autonomy; and diversity and workforce engagement.”

Too often when we say engagement, it’s what I call “little e” engagement, meaning how often participants take advantage of wellness program offerings. Participation is a great goal to be sure, but as I emphasized in my opening remarks at Forum, we are a profession marked by growing ambitions and engagement is on our agenda as a vital outcome as well as a well-being indicator. Engagement is fundamentally a psychological construct and we recruited faculty experts in the interaction of culture and individual behaviors who discussed how sustainable habit change can be profoundly abetted by our environment. Their presentations affirmed the emerging science of well-being showing that mental and emotional health topics like love, gratitude, anxiety and stress are likely more powerful than physical health problems when it comes to predicting diminished engagement and performance.

Speaking of gratitude, two of our keynote speakers featured in these Proceedings presented research showing that companionate love, altruism and gratitude are all actions that benefit the giver as much as the receiver. How cool! We’re healthier due to our work supporting others to become healthier. And if feeling grateful makes one well, then I’m at the pinnacle of wellness given how thankful I am to Karen Moseley and the HERO team for their extraordinary work in organizing and managing HEROForum17.

photo of Karen Moseley (HERO), Mandy O'Neil, Paul Terry (HERO)

Keynote speaker Mandy O’Neil, winner of the HERO President’s Award with Karen Moseley and Paul Terry

Among the plethora of mental and emotional factors that influence engagement, experiencing organizational support and having control over one’s work impressed me as concepts discussed at Forum17 that are taking hold in workplace-based health and well-being initiatives. Speakers reflected on the next generation of employees and a “gig economy” where loyalty takes a back seat to worker autonomy. This trend may accelerate the shift already underway from a focus on individual health practices to organizational and environmental strategies that advance engagement and well-being. One of the opening poll questions for our Forum audience was: “Most agree that individual, organizational and community health are keenly inter-related. Where do you consider you are able to exert the most influence?” Interestingly, most (43%) felt they had the greatest influence changing “organizational health, i.e. via policy, environmental and leadership practices.” The next greatest influence (38%) was on “individual health, i.e. via caring and offering support and programs.” Trailing these (19%) was influence on “community and social, i.e. via volunteerism, sustainable corporate practices.”

LaVaughn Palma-Davis at podium

LaVaughn Palma-Davis received the Bill Whitmer Leadership Award at HEROForum17. Congratulations, LaVaughn!

Where worksite health promotion once largely focused on personal choice and lifestyles, this migration toward organizational and community influences of well-being are a compliment to HERO’s long term strategic plan. My hope is that we can affect a professional orientation that affords us equal influence in each of these domains. On another note of gratitude related to the maturation of the health promotion profession and HERO’s role as a professional association, LaVaughn Palma-Davis, HERO’s past board chair will be finishing her term on HERO’s board at our 2018 Annual Meeting. LaVaughn has been instrumental in shaping our vision and strategic plan and I was tremendously pleased to see her win “the Whitmer Award,” HERO’s highest honor, at HEROForum17.  Read on for more from our HEROForum17 Proceedings.

For our 2017 Proceedings, read on.

American Journal of Health Promotion

Click here for open access to my editorial this month on “Incentives and Big E Engagement.” The Art of Health Promotion section is edited by Dr. Jessica Grossmeier and is also open access. This month’s issue is on Healthy Workplace Culture and Jessica will be featuring the work of HERO committee members in the next issue of these HERO Briefs.

HERO’s New Web site!

Continuous improvement is a core value for the HERO team. As much as we liked many features of our web site, we don’t mind admitting some aspects of the web site were not keeping up with our vision of making HERO membership informative, easy and interactive. We’ve been working behind the scenes all year with a smart, fun and accomplished team of web developers from a Waconia, Minnesota based company called Creature Works Labs to update our web site. Our goal was simply to better support our smart, fun and accomplished HERO members. Think LinkedIn meets Google Drive. We predict you’re going to love how easy it is to access HERO resources, share ideas and network with others who share our passion for getting better and better at what we do.

And there’s one more thing!  Okay, we’re not really quite as clever as Steve Jobs when it comes to added features, but do stay tuned for another announcement about our web site next month. We will be incorporating a new HERO member information management system into our web site. Called “neonCRM”, we will be releasing new members-only log-in functionality that will make it much easier for you to update your profiles, connect with other HERO members, share educational content and interact with fellow committee members.

Don’t wait another second, visit our new web site and tell us what you think! Marin Koentopf will be eagerly collecting any questions and comments you have about your web site experience and we’ll be regularly reviewing your input at our HERO team meetings. Drop Marin an email at: marin.koentopf@hero-health.org

We’re dedicating this new web site to the memory of Bill Whitmer, HERO’s Founder, who passed away this year. Why Bill and why now? Read on below!

Your HERO Legacy Stories Wanted! Win a chance at a HEROForum18 registration. ($795 value)

November marks HERO’s twentieth anniversary and we will be honoring our founder, Bill Whitmer, by retelling those stories that brought us together, set us apart, influenced our direction and illustrate how our past can inform our future. We are looking for stories we can publish as a Blog post (usually about 750 words) and store for HERO posterity. For story submission information and what it takes to win, read on!


Emotional Well-Being in the Workplace: Register for the Next HERO Webinars on:

November 1, 2017 at 12pm CST
Building a Culture of Emotional Health: AMEX’s Health Minds Campaign with Charles Lattarulo

November 15, 2017 at 12pm CST
The Association of Employee Engagement at Work with Health Risks and Presenteeism with Wayne Burton and Alyssa Schultz

“Overdosed” Think Tank, Hold March 1st and 2nd, 2018

From all of us at the HERO Team, it was great to connect with you at HEROForum17.  We look forward to seeing you next in Austin, Texas for our next members only Think Tank: “Overdosed.”  Hold the date for March 1st and 2nd, at the Westin Austin at the Domain. We will be discussing the connections between the opioid epidemic and other overdoses of media. Can we get too much of a good thing? When it comes to connecting directly with those who share our passion for service, we think not. The HERO team is eager to “keep Austin weird!” You game for same?


HERO team

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