HEROForum21: Something for everyone!

Early in life, I learned that you can’t please everyone all of the time, or even some of the time. While I still believe that to be true, I think we’re very close to a variety of options for HEROForum21 that will satisfy even the harshest critic or the tightest budget. The HERO team is excited to be planning an in-person conference in Austin, Texas the week of October 11-15, but also understand that many of you will be unable or unwilling to travel this year and have developed remote learning options as well. HERO Senior Fellow Paul Terry continues to raise the bar on excellence and has curated an agenda focused on caring for employee mental health, containing future pandemics, and reckoning with systemic racism. For the past month, the HERO Education Committee has carefully reviewed all 82 submissions, recommending new approaches, introducing new organizations, and offering new research to be delivered through Breakout Sessions and the On Demand Library. Now, all that’s missing is YOU! Currently, HERO members are registering for Forum in an exclusive pre-sale. Registration will be open to the general public on May 5th. Watch your Inbox for your invitation to register, and do so as soon as you can. Due to current guidelines, our in-person registration will be limited.


In honor of Earth Day, we would like to share with you Earthrise by Amanda Gorman.
May we all find a little beauty in our shared home.


Rabbit exploring inside a hole2021 Summer Think Tank – Registration Now Open!

The War on Truth: The employer’s role in plugging the disinformation rabbit hole.
June 7, 2021

As a leader in translating evidence to inform practice, HERO adheres to a basic science tenet: conclusions should be based in facts. Though the most recent anti-vaxxer movement is perhaps the most pernicious example today of disinformation run amok, threats to employee health literacy have been commonplace in the health promotion field for years. Quackery about nutrition, myths about drugs, unproven remedies for fitness and weight loss, hucksters peddling alternative medicine, and conspiracy theories about healthcare practices all pose costly setbacks to the nation’s workforce. This think tank challenges HERO members to consider their roles as guardians against the growing assaults on science. In an era where the majority of Americans get health information via social media, our profession must systematically develop and advance initiatives where facts matter.

Visit the Think Tank website for more information.

Save the Date! 2021 Healthcare Summit

October 12, 2021
Renaissance Austin Hotel, Austin, TX

HERO’s Healthcare Summit Planning Committee is hard at work finalizing the theme and preparing content for our 2021 Annual Healthcare Summit meeting. In case you missed the 2020 Healthcare Summit virtual meeting, check out the infographic with highlights, key takeaways and a link to the full 2020 Healthcare Summit recording.

HEROForum 2021 logo Oct 11-15 2021, Austin TX, Bouncing Back: Boosting Mental Resilience and Building Organizational Immunity

Registration Opens to the General Public on May 5th!

Now Open to HERO Members (check your inbox)!

Our Forum21 theme explores how resilient organizations are reshaping their health and well-being initiatives to boost employee mental health, dismantle systemic racism, and cultivate community partnerships that will rebuild trust in institutions.

This HERO conference will be held as our nation rides the “second wave,” that is, we will be paying the mental health toll from the pandemic at a time when we have barely recovered from the physical, economic and social tolls that have already left us spent. Still, our optimistic “bouncing back” imagery for this Forum’s theme is a nod to the imagination and positivity that has always been a strength of the worksite health promotion professional community.

Check the Forum website for updates on registration and more!

HERO is a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. Provider ID# 101039 

Thanks to our new Forum sponsors!

Mercer logo

Benefactor Level

GRAIL logo

Associate Level

Questions on Forum sponsorship? Email pat.rohner@hero-health.org

Coming Soon – 2021 University Summit

Bouncing back and moving forward: Exploring emerging and innovative solutions at universities and medical centers that address top concerns through new or revised policies, system changes, structures and programming.
November 8, 2021
A virtual summit!

More details to come!

HERO Workplace Health & Well-being Leadership Awards

Nominations Due Date Extended to May 31st! Nominate your colleagues! HERO membership NOT required!

For the 12th consecutive year, our industry’s premier individual awards program, the HERO Workplace Health & Well-Being Awards, will recognize outstanding leadership and achievements as well as commitment to the field of workplace health and well-being (HWB). To be considered for an award in 2021, materials must be received by May 31, 2021.  We are accepting nominations for: The Bill Whitmer Leadership Award, The Mark Dundon Research Award, The Jerry Noyce Executive Health Champion Award, and The Heart of HERO Award.

Please visit the HERO website to learn more and access the appropriate nomination forms.

Questions? Email ariane.mistral@hero-health.org


Please complete the HERO Employee Experience Survey by Friday, April 23, 2021. 

This survey will help uncover how organizations approach employee experience (EEx), including definition and measurement, its connection to the health and well-being strategy, and where accountability resides within the organization, as well as understand the impact of COVID-19 and racial justice issues. Your responses will assist the Employee Experience Study Committee in providing industry insight into best practices and key considerations surrounding an EEx strategy.

We ask that the survey be completed by the individual(s) who either has the most experience/expertise in the subject matter or directly manages the organization’s function. The survey takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and as a thank you, we will be randomly selecting one person to receive a FREE Forum 2021 registration.


Questions? Emily.wolfe@hero-health.org

HERO Health & Well-Being for Small and Midsize Business (HWB for SMB)

Thursday, May 6, 2021 | 1:00 PM CT

HERO HWB for SMBThe HWB for SMB group met in March to hear the results of the short-term and long-term priority survey and identify which to tackle first. The results included these short-term priorities: organize a subcommittee to assess opportunities, programs and services for SMBs; leverage the work of other HERO committees and study groups and adapt for SMBs. Long-term priorities focused on tools to support SMBs, including the HERO Scorecard and a curated toolbox of practical tools. Both sets of priorities suggested leveraging HERO educational events for this target audience. This group will reconvene May 6th at 1:00 PM CT to determine how to access SMBs directly to incorporate the voice of the customer. Contact Karen Moseley if you’re interested in joining this group.


HERO Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer©

The HERO Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer© (HERO Scorecard) V5.0 is now available!

V5.0 incorporates new learnings from industry research, adding practices related to employer involvement in their communities; mental and emotional well-being; social determinants of health; integration with diversity, equity, and inclusion; and a broader value proposition for investment in employee health and well-being. By completing the HERO Scorecard V5.0, your organization will receive an updated assessment of your health and well-being initiatives as they compare to the current, ever-changing marketplace. Visit the HERO website for more information.


Communications Director – Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO)

The Communications Director is responsible for managing the brand and reputation of HERO, driving deep awareness through enhanced, cohesive communications, and increasing HERO’s reach, visibility, influence and impact in the health and well-being field. For more information and to apply, visit the HERO website.


The Learning Series

Kate SommerfeldVic StrecherIt’s Mental Health Month! Time for a Purpose-Driven Fresh Start?

May 5, 2021 | 12:00 pm Central

It’s May — Mental Health Month. Seems like we really need Mental Health Year! Let’s take a long view of mental health, not just treating those who are anxious and depressed (which has tripled in the past year), but also creating conditions for resilience and well-being. Dr. Strecher will present a model and supporting evidence for a purpose- and social determinants-driven approach to emotional self-regulation, resilience, and mental health. It’s time for a fresh start.

Vic will be joined by Kate Sommerfeld, President for Social Determinants of Health, from ProMedica, who will describe how their organization is supporting both their community and their employees in coping with the pandemic, and reflect on how purpose and social determinants are influencing their approach to employee experience, emotional well-being, and culture.


Strategic Health Program Planning in 2021: Tips on building successful, fluid, and flexible plans

June 30, 2021 | 12:00 pm Central

This session will help you identify wellness program goals and align them to your company’s 3- to 5-year plans, point out strategic collaborations to think about, and guide you in the planning & implementation it takes (even during uncertain times!) to succeed at delivering best in class health programs your employees want and need. With Callie Lovato, PhD, Scandia Labs.


American Heart Association Webinar – more information coming soon!

June 2, 2021 | 2:30 pm Central


Resources and Readings

Changing Hearts and Minds About Institutional Racism (CHAIR)

The Changing Hearts and Minds About Institutional Racism (CHAIR) project is extending the reach and scalability of trusted Black barbers/stylists using human-centered design and innovative technology to catalyze community-driven collective action promoting health and racial equity. Learn about the project put together by Drs. Stephen Thomas, Laura Linnan and HERO.

Good Questions Series with Paul Terry

HERO’s Senior Fellow, Paul Terry, answers your “good questions” in a new HERO YouTube series. Catch the latest video answering “How reliable are news reports about the effectiveness of health promotion?”

WIN with Business Webinar

Tune into Renewing our Economy: Visualizing and Energizing Stewards of a Well-Being Economy on Friday April 30, 2021 from 12:00 to 1:30 PM ET. “Together, we will explore both big picture and personal perspectives about how a well-being economy is beginning to emerge through a rapidly expanding ecosystem of initiatives and investors.” Register here

The Role of Business in Supporting a Thriving Natural World

Read this brief from Well Being in the Nation (WIN) Network on how “businesses can enrich the lives of people, enhance community well-being, and ensure a healthy natural environment.”

Spring WIN Week 2021

The Well Being in the Nation (WIN) Network invites you to a week of gatherings on April 26-30 dedicated to Renewal: How can we heal through adversity & secure legacies of well-being & justice for generations to come? For more information and to register, visit their website.

The Innovation and Value Initiative Invites Your Comments

The Innovation and Value Initiative invites public comments on their Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) economic model.  They welcome your recommendations and insights during the public comment period (April 12-May 14, 2021). For more information, visit their website.

Making Incentives Work to Improve Workplace Well-Being

HERO is excited to be a part of the Mediaplanet Employee Engagement & Well-Being campaign, and to share how effective implementation of incentives requires careful consideration and a commitment to well-being that stretches beyond individual incentives to include the broader workplace culture.  Learn about the various incentive designs and their impact on both participation and workplace health outcomes by reading the campaign online and in USA Today.

Enhancing Physical and Psychosocial Well-being in the New Working World

2020 Global Healthy Workplace Awards winner GSK and runner-up HSBC will share how they have addressed the major challenges to employee well-being during the pandemic in this webinar. April 29th at 4:00 PM BST (GMT+1). Register now.


Intern Profile

Emma Upton

Hi everyone! My name is Emma Upton, and I am a research intern here at HERO. I am a second semester senior at NC State University studying nutrition with a minor in sports science. I have a strong passion for helping people, which is why HERO’s mission really stuck out to me.

Read more about HERO’s intern, Emma Upton, on the HERO blog.

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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