With the HERO Research Think Tank meeting now behind us, I feel as though my summer has just begun. Thankfully, I am blessed to live in California, where the weather remains “summer-like” for many months ahead! I’ve learned through my work with HERO member, Jack Groppel, that we often get our best thinking done during periods of active rest. So it is no surprise to me that during long bike rides and walks these past few weeks my mind has been increasingly focused on strategic planning for the next 18 months. Part of this, I suspect, was fueled by the inspiring thoughts shared by HERO members and invited guests at the Research Think Tank last month.

The HERO Briefs sent in July featured a link to that meeting’s proceedings, which eloquently and succinctly summarizes the presentations that attendees heard in advance of several interactive roundtable discussions. This month we focus our attention on what we heard from our members during those discussions and are sharing a summary of the notes that we captured during the full-day meeting. See the Think Tank Library in the HERO Member Resource Center for the meeting summary and supporting materials. We were most inspired to receive a letter from new HERO member, Dr. Wes Alles, extending a formal offer to HERO members to tap into his extensive experience working within university, healthcare, and community settings to advance their health and well-being. An agent for collaboration throughout his career, Wes invites you to join him in sharing your knowledge and experience with fellow HERO members. As he aptly demonstrates, such action may begin with a step as simple as a thoughtful note to HERO staff.

You can be sure we are carefully sifting through the many suggestions from HERO members on how HERO can most effectively advance its mission and research agenda through more strategic thinking, collaboration with others, and dissemination of HERO research and study committee content. Read on for more information on upcoming events and a preview of our thinking about long term strategic planning at HERO.


Forum LogoHERO Forum Discounted hotel rate ends September 6th!

If you’ve been putting off thoughts about fall activities in an attempt to preserve the summer mindset, I urge you to take a moment to ensure you’ve registered for the 2016 HERO Forum on Leading in Well-Being: Workplaces Influencing the Health of Employees, Families & Communities, which will be in Atlanta, GA, September 27-29, at the Loews Atlanta Hotel.

As you make travel plans, please keep in mind there are several reasons to arrive the day before the event including: the pre-conference University and Healthcare Summits, the HERO Think Tank meeting, and informal opportunities to network with HERO members. Learn more and register today!

HERO Think Tank Meeting

Our next HERO Think Tank meeting focuses on the topic of Sustainability and will be held on September 26, the day before the HERO Forum kicks off in Atlanta, GA. This HERO Think Tank on Sustainability discusses sustainable wellness programs but also asks about the connections between a healthy workplace, sustainable business practices and the attributes of a company with the ‘most desirable to work for’ status. We will feature experts who will tee up an informed discussion about business and sustainability, and create space for exemplary organizations to tell their stories about how they connect health promotion and sustainability. As always, the most time and the hardest work is reserved for our Think Tank members who will engage in round table dialectics and insight filled report outs. Bring your thinking caps and we look forward to seeing you, and hearing your best ideas, there! In the meantime, take a moment to register.

Persistent and Emerging Issues in Population Health Science

This conference, funded by RWJF and hosted by Penn State University’s Population Research Institute, the University of Kansas Institute for Policy and Social Research, and the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Sciences, will be September 19-21 at Penn State University. Registration is free, and you can see the agenda and speaker lineup here.

HERO Webinars

LeighStringerPhilWilliamsHERO’s next Wednesday Webinar is on September 7, 2016 and focuses on “Turning Workspaces into Healthy Workplaces.” HERO’s webinars are always free to HERO members. Click here to register. Paul Terry will be hosting Leigh Stringer, an Architect and author of “Health Workplaces,” and Phil Williams, President of Business Development for Delos.

WikiWIT Toolkit Webinar

The Art of Health Promotion section of the July/August issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion introduces a new toolkit to help employers determine appropriate wellness incentive amounts, cut points, and funding strategies. The toolkit is called the Wiki Wellness Incentive Toolkit (WikiWIT). Interested in learning more? This month Paul Terry hosted Michael O’Donnell and HERO Member Jim Pshock who discuss the Toolkit and the new EEOC rules. The webinar is available at the AJHP webinar archives.


Paul Terry Invites Members to Provide Input on HERO Strategic Plan

Strategic planning sessions we’ve done with members this past year reveal a strong interest in applying science to practice, an intention to solidify the business case for investing in health and well-being, and a readiness to give back to the profession. Following on several planning exercises conducted at Think Tank events, including the most recent Research Think Tank in July, HERO has drafted a five year strategic plan and is requesting member input on our major goals.

HERO Culture of Health Study Committee Releases Definition

The HERO Culture of Health (CoH) Study Committee recently released a Workgroup Report entitled, “Defining a Culture of Health: Key Elements That Influence Employee Health and Well-being.” This report represents phase one of the ongoing efforts of the CoH study committee, which focused on establishing a definition for “culture of health” and identifying the key elements involved with creating a CoH within an organization. This report is a product of the Definitions Workgroup of the HERO CoH Study Committee, which includes 42 subject matter experts, practitioners, and researchers working within this area. The next phase of the work focused on a comprehensive literature review to identify the evidence base for each of the elements identified by the Definitions & Elements Workgroup. The results of the literature review are currently being written up for publication.

HERO Research Industry Review

Dr. Gregg Gascon of Ohio State University Health Plan released a new Industry Research Review for HERO entitled “Effective Physical Activity Strategies for Improving Worker Health.” This review features two research studies to put into context findings from the recently published Cochrane Collaboration review of research on employer strategies to reducing sitting time at work. You can read the full review here.

HERO Scorecard Overview Brochure

If you are not familiar with the HERO Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer© (HERO Scorecard), here’s your opportunity to learn more about it! We’ve recently developed a brochure that provides an overview of the usefulness of the HERO Scorecard as well as a guide to using the many tools and resources that have been developed to support organizations as they prepare their responses and interpret their results. Join the more than 550 organizations that have already taken advantage of this free, online best practice benchmarking tool. If you are based outside of the US, you might be interested in the International Scorecard, which is now available in Spanish and Portuguese as well as English.

HERO Scorecard Commentary

On a quarterly basis HERO partners with members to tap into the growing HERO Scorecard database to glean insights about employer use of health and well-being best practices. This quarter features a commentary by Marquinta “Que” Harvey from Onlife Health, entitled “Can Technology Drive Engagement in Wellness Programs?” Check out the HERO blog for more information.

100 Million Healthier Lives

HERO has added our organizational name as a committed partner and enthusiastic contributor to the 100MHL initiative. We urge our HERO members to learn more about this visionary work of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and consider joining us and them at: www.100mlives.org/join.


JackJack Bastable is National Practice Leader for Employee Health and Productivity at CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services. He is an active HERO member and currently leads a workgroup under the Health, Performance, and Productivity (HPP) Study Committee that is developing case studies to profile employers who are integrating wearable fitness devices into their broader wellness programs. An avid reader, he also leads Incubator Roundtable discussions for HPP Study Committee members.

What are you currently reading from your professional bookshelf?

Several books including “The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in the Age Longevity” by Lynda Gratton & Andrew Scott as well as “The Healthy Workplace” by Leigh Stringer and “Smarter, Faster, Better” by Charles Duhigg.

What are you currently reading for pleasure or personal growth?

“Love Game: A History of Tennis from Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon” by Elizabeth Wilson and “The Celebration of Discipline” by Richard J. Foster.

What is your favorite summertime activity that contributes to your personal health and well-being?

Mixed doubles tennis tournaments with wife, Kim, because it contributes to relationship building while keeping the competitive juices flowing.

Quotable Quote:

After a recent HPP Study Committee presentation by Drs. Frederick Marks and Satchidananda Panda from the Salk Institute, which focused on the role that light plays on health, well-being, and performance, Jack shared this reflection:

“I am reminded of a quote by Dr. Ellington Darden, a disciple of Nautilus founder Arthur Jones when asked ‘what is health food’? He responded that ‘ALL food contributes to health – some foods are just healthier’. That’s kind of like culture. ALL cultures contribute to health – some are just healthier!”



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