“A rising tide lifts all the boats.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Though John F. Kennedy was known to use this phrase frequently, it is said that he borrowed it from the New England Council, a regional chamber of commerce. It’s a phrase that I’ve heard a lot lately, prompting me to research its origin, and I was pleased to see a chamber of commerce at its root. It comes as no surprise that a group of employers would espouse the belief that together they could positively impact the economy of a region. In the same spirit, HERO envisions a future in which “All workplaces will positively influence the health and well-being of employees, families and communities.” This vision statement sets the tone for all that we do at HERO, from Board planning and strategy to committee work, and publications to presentations. After compiling the 2016 annual report, we were pleased (and surprised!) to count the number of deliverables (i.e., publications, presentations and webinars) in 2016, and it averages to one new output every week. Add in presentations from members on behalf of HERO and the number doubles. I hope you’ll take a look at the full report and celebrate with us what all of us, together, have been able to accomplish over the span of 52 weeks.

With this month’s Brief, as with all of our monthly newsletters, we endeavor to keep you informed about the latest from HERO, its members and the industry at large. You’ll see opportunities to attend upcoming events from HERO and partner organizations, including the next Wednesday Webinar with Drs. Tom Kottke and Ginger Kakacek from HealthPartners. Also, we proudly announce the release of the Wearables in Wellness employer case studies from the HERO Health, Performance & Productivity Committee, and offer a number of other readings to keep you current. Read on for the full brief.

Wednesday Webinar with Dr. Thomas Kottke and Dr. Ginger Kakacek of HealthPartners

Wednesday, March 1st at 12:00 PM CST

Join us on Wednesday, March 1st at 12:00 PM Central when HERO’s Paul Terry hosts Drs. Kottke and Kakacek of HealthPartners. Together they will explore “What causes well-being and where does health fit in?” and whether “well-being in all policies” could have greater impact than our more usual advocacy for “health in all policies.” We have long understood the impact of lifestyle choices such as how tobacco use, inactivity or inadequate sleep affect our health. But how do these decisions compare to others that predict or advance well-being? Register here.

HEROForum17 – “Engagement and the Emerging Workforce”

September 12-14, 2017 – Phoenix, AZ

The HERO Education Committee has their work cut out for them as we begin to sort through the 90+ submissions received to present a session at HEROForum17. Stay tuned for a preliminary agenda and open registration in April. In the meantime, why don’t you start planning your trip to Phoenix and the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa! Make your reservation here.

Utah Worksite Wellness Council Annual Conference

Join the Utah Worksite Wellness Council at the “Roadmap To Wellness Conference,” May 8-9, 2017. The conference is dedicated to helping develop and maintain a successful wellness program whether you are new to wellness program administration or you are a seasoned professional. Early bird registration is now open.

Harvard School of Public Health’s SHINE Summit

You are invited to the Harvard School of Public Health’s SHINE Summit, the corporate sustainability, health and social innovation event for business leaders. SHINE (Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise) is the leading network connecting business leadership with pioneering academic research to advance sustainability and well-being. Creating a Positive Future is this year’s summit theme and it will be an intimate, high-level gathering of visionary scientists and influential business leaders exploring innovative ways for companies to improve, measure and report on social well-being and environmental health throughout the organization, community, and supply chain.

Registration is now open for this year’s summit, taking place June 13-14, followed by a Forum on Worker Well-being in Supply Chains on June 15-16, all taking place on the Harvard campus in Cambridge.

Jessica Grossmeier and Sara Johnson named co-editors for The Art & Science of Health Promotion

On February 2, SAGE Publishing announced, in this press release, that Sara Johnson and Jessica Grossmeier have been named co-editors of The Art & Science of Health Promotion. TAHP is a special section of The American Journal of Health Promotion, a leading scientific periodical for research that advances healthy behavior and communities around the world. Johnson and Grossmeier will succeed Paul Terry, PhD, president and CEO of HERO, who recently assumed the role of editor in chief of AJHP.

Two HERO Members Named Top Medical Sales Companies to Work For

Two HERO Member Companies have been recognized as the Best Medical Sales Companies to Work For. Congratulations to Johnson & Johnson and Stryker, named ‘Overall Winners’ for 2017.

Federal Hiring Freeze Public Health and Research

Recently, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) worked with the American Public Health Association (APHA) on this sign-on letter to the Trump Administration expressing strong support for the federal public health and biomedical research workforces. They are aiming to demonstrate a strong show of support for the public health and biomedical research workforces to ensure that CDC, HRSA, NIH and FDA are able to hire the staff they need to carry out their important missions.

Please contact Amanda Jezek at ajezek@idsociety.org by COB on February 22 with any questions or to join this letter.

Building a Culture of Workplace Health Proves Complicated

HERO Board Chair, Ron Goetzel, and colleagues recently penned a Health Affairs Blog post, part of a periodic series discussing culture of health. The article asserts that there is no single key ingredient when it comes to successful wellness programs, rather several “secret sauce” ingredients that need to come together to create a culture of health in the workplace. “To move the needle on workforce health, employers need to establish and maintain comprehensive, multi-component, evidence-based health promotion programs that improve organizational health.” Read on to learn more.

Cultivate a High-Energy Workforce for Better Performance

The U.S. workforce is being drained of energy. “We have a human energy crisis” states Dr. Jack Groppel, co-chair of the HERO Workplace Performance Committee and co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. While machines can run on a single energy source, human energy is more complex. Read on to learn about the Human Energy Pyramid consisting of four key areas that when met, help achieve sustained high performance.

HERO Wearables Case Study Report

The HERO Health, Performance, and Productivity (HPP) Committee recently released case studies of organizations that incorporated wearables into their wellness programs. The case studies are a continuation of the research begun by the committee in 2015 with a report of findings from their survey of employers on the use of wearables. Read the case studies and findings here.

Survey: Well-being and Engagement Top Priorities for Employers

While employee well-being and engagement is a growing priority for employers, this survey concludes there are key connections that must be made before designing programs in order to ensure success.

What Do Young Professionals Want in Today’s Office Environment?

With millennials making up one third of the workforce, competing for top talent is a reality for companies that want to appeal to this younger generation. Wellness experiences, alongside these three other offerings, are what it may take to hire qualified talent.

Pokémon Go Activity Short-Lived

While associated with an immediate increase in the daily number of steps taken, the activity of Pokémon Go players decreased to ‘moderate’ or ‘no longer observed’ after six weeks. “The takeaway for employers and health plans is that if gamification is a major driver of engagement in their programs, it is important for them to design wellness challenges that regularly change to keep things fresh.” Read on for additional insights from the British Medical Journal.

Just Three Questions: To Meg Molloy, DrPH, MPH, President, and CEO, Prevention Partners

1. What will you be most focused on in Health and Well-being at Prevention Partners in 2017?

Prevention Partners is focusing on bringing a highly visible competition to NC to recognize leaders that are building healthy policies where we work, learn and receive care. We will be recognizing employer, school and healthcare leaders who are making progress towards healthy organizational best practices, and community partnerships, leaders and chambers who are helping to spread and simplify the process across communities.

We are also excited about collaborating with HERO, CDC and others to define our current collective impact in guiding employers in workplace best practices. Internally, we are building on our current framework and enhancing the psychosocial health and well-being components of our healthy employee offerings. Employers can play a larger role in mental health and resilience than most of us are currently doing.

2. What’s your take on the wellness to well-being movement? Same wine in a new bottle or a new vintage altogether?

Wellness is a term that means something completely different to everyone, and because it can be almost anything in the fruit basket, wellness can be dismissed. Well-being brings heightened attention to the important issues of psychosocial health and mental health to physical health. I think this shift creates an opportunity to redefine and clarify the terms in our field, and at the same time, help employers focus on the elements that have the greatest impact.

3. What are you reading professionally and/or for pleasure this month?

My current read is Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by JD Vance, and next on the reading deck is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

“What are the odds the gods would put us all in one spot?” ~ Hamilton

Recently, I was privileged to spend the afternoon at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Health Means Business National Summit in Washington, DC. I’m always inspired by these meetings and energized by those around me, new acquaintances and old alike. On this day, I was particularly starstruck. I had the good fortune (and timing!) to be able to personally thank Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey for all that she has done to make a “culture of health” a familiar phrase in the American workplace and community; I wish her well on her next chapter after 14 years at the helm of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Arianna Huffington gave me useful tips to use and pass along to the HERO team on how to improve the quality of our sleep.

US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, inspired me to continue to work to make prevention part of the culture at home, in the workplace, and in our schools. I was challenged to think about new models of partnership by the Wellness Council of Indiana, now part of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce (the purest model of “Health Means Business”). And I reconnected with Marjorie Paloma, Senior Director with RWJF, who was such a valuable resource to HERO through the life of the RWJF grant to study culture of health measures that matter to employers. I continue to be amazed at the convergence of industry and research and the intersection of views and ideas that result in meetings like this, and I can only hope that the conversation continues at the HERO Winter Think Tank in San Antonio later this week.

©2023 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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