Have you missed us? The HERO team has been caught in the frenzy of pre- and post-Forum preparation and follow-up with all hands, feet and eyes focused on creating an atmosphere of learning and networking at HEROForum16 in Atlanta. We hope you’ve viewed this short hiatus from the HERO Briefs as our full engagement in other areas. But you’ll find that engagement is top of mind for us, as the following events, news and readings will demonstrate. Read on for the HEROForum17 theme of “Engagement and the Emerging Workforce,” a call for help from the Engagement Study Committee, and a webinar and readings on employee engagement, plus more.



hero_thinktank_2017HERO Winter Think Tank (members only event)

February 23-24, 2017 – San Antonio, TX

While many industries are well known for their deep reliance on the voice of their consumers, employee health, and well-being initiatives have arguably been oriented toward a business case responsive to the needs of the employer. Does the movement “from wellness to well-being” signal a shift away from costly employee risks to the organizational value added if we better tap employee assets, needs, and diversity? The HERO Think Tank will be heading for the grand vistas of Texas to wrangle in such expansive thoughts. If your organization’s health and well-being initiatives were entirely employee-centered, how would they be different? If companies no longer paid for health care, would they still invest in employee health? These are just an inkling of questions this Think Tank is designed to address. We may not return from San Antonio with all of the answers, but we will “stirrup” the conversation and round up a huge herd of ideas for continuous quality improvement in our field. For the working agenda,  click here.

Sustainability Think Tank Notes

As a reminder of what was discussed during this year’s 2016 HERO Forum Pre-Forum Think Tank Meeting, HERO Project Specialist Emily Wolfe has compiled the notes collected during roundtable discussions on Sustainability and Workplace Health and Well-Being. Look for these notes in HERO’s members-only Resource Center.

HERO Forum

slide5HEROForum16 is in the books, but it will be remembered for the intensive learning experience that the 130+ presenters so eloquently delivered and the networking power that the 500+ attendees so energetically tapped. It was a lot to take in, so we have produced a conference Proceedings, with support from American Heart Association, with the goal of offering those who attended—and those who did not—a resource for continuous learning and improvement. Click here for the Proceedings. In addition to meaty summaries, you’ll also find the faces of Forum sprinkled in. If you weren’t able to join us, you’ll not want to miss the pictures of Paul’s juggling act! For more photos in the Forum family photo album, check out HERO’s Facebook page.

A hearty thank-you to all of you who made HEROForum16 “diverse,” “superb,” and “the best employee health and well-being management conference in the US,” and especially to those of you who did provide feedback through the attendee survey. As promised, one of you have been selected to receive a complimentary registration for HEROForum17, and the lucky winner is … Julie Chobdee with University of California-Riverside.

HEROForum17 – September 12-14, 2017 – Phoenix, AZ

As we turn the page on HEROForum16, we find ourselves in full planning mode for HEROForum17 and attempting to match the quality experience that Forum attendees have come to expect. At the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, HEROForum17 will be featuring national thought leaders and workplace practitioners with evidence to share concerning how best to address the transformational challenges of demographic diversity and stagnant employee engagement and converting them into opportunities for improving health, well-being, and performance. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more beautiful setting, as we explore our conference theme, “Engagement and the Emerging Workforce.”  Watch for the Call for Proposals later this month.

AJHP Webinar on Innovation and Innovators

Tuesday, November 29th 1:00 p.m. (EST)

The innovators who shaped the health promotion discipline have amassed decades of research and/or practice experience that informs their theories and programs. Proof of concept outranks time to market in our field. HERO President Paul Terry will host innovators Neal Sofian, Director of Members Engagement at Premera Blue Cross, Julia Hu, CEO of Lark and Dave Bulger, CEO of Tuzag. These innovators exemplify the growing diversity behind the creative process in today’s business driven approaches to improving health and healthcare. Some innovators we profiled in a recent issue of The Art of Health Promotion are evidence-based thinkers who are reaping from fertile fields, where others are problem solvers who acknowledge they are sowing in uncultivated turf. What they share in common is a boundless energy for putting their ideas into practice. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with these creative innovators.  Register HERE.


Engagement Study Committee Needs YOU

HERO members say some of the things they value about HERO are:

  • opportunities to learn more about specific topic areas,
  • keeping abreast of emerging research,
  • giving back to the profession, and
  • developing new skills.

If any of these elements of value resonate for you, we’ve got an opportunity for you to get more involved! The Engagement Study Committee is looking for individuals to support an environmental scan that will help us understand how others are measuring and defining engagement as well as the drivers and outcomes associated with engagement. Many hands make light work and will help us complete our work faster!

Are you limited on time yet looking for a short-term committee commitment with a long-term impact on HERO research? Strengthen your skills in systematically reviewing research, while learning more about the topic of engagement by helping the Environmental Scan Work Group review articles!

A research background is not required to support this effort! Please contact Emily Wolfe emily.wolfe@hero-health.org if you are interested in learning more about this opportunity.

CDC Launches New Workplace Health in America Survey

Want to enhance your health promotion programs? Or find out what other workplaces are doing to support employee health? Funded by the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, the Workplace Health in America survey is a comprehensive, national survey of health promotion programs and practices implemented by employers across the U.S. Your worksite might be selected to participate, and you will receive access to a free digital data dashboard as well as an exclusive report if you complete the survey. The last survey of its kind was conducted in 2004. To learn more, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/data-surveillance/index.html.

Fikry Isaac Honored by Global Wellness Institute1

HERO Board member, Fik Isaac, received the Leader in Workplace Wellness Award for his work as a “pioneer in the field of workplace health promotion and global health.” Fik received this recognition at the 2016 Global Wellness Summit in Tyrol, Austria. Summit videos of the presentations from the 2015 Summit in Mexico City, including a wellness at work research report, are available free online. Fik is also an advisor to a “Future of Workplace Health” initiative at the Global Wellness Institute. Congratulations, Fik!

Making Worksite Health Work

j-goetzelHERO Board Chair, Dr. Ron Goetzel, presented the keynote address last week at the 2nd National Workplace Health Summit of The American Heart Association (AHA). Ron’s talk; “Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work” was referenced by other speakers throughout the conference. Ron published many of his “top ten list” for effective programs in a blog for Harvard Business Review. HERO member Dr. Bruce Sherman, Medical Director, Population Health  Management for Xerox HR Services, presented on “Reducing Health Disparities in the Workforce.” HERO President, Dr. Paul Terry, moderated a panel and presented on “Strategies for Small and Medium Sized Employers.” AHA is an Association Member of HERO. Watch for a webinar featuring Dr. Sherman and other AHA sponsored experts in the months ahead.

HERO and WELCOA Member Benefits

HERO and WELCOA have joined forces to ensure its members have access to not only the best resources and information available, but also the best prices. HERO members can now receive exclusive access to discounts on select WELCOA Group Memberships (up to 35%) and Products (up to 10%).  To take advantage of this special offer, please contact Brenda Lerouge at blerouge@welcoa.org and be sure to mention HERO.  There has never been a better time to harness the power of wellness with the nation’s two leading organizations for worksite wellness. The time is now to create a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.


Workplace Health Conference Proceedings from the AHA (Open Access)AHSA

The American Heart Association, a HERO member organization, recently partnered with Dr. Terry and the American Journal of Health Promotion to publish Proceedings from their 1st Annual Workplace Health Summit held in November 2015 in Washington, D.C. The issue was co-edited by AHA’s Chris Calitz with submissions from 10 nationally recognized health promotion experts. The AHA has generously made the full issue and PDF issue available free via Sage Publishing. Articles include “Research Designs for Workplace Health Programs” by HERO Board Chair Dr. Ron Goetzel and “From Return on Investment to Value on Investment of Workplace Health Programs” by Dr. Jessica Grossmeier, HERO’s Vice President of Research.

What’s the Next Big Thing?

How do we change a culture of health? What do the grocery store or our friends and colleagues have to do with that? Is there a scientifically rigorous way to find out? Given today’s market reality, how can this be done quickly and with validity? Can innovative answers to these questions measurably move the needle on changing a population, a workplace, or a community? Which is more important for new ideas, proven effectiveness or time to market? These are big questions. In this month’s “Innovators Issue” of The Art of Health Promotion, Paul Terry and co-editor Neal Sofian introduce you to the types of people and organizations we believe will be answering them. Paul blogs here about Innovation and Innovators.

Health and Happiness

What’s more likely to improve health: showing gratitude every day or getting on a scale every day? Good evidence supports each idea, but…  Read on for Paul Terry’s essay describing his enthusiasm for, and cautions about, assets based wellness.

HERO Research Industry Review

What’s up with wearables? Is there sufficient evidence to support their use as part of an employer-sponsored wellness program? HERO’s Vice President of Research, Jessica Grossmeier, responds to a new study on the influence of wearables as part of a long-term weight loss initiative in a new HERO Industry Research Review. This review discusses a study recently published in JAMA and shares potential application points for employers. You can read the full review here.

 “Getting Well is Good for Business”

groppel_jackDr. Jack Groppel, co-chair of the HERO Health, Performance & Productivity Committee and cofounder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, was interviewed recently for an article in Chief Executive. Read on for the message that Jack and others want CEO’s to hear about the connection between their health and their organization’s success.



“The Dark Side of High Employee Engagement”

In a recent article published in Harvard Business Review, authors Lewis Garrad and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic examine four threats that could potentially impact companies with high levels of engagement. Read on for more psychological insight on the topic.

Mindfulness as a Superpower

Take a 3-minute break for a light-hearted but effective animation on Why Mindfulness is a Superpower  (YouTube video).

Personal note

As we enter this season of gratitude, I want to be intentional about expressing my thanks for the HERO team and all those whose efforts combined for an ebullient HEROForum16. My heart overflows! I’m looking forward with anticipation and excitement as we begin planning for our 2017 events. I’m also grateful for having met two giants in health and well-being who have recently passed away, leaving a legacy far bigger than any individual.

20160926_121829Dr. Bob Winfield passed away on October 14, with his family and friends surrounding him. Bob is remembered as the kind and caring man who loved his family and his work very much. His gentle bedside manner impressed thousands of patients. The difference he made in the lives and health of others is legendary. Many relied on him for care and compassion. At this year’s University Summit, we honored Bob with “The Robert Winfield, MD, University of Michigan Keynote Presentation” and will continue to commemorate him at future University Summits.

Bill Baun Bill Baun Bill Whitmer Award Winnerpassed away on November 5, humming a song with his wife and a close friend. Bill is remembered as a friend, collaborator and authentic leader, having left an indelible mark on the hearts of many but also on the wellness field. He was a founding editor of the American Journal of Health Promotion and contributed to some of the earliest studies linking wellness to financial outcomes. HERO recognized Bill’s significant positive impact on health and well-being in 2015 with the Bill Whitmer Leadership Award.

Our consolation can be that their lives touched and strengthened ours.

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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