From the Heart

A long, vertical string of beautiful, round images hangs in my home office. A gift from the Global Wellness Institute, “The Wellness Moonshot Calendar: A Year of Inspiration” is a call to action to create healthier cultures within workplaces everywhere. The February image is pink with the picture of a tulip (my favorite flower) on one side and the word, “heart,” in script on the reverse. While it’s meant to be a reminder about all of the heart-healthy behaviors we can engage in, it also reminds me of the passion of so many of you for health and well-being and for HERO’s vision. Especially prevalent in my thoughts this month have been the dedicated members of the HERO Board of Directors. This group convenes every other month to engage in the business that a good non-profit board should and to keep HERO on track toward the vision that “all workplaces will positively influence the health and well-being of employees, families and communities.” I am constantly in awe at my good fortune to work with this group of leaders in the field. They convened earlier this month at Winter Thank Tank to elect new Board members and officers, and to express gratitude for those whose terms have ended. In addition to the transition between Paul and me at the beginning of the year, Lilly Wyttenbach and Sue Willette are going off the Board, and we welcome new Board members Jack Groppel and Shelly Wolff. Lilly also served as the Board Secretary, so the Board has elected Marleece Barber to fill that role. Please join me in thanking Lilly and Sue for their years of service to HERO and welcoming Jack and Shelly. To meet all of HERO’s Board members, visit

From One HERO Think Tank to Another

word cloud: health, mindfullness, safety, presence, alignment, community, kindness, gratitude, etc.We are enthused by the output from this month’s HERO Think Tank in San Antonio, Texas where we delved into “Psychological Safety at Work.” As we concluded our Proceedings, we took time as a group to reflect on what we learned and we also asked, “what are we still curious about?” Participants all drew word clouds as a way to show what questions still loomed largest and that they’d like to learn more about. The word cloud (right) is a composite of all of their word clouds. Such input will help inform our thinking about our learning agenda for our HERO Think Tank on September 9th in Portland, Oregon to precede HEROForum19 on Sept. 10-12. Based on the input so far, we are considering a Think Tank that addresses loneliness and how to build community at work that more effectively addresses growing concerns about social isolation. In the deepest and most unanticipated of ironies, at a time when we’ve never had more access to each other, digitally, we find ourselves feeling more and more separated. As always, we’d love your ideas and input on experts and focus areas that would make for a robust, meaningful and useful Think Tank. Ideas welcomed! Just email Paul Terry with your suggestions:

Call for HERO Award Nominations

2019 HERO Workplace Health and Well-Being Awards

For the 10th consecutive year, 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). The nomination process opened February 1, 2019 and will close April 30, 2019.

Nominate your peers for the: Bill Whitmer Leadership Award, Mark Dundon Research Award, Jerry Noyce Executive Health Champion Award, and Heart of HERO Award.

Visit the HERO website to learn about the awards and access the appropriate forms. This is our industry’s premier individual awards program. Please nominate any colleagues or associates who you feel deserve recognition by 4/30/2019.

*Please note that there have been some changes to the nomination process, so please review all documents closely. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Wolfe.


Save the Date! Kansas City here we come!

HERO Summer Think Tank – Members Only!

Forging a Fresh Course for Worksite Health and Well-being: Tools and Methods that can Move Organizations from an “Is State” to a “Future State”

June 25, 2019 | Kansas City, Missouri

HERO Think Tanks are always designed with a grand purpose in mind. After all, bringing together the best minds in the country deserves a topic that will stretch us professionally and influence the direction of our field. What, then, could be more apt than coming together to chart a new course for our line of work? What’s more, HERO strives to be every bit as pragmatic as we are lofty, so in this think tank we will take a hands-on approach to examining strategic planning tools and demonstrate, together, how methods such as “Hoshin Planning” and “Blue Ocean” strategy can support your approach to your organization’s health and well-being strategic planning process.

Watch for more information coming soon.


Thriving Organizations: Achieving Well-Being through Collaboration

September 10-12, 2019  | Portland, Oregon

HERO Forum19 Thriving Organizations Sept 10-12 2019

Our inalienable rights in America are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How well has the workplace-based health and well-being movement in America helped us to achieve this inspired guarantee? HERO specializes in featuring exemplary companies and ground-breaking health promotion professionals who consider our shared mission to be nothing less than achieving well-being for all.

HEROForum19 will feature partnerships that have defied traditional boundaries. As always, we will feature leaders, organizations and experts who believe that healthy cultures are prerequisites to health for individuals. But this year we will focus on those who profoundly embrace the need for collaboration across disciplines and sectors to affect change.

For a full description of the Forum19 theme, visit the Forum website.

Our Call for Presenters is open through Friday, March 1st.


Resources and Readings

40th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine

March 6-9, 2019 | Washington, DC

Society of Behavioral Medicine logo

We are delighted to extend an invitation for you to attend the 40th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine to be held in Washington, DC, from March 6-9, 2019. The meeting will convene at the Washington Hilton, conveniently located in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood, providing easy access to premier dining, entertainment, and shopping. You can see the full program here.

Global Healthy Workplace Awards & Summit

October 30th – November 1st, 2019 | Melbourne, Australia

Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces logoApplication entries are now open for the 7th Global Healthy Workplace Awards 2019. The Global Awards are hosted by the Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces (GCHW) with Monash University as Global Healthy Workplace Summit partner. The Global Healthy Workplace Awards enable employers to benchmark their programs to the global standard and, if successful, to celebrate their outstanding achievement in promoting a safe and healthy work environment complementary to the business performance of the organization.

Applications are open to ALL employer organizations (for profit and not-for-profit, local and international) and are assessed by a panel of global experts. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large enterprises, and multi-national enterprises are invited to apply to become recognized as the world’s best employer for health and well-being. Application Deadline: March 31st, 2019 (announcement in May 2019). Click here for more information and to apply.

$100 Discount on the 16th Annual World Health Care & Quality Congress for HERO members

EHCQ19Join your peers at the 2019 Employer Health Care Cost & Quality Congress (EHCQ). This national cross-sector meeting convenes employers, brokers, TPAs, benefits advisers, providers, and payers to discuss strategies to effectively enhance employee health and benefits, curb costs, and improve outcomes.

HERO has partnered with the World Health Care Congress to provide HERO members a $100 discount* on registration using promo code HERO. If you are a qualified HR, benefits, and employee wellness professional you may receive a complimentary registration. Register online  or call 781-939-2400. Planning on attending?  Connect with HERO staff at the Congress, email to let us know you will be there.

*Discount not available on government, webcast, workshop only or Gold Circle rates. May not be combined with any other offer.


The HERO Learning Series

Check out the HERO webinar archives to watch these great webinars and more!

Broadening our View of Financial Well-Being with Sara Johnson, Bruce Sherman and Susan Morgan Bailey

Increasingly aware of the toll financial distress is taking on employees, employers are taking steps to address financial well-being as a key component of their overall wellness strategy. This webinar will challenge our field to adopt a more comprehensive approach to addressing financial well-being. Please join Sara Johnson, Bruce Sherman, and Susan Morgan Bailey as they explore the limitations on “bandwidth” that scarcity can create; the role financial well-being initiatives can play in improving social determinants of health; and opportunities for employers to address financial well-being along a continuum from financial concerns that impact ability to afford necessities of living to financial planning skills and preparing effectively for retirement. Click here to watch the webinar.

Sara Johnson, Susan Morgan Bailey, Bruce Sherman

The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth with Amy Edmondson

Amy Edmondson

Amy Edmondson

With so much riding on innovation, creativity, and spark, it is essential to attract and retain quality talent, but what good does this talent do if no one is able to speak their mind? The traditional culture of “fitting in” and “going along” spells doom in the knowledge economy. Success requires a continuous influx of new ideas, new challenges, and critical thought, and the interpersonal climate must not suppress, silence, ridicule or intimidate. Not every idea is good, and yes there are stupid questions, and yes dissent can slow things down, but talking through these things is an essential part of the creative process. People must be allowed to voice half-finished thoughts, ask questions from left field, and brainstorm out loud; it creates a culture in which a minor flub or momentary lapse is no big deal, and where actual mistakes are owned and corrected, and where the next left-field idea could be the next big thing. The road is sometimes bumpy, but succinct and informative scenario-based explanations provide a clear path forward to constant learning and healthy innovation. Click here to watch the webinar.


Ed Framer

Ed Framer

Ed Framer

Senior Director, Health & Behavioral Sciences
HealthFitness Corporation

At HealthFitness Corporation, Ed is responsible for health and behavioral sciences information acquisition and dissemination, as well as generation of science-based health recommendations. He creates and maintains health assessment tools and provides science support to HealthFitness’ many account management, business development, program management, health screening and health coaching functions. Ed is also liaison to external health promotion/disease prevention professional organizations.

Q. Thinking toward the future, where do you think the next major focus will or should be in the field of workplace health and well-being?

A. Our field’s next major focus should be learning how to identify and measure work products that have definite value to both participants and organizations. Historic process measures are suitable for process conformation work where we check to see if we are doing all the things we intend to be doing. We must now learn to demonstrate both purpose and value. Over time, we can develop meaningful measures in these areas. I hope we will come to encompass quality processes, procedures and elements such as courage and accomplishment. These should demonstrate that meaningful accomplishments are being produced for participants and organizations.

Q. What’s on your professional reading list that you’d recommend to fellow HERO members?

A. At least once each year I reread Skinner’s last presentation, given just a few days before he died to the American Psychological Association, “Can Psychology be a Science of the Mind.” Later, it was published in the American Psychologist, November 1990. I view it as one of the best papers from the last hundred years. It contains a clear exposition of how reinforcement-generated-behavior parallels Darwin’s theory of evolution at the individual level. I currently suggest two books: Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott (2002, 2004, 2017) and Human Competence: Engineering Worthy Performance (2007) by Thomas F. Gilbert. Members may have read Fierce Conversations (conversations filled with passion, integrity, authenticity and collaboration). Fewer will know Gilbert, but might enjoy this quote: “If we are going to truly anchor our analyses of and designs for supporting performance in accomplishments, we need to use countable nouns that describe the products of behavior.”

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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