Forum21 is a hybrid event for everyone.

For more than a year, the world has held webinars, conferences, meetings, family events and even weddings, virtually. Now, as we all begin the first steps towards a new normal, HERO plans to hold our annual Forum in Austin, Texas. This year we continue our annual tradition of bringing together health and well-being professionals and researchers to better the world through innovative research that puts science to practice.

You have no doubt seen our announcement that only those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to attend HEROForum21 in person. We are committed to preventing the spread of the disease, and those who are unvaccinated can participate virtually or choose from on-demand options. We believe that this policy will allow HERO to set an example of best practices and ensure that we can gather safely while abiding by CDC guidelines.

We believe that this critical step provides us with the assurance that we are protecting the people of Austin, our Forum21 attendees and staff and the communities through which we travel. This policy is a testament to our mission to uphold Integrity by adhering to strict eithcal standards in how we interact with HERO members and other organizational leaders and in the way we partner with other organizations. We believe our work is important and, together, we can make great strides.

We hope to see y’all at HEROForum21 this October 12-15th in Austin, TX. Register today.


HERO Forum 2021

Forum21 is packed with over 30 live breakout session and 50+ on-demand presentations, and that’s not even counting our expert-led general sessions. These sessions bring together professionals from the field to discuss and share their successes in “Bouncing Back.”

Our opening general session on Wednesday, October 13th will be moderated by HERO’s own President and CEO, Karen Moseley. She will lead a panel on “Bouncing Back while Moving Forward: How the Syndemic of COVID-19 and Racial Discord can Revitalize Work and Well-being.” Our second general session on the 13th will be “Creating Fresh Possibilities out of Impossibly Fragile Conversations.” Meag-gan O’Reilly, PhD, and Patty Purpur de Vries from Stanford University, along with Wendy Lynch, PhD, Founder of Lynch Consulting and Get to What Matters, LLC., will be sharing their knowledge on this important topic.

Thursday, October 14th will bring “A Journal Club Session on Workplace Well-being: Putting Research into Practice” with moderator Sara Johnson, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, HERO and Co-President and CEO, Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. Our closing general session, “Personal and Professional Resiliency and Accountability: How Setbacks can Spark Positive Change,” features the anguishing setbacks of two Olympians who faced unexpected demons with extraordinary resilience: Wendy Bruce-Martin (Bronze medal in gymnastics, 1992) and Justin Spring (Bronze medal in gymnastics, 2008). Dr. Nadia Charguia, a psychiatrist and wellness executive, will serve as a reactor to help us translate how resiliency strategies needed to solve for one industry’s challenges are applicable to other personal and professional industry problems.

Check the Forum website for more information and to reserve your spot now!  

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!

Benefactor Level

Day Two logo

Patron Level

Virgin Pulse logo

Associate Level

Kroger Prescription Plans logo

Questions on Forum sponsorship? Email

Members Only Fall Think Tank

a diverse group of people at a conference room tableThe Workplace Mental Health and Well-being Ecosystem: Is it working, how to know, and who is included (or excluded) from care?

October 12, 2021 | 2:00 – 5:00 PM CT
Renaissance Austin Hotel, Austin, TX

Workplace mental health and well-being (MHWB) has long been a vexing issue for companies. Now, in the wake of COVID-19 and a national racial reckoning, employers are ever more aware of the workplace’s impact on employee MHWB. 2020 has served up vivid lessons about how MHWB impacts everyone. Though MHWB does not discriminate based on race, gender, culture, age, or income, these populations are clearly impacted in a myriad of inequitable ways. Over the past decade, workplaces have increasingly recognized the importance of addressing employee mental health and well-being and have expanded and improved related benefits and programs. As workplace behavioral health strategy and technology evolves, employers face new challenges regarding outcomes measurement. Too often, program utilization is suboptimal due to individual and system-level barriers, including cultural, geographical, and financial difficulties, especially related to race and income levels. At this HERO Think Tank, members will explore how employers are addressing workplace MHWB in 2021 and beyond, emphasizing measurement and the critical importance of taking a DE&I informed approach.

Register now on the Forum21 registration site.

Click on the Fall Think Tank tab for more information.

7th Annual Healthcare Summit

Caring for the Caregiver: Addressing the Emotional and Mental Well-being of Healthcare Workers

October 12, 2021 | 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM CT
Renaissance Austin Hotel, Austin, TX

Healthcare workers have been increasingly burdened by the incredible demands on the front lines and at home. The impact of ongoing mental and emotional distress is projected to continue into the foreseeable future. These issues will continue to influence the well-being needs of our employees, their families, and our communities for months and years to come. As a result, healthcare organizations will need to find new models for effectively addressing employees’ mental and emotional resilience and well-being. Join us for an interactive session to share best practices and innovative solutions in supporting employee mental well-being.

Register now on the Forum21 registration site.

Can’t make it to Austin this October? Click the link above and sign up to view the Healthcare Summit On-Demand recording! Click on the Healthcare Summit tab for more information. 

2021 University Summit

Registration Now Open!

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
Time TBD

A virtual summit!

Aligning with the HERO Forum 2021 theme, the University Summit will focus on navigating the new way we are working and how universities and academic medical centers can continue to foster positive and inclusive faculty and staff experiences. We will highlight the future of work by exploring emerging and innovative solutions that address top concerns through new or revised policies, system changes, structures, and programming:

  • Hybrid working environments. The pandemic moved us to our homes and changed the future of the workplace. Many institutions will continue to employ a hybrid model with some faculty and staff working remotely, others on-site, and some doing a mix of both remote and on-site work. How do we provide a culture of connectedness, compassion, and equity to all faculty and staff regardless of their work location? How do we, as health and well-being professionals, pivot our work to address this new workforce model?
  • Women and family care needs. The pandemic has disproportionately affected working parents and caregivers, particularly women. What can well-being professionals do to retain talent and address family care needs for all?
  • Mental and emotional well-being. The full effects of the pandemic are still being realized. The toll on mental and emotional well-being has increased the need for access to equitable care and support. How do we support recovery and the ongoing mental health crisis many of our employees face?

Fluidity and flexibility are keys to fostering a culture of health, innovation, empowerment, and, ultimately, resilience. As such, it is imperative that health and well-being programs continue to recognize and respond swiftly to address the evolving well-being needs of university employees.

Register now on the Forum21 registration site.

Click on the University Summit tab for more information.


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

Scoring changes in the HERO Scorecard

Mary Imboden, HERO Director of Research, explains the scoring changes in version 5 of the HERO Health and Well-being Best Practices Scorecard in Collaboration with Mercer© in this short, informative video.


The Learning Series

National Guidelines for Workplace Suicide Prevention

For HERO Members Only!

August 4, 2021 | 1:00 pm Central

September is suicide prevention month. In preparation, make suicide prevention a health and safety priority at work. The majority of adults who experience mental health problems, including suicide, are in the workforce (World Health Organization, 2006). However, the majority of workplaces are not prepared to help employees who might be struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors in an attempt to prevent suicide, nor are most prepared to cope with the aftermath of an employee suicide with appropriate and evidence-informed postvention practices. While many employers offer mental health, EAP, and wellness programs, these programs are greatly underutilized due to real and perceived barriers, especially stigma.



Jodi Jacobson Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP, University of Maryland

Sally Spencer-Thomas, PhD, clinical psychologist and entrepreneur

Maggie Mortali, MPH, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

How It Started | How It’s Going: 4 Ways to Build Personal and Organizational Immunity

September 9, 2021 | 12:00 pm Central – 1 CHES/MCHES CEU

The State of Wisconsin Employee Trust Fund (ETF) has a geographically dispersed and diverse population of more than 165,000 individuals, including current and retired employees from the University of Wisconsin system, state agencies, and nearly 300 local government entities. Employees work in more than 400 locations throughout the state. Since 2017, ETF has focused on creating a positive well-being program experience to their constituents. During this presentation, learn how they’ve created an adaptive well-being strategy and Well Wisconsin Program to meet the broad needs of their population base. Speakers will also provide insights around their cohesive engagement and program management strategies that have helped double participation since the inception of the Well Wisconsin initiative.

After the webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of how the State of Wisconsin ETF leveraged their Triple Aim (health, service/quality, cost) mission and a strong strategic partnership to create a balanced foundation for their well-being program.
  • Identify outside-the-box ideas and initiatives (e.g., Well Wisconsin Radio podcasts) that are designed to meet participants on their terms and boost engagement year-over-year.
  • Apply program adjustments and additions to better assist employees from program inception and during a pandemic.



Erin Seaverson, MPH, WebMD Health Services

Molly Heisterkamp, MPH, Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds


Resources and Readings

Culture of Health at Harvard

Harvard has launched a new website for their Culture of Health (COH) program. This program “…focuses on the role business and business leaders can play in improving the nation’s health.” Sign up for their mailing list to stay up-to-date on COH projects and events.

Mental Health and the Pandemic

Read the article “The Pandemic Did Not Affect Mental Health the Way You Think” in The Atlantic, and learn how humans may be more robust than we thought. Then, join us at HEROForum21 to continue the discussion on “Bouncing Back.”

Upcoming Webinar: Employee Benefits for Obesity Care and One Company’s Innovative Approach

On July 29, the Business Engagement in Obesity Solutions Innovation Collaborative (an ad-hoc activity of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions at the National Academies) will host a webinar that will explore best practices for obesity-centered employee benefits across the entire spectrum of care (from prevention to treatment). Join the conversation with Dr. Anthony Fabricatore, Medical Director at Novo Nordisk, who will present on evidence-based obesity care for employer-provided benefits, and Abigail Ammerman, Manager of Benefits Program at H-E-B Grocery Company, who will present on the innovative health and wellbeing programming happening at H-E-B. Learn more on the event webpage.

Vaccine Action Lab

Participate in a special interactive session of the WIN with Business webinars series focused on how businesses can engage, educate, vaccinate and equitably bring health and social services to communities who experience inequities in the context of COVID.

The Role of Business in Addressing Inequity in Vaccine Response in the Context of COVID

Friday, July 30, 12:00 – 1:30 PM EDT

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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