Meet HERO’s New Director of Communications!

Crystle HeldermanJune marks a new era as our nation formally recognizes Juneteenth (June 19th), a day of immense celebration for the Black community and allies like HERO, hoping to make strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Juneteenth recognizes the day that the last slaves, living in Galveston, Texas in 1865, were freed after learning of the emancipation of all slaves by President Abraham Lincoln, more than three years previous. HERO observed this day on Friday, June 18, not only as a day off from our regular work duties and responsibilities, but also as a day to reach out as allies in the communities in which we live and do something to support our Black neighbors.

This was the first holiday I was able to partake in as the new Director of Communications for HERO. I am Crystle Helderman, and I have been searching for an organization that would help me reach my full potential and my desire to do good in the world. Coming to an organization that works to fight racial disparities and embarks on being a leader in the community for diversity, equity, inclusion, mental health, and overall well-being, I must admit that it has been a culture shock. I have worked in many places that have not allowed women to rise to the top. I have worked in places that have allowed racism and sexism. But I have also worked diligently to find an organization that can do more, and I have found my place at HERO.

I completed my Masters of Science in Strategic Communication and Public Relations from Purdue University’s Brian Lamb School in December of 2020. Going back to school as a working mother and wife was a challenge, but as we all know, 2020 brought new twists to our lives. I worked full time remotely while teaching my daughter virtual Kindergarten and finished my MS online with a 4.0 GPA. I do not tell our readers this to brag or boast but rather to show you that my determination, will-power, and grit will be valuable assets to HERO as I take on this newly created role. As Director of Communications, I will work to form our messages as an organization that is representative of our desires, goals, and mission. I will work with our team to create communication strategies, social media campaigns and give new life to our organization’s voice. One goal of mine is to increase the brand awareness and footprint of HERO. It is important to me in this role that I help HERO reach full potential as a recognized research leader in well-being, mental health, and DE&I. I am proud to have been given this opportunity with an extraordinary team at HERO to help lead the organization forward in this industry.

Crystle Helderman lives in Lafayette, Indiana with her husband, Nick, their daughter Harper, and their two cats, Merlin & Luna. Crystle is an avid reader and writer, hoping to publish her own fiction works in the future. She holds a BS in Communication/Journalism from the University of Indianapolis and MS in Strategic Communication/Public Relations from Purdue University.


2021 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? Sign up to view the Healthcare Summit On-Demand recording! 

Members Only Fall Think Tank

The Workplace Mental Health and Well-being Ecosystem: Is it working, how to know, and who is included (or excluded) from care?

group meetingOctober 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.

HERO members: Register now on the Forum21 registration site.

HERO Forum 2021

We’re pleased to announce our 2021 line-up of superstars for the HEROForum21 general sessions. Cara McNulty (Aetna) and Jennifer Posa (Johnson & Johnson) will join Karen Moseley for the opening session on the Forum theme of mental resilience. Wendy Lynch (Lynch Consulting) will partner with Stanford University colleagues Meag-gan O’Reilly and Patty de Vries for an authentic interaction modeling positive biracial communication skills. On Day 2, HERO Senior Research Fellow Sara Johnson will facilitate the industry research update with Rachel Henke (IBM Watson Health) and Tsitsi Masvawure (College of the Holy Cross). And HERO Senior Fellow Paul Terry will host a fireside chat with Olympic gymnast and bronze medalist Wendy Bruce Martin and Nadia Charguia from the University of North Carolina, and maybe share a few gymnastics stories of his own. Stay tuned for more to follow!

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!

Patron Level

Associate Level

Questions on Forum sponsorship? Email

2021 University Summit

Registration Opening Soon!

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
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.

HERO Members, Watch the Summer Think Tank!

The War on Truth: The employer’s role in plugging the disinformation rabbit hole

Log in to the Think Tank Library to view the amazing speakers from our June 7th Think Tank.


HERO Members: Provide your input on the HERO Research Agenda

HERO is a member driven organization, which is why we are seeking member input on specific research topics your organization would find valuable for HERO to explore. Please complete our member research survey to help us set our research agenda for the next 3 to 5 years.


The Learning Series

Strategic Health Program Planning in 2021: Tips on building successful, fluid, and flexible plans

Callie Lovato

Callie Lovato, PhD, MPH

June 30, 2021 | 12:00 pm Central

This session will help you identify wellness program goals and align them to your company’s 3- to 5-year plans, point out strategic collaborations to think about, and guide you in the planning & implementation it takes (even during uncertain times!) to succeed at delivering best in class health programs your employees want and need. With Callie Lovato, PhD, Scandia Labs.



Resources and Readings

Good Questions Series with Paul Terry

This month’s question: What books do health promotion experts recommend?  Watch the video on the HERO YouTube channel.

NIOSH Worker Well-Being Questionnaire (WellBQ)

NIOSH WellBQ is a freely available survey instrument that provides an integrated assessment of worker well-being across multiple spheres. These include workers’ quality of working life, circumstances outside of work, and physical and mental health status. The questionnaire measures “worker” well-being as a holistic construct rather than simply “workplace” or “work-related” well-being. Visit the NIOSH website for more information.

The Vaccine Class Gap

What is the real disparity in COVID-19 vaccinations? Read the article in the New York Times.

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


Send us an email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?