Intention & Focus

Happy New Year!

Would you agree that that greeting is beginning to seem a little stale, with the first 30 days of the year already behind us? What should we do with the remaining 336 (Leap Year!) to make it count?

Personally, I abandoned specific, goal-oriented resolutions a few years ago and have found greater success in identifying a word or two for the year – a personal strategic plan, if you will. For 2024, I endeavor to be very INTENTIONAL with how I spend my time and energy and to FOCUS on what really matters. In this 24/7 world, it is tempting and all-to-easy to become distracted by the always-on and somewhat-alarming news and social media feeds, so I hope to resist the ‘rabbit hole’ this year.

As an organization, HERO’s “resolutions” connect to our current strategic plan (2021-2026). Adopted by the HERO Board in early 2021, it continues to guide every aspect of HERO’s work, most especially the learning and research priorities that are reviewed and established every year. Now at the midpoint for

the strategic plan, we’re surveying HERO members to check in on how we’re doing. We’ll report on those results at the Winter Think Tank meeting next month in Nashville, including an update on the refreshed research agenda.

HERO’s strategic plan continues to keep us focused on (1) delivering evidence-based program evaluation & research; (2) helping employers understand key metrics; (3) bringing thought leaders together; and (4) actively pursuing strategic initiatives, partnerships and collaborations. We do not take for granted this community and the confidence and trust that you have in us to do this work, and to do this work with us.

“To begin again

Isn’t to go backwards,

But to decide to go.”

-“Closure,” by Amanda Gorman, from “Call Us What We Carry”



Call for Presenters – Submit Your Abstract and Join Us in Baltimore!

Enabling and supporting individual and organizational change is fundamental to the creation of healthy organizations and vibrant, sustainable cultures.

Forum24 presenters will be challenged to bring time-honored, evidence-informed best practices that have been shown to improve social cohesion. We invite you to submit your abstract featuring the initiatives, methods, and tools your organization is using to create authentic connections.

Click here to view the submission guidelines.

If you would like to submit an abstract to speak at the 2024 Healthcare Summit. Follow the submission instructions for Forum24, choosing the Healthcare Summit track.




HERO Hub Updates

This month’s featured topic is Population Health. Here are just two of the 22, and counting, resources available in the HERO Hub on this topic.

Would other members of your organization be interested in viewing these resources? Remember, member organizations receive an unlimited number of logins, so pass it along.

Click on any item to see the full piece. Login required to view these resources. Need a login? Contact Pat Rohner at

HERO Members, Don’t Miss the 2024 Winter Think Tank

Brain Health and the Aging Workforce

February 26-27, 2024

Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN

This Think Tank will explore the role of employers in supporting the lifestyle factors like sleep, diet, stress management, social connections, and physical activity that impact emotional well-being and cognitive functioning. We will review the evidence on the impact of mental health support, cognitive training programs such as memory games and problem-solving tasks, and the role of mindfulness exercises and flexible work arrangements that empower employees to improve selfcare of brain health. We will also examine common forms of ageism experienced by workers.


Speakers include:

Kelly O’Brien, MPA, Vice President, Prevention, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s; Executive Director, Brain Health Partnership

Sarah Lenz Lock, JD, Senior Vice President for Policy, AARP; Executive Director, Global Council on Brain Health

Cathy Maxwell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Deborah Lee, PhD, RN, NBC-HWC, NHC Chair of Excellence in Nursing and Director of the Positive Aging Consortium, Middle Tennessee State University

Nico Pronk, PhD, MA, FACSM, FAWHP, President, HealthPartners Institute; Chief Science Officer, HealthPartners

Ruth Q Wolever, PhD, NBC-HWC, Professor and Director of Vanderbilt Health Coaching,Osher Center for Integrative Health, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Scientific Advisor, Wondr Health

For more information, see the Winter Think Tank agenda.

Register for the 2024 Winter Think Tank

8 CHES/MCHES Credits Available (attendance at both days required)

Sponsored by Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive 8 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 8. Provider ID#101039


March 13th – March 16th, 2024 | Philadelphia Marriott Downtown

Society of Behavioral Medicine’s 45th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions

Moving Behavioral Science Upstream

More Information


New HERO Research Demonstrates Effectiveness of Assessments in Protecting Employee Mental Health

We’re very excited to announce a new article published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, authored by HERO Research and Workforce Mental Health and Well-Being Committee members and HERO staff. The research explains how assessments can help identify conditions associated with absenteeism, presenteeism, and employee attrition plus lay the groundwork for increased productivity and engagement levels, and improved recruitment and retention.

Thanks to all of the authors for your contribution to the evidence for employers to assess workforce mental health and well-being status: Mary Imboden, Emily Wolfe, Kerry Evers, Arline Ferrão, Heidi Mochari-Greenberger, Sara Johnson, Wolf Kirsten, and Erin Seaverson.

Read the press release and learn more about the research.


Resources and Readings

©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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