What is gratitude?

Gracias. Merci. Grazie. Danke. Obrigada. Thank you.

Many of us know how to express gratitude in multiple languages even if we don’t know another single expression in that language. One of the first lessons we’re taught as children is to say “Please” and “Thank you.” Expressing gratitude is important, and it has value for the giver as well as the recipient.

The HERO team will often share in a group text “gratitude challenge,” and we’ll name what we’re grateful for daily, for a full month, sometimes even using the date as a challenge to name that number of gratitude items (e.g., Nov. 25th – list 25 things!). Facebook reminds me that I’ve challenged myself in previous years to name one thing each day. A few years ago, I began a daily practice of listing three things for which I’m grateful before I go to sleep; this is one practice that has been the most consistent for me and lasts all year long.

Research has demonstrated a link between joy and gratitude. Brene Brown indicates that after 12 years of research analyzing 11,000 pieces of data, her research demonstrates that the two are clearly linked but in a way that might be counterintuitive for some: practicing gratitude invites joy, not the other way around. As I reflect on the past several weeks of our virtual HERO learning events – Fall Think Tank, Forum21, Healthcare Summit, University Summit – I’ll take this opportunity to express gratitude for:

  • Speakers, volunteers, interns, and attendees, all of whom contributed to the overall success of our learning events by forming new connections with the topics and with each other.
  • Ariane, ever the maximizer, who managed more than 100 speakers, and a million details of coordination and precision behind the scenes with the utmost professionalism.
  • Crystle, who jumped in with both hands and both feet to help wherever she was needed with an event that was still unknown to her, in addition to managing an already full plate of daily outgoing communications on all fronts.
  • Emily, a model of compassion and vulnerability, who led the development of the Fall Think Tank, a first for her, and delivered a superior meeting for our members on mental health and well-being, as well as leading the Healthcare Summit planning.
  • Mary, who added much-needed positivity and humor to the team and managed the Forum interns, in addition to her duties representing the HERO Scorecard and research agenda and leading the University Summit planning.
  • Pat, who managed a seemingly effortless transition from in-person to virtual for all of the Forum sponsors and found new ways to help them shine in the virtual space.
  • Paul, the mastermind behind the Forum21 masterpiece, who crafted a compelling theme and then connected topics and speakers in ways not yet imagined. His general session chat with two Olympians and a psychiatrist has already received mention as a Forum favorite. And who could forget the heartfelt opening act with Stefan Gingerich and his children.
  • Sara, also new to the HERO team this year, who accepted the challenge of moderating the research update. Another favorite, the session provided a poignant analysis of research on the impact that the pandemic has had on women, discussed by a panel of all-female researchers who are also mothers.
  • HERO Board of Directors, who continue to provide unanimous support to the HERO team and me, and leadership in the field.

-Karen Moseley, HERO President & CEO

HERO Announcements

Answer the call! The call for abstracts!

December 1, 2021, HERO will begin to accept abstract submissions for HERO Forum22! Reach out to Ariane Mistral for more information: ariane.mistral@hero-health.org or our general inbox: infobox@hero-health.org

HERO 2021 Awards Recap

HERO’s Annual Health & Well-being Awards were presented during Forum21 in October.

See the press release here to see all the names and bios of our 2021 award recipients.


HERO Senior Fellow and Board Member author book chapter

New book to be released in 2022 featuring HERO Senior Fellow Paul Terry, PhD as lead author, and co-author, HERO board member, Nico Pronk, Ph.D., M.A., FACSM, FAWHP. The duo co-authored a chapter in the textbook.

Learn more about Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation: Creating Behavioral, Environmental and Policy Change from Johns Hopkins University Press.

Paul is the Editor in Chief, American Journal of Health Promotion. Nico is the President of the HealthPartners Institute; Chief Science Officer at HealthPartners, Inc.; and, Adjunct Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

Congratulations to Amy Shultz, from the Mayo Clinic! Amy is our annual winner of 1 free registration to Forum22 next fall!

Forum22 will take place September 19th- 23rd, 2022 at the Omni Amelia Island Resort in Florida. The Forum22 topic will be How the Choices we Have Impact the Choices we Make: Featuring Diversity and Equity Informed Lifestyle Medicine and Population Health Promotion.


On-Demand Library Open

Registration for On-Demand Forum21, HERO University Summit, and the HERO Healthcare Summit, is still open. If you missed our incredible events, register today and join the learning by watching many pre-recorded sessions as well as all the live-recorded events from Forum21. More than 100 speakers, 50+ breakout sessions, and multiple deep dives sessions to watch and learn from. Register here.



HERO Research & Committees

Are you a member looking to increase your HERO involvement in 2022 and network with other members? Consider joining a Study Committee!

With HERO members as contributors, our committees are focused on advancing research and providing guidance to employers. Based on member interest and HERO’s research priorities, Study Committees discuss, analyze and research topics to produce reports, presentations, white papers, case studies, and, at times, peer-reviewed journal articles. Our active Study Committees include:

  • Healthy Workplaces Healthy Communities Committee
  • Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being Committee
  • Employee Experience Committee

“Committee involvement is an excellent benefit to your organization since you are at the forefront on key topics, get recognition in published reports, and get insider ideas from the best in the business. It is also a great way to build deeper relationships with peers in the industry. I encourage every HERO member to prioritize committee involvement, to benefit you, your organization, and the broader industry. ”

– HERO Committee volunteer

HERO members can nominate multiple people from your organization to serve on committees! For more Study Committee details, visit the HERO Committees webpage.

Interested in joining?

Contact Emily Wolfe, Committee Project Manager


HERO Recommends

#HERORecommends offers members and friends of HERO a variety of articles, research links, books, websites, webinars, events, and more.

Please feel free to share!

  • Ethics, Climate Change, and Future of Work — Join Center for Health, Work & Environment, November 22nd at 2:00 p.m. MT, in an exploration of the intersection of ethics and the future of work. The panel of experts will provide insight on how climate change and weather-related injuries are showing up in the workplace and the ethical challenges associated with responding. Register here.
  • The Inaugural Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health in the Workplace (Mattingly Award) will begin accepting applications from organizations wishing to be recognized, in January 2022. This new award was established to recognize and celebrate exemplary organizations that advance the mental health and well-being of their employees. Learn more here.

Upcoming Webinars

We are currently scheduling some amazing webinars through the end of 2021 and into 2022. Please watch your inbox and the HERO webinar page for these upcoming webinars:

  • Dr. Andrea Gielen, Professor at Johns Hopkins University and expert in injury research and policy, and Dr. Mary Imboden, HERO’s Director of Research will come together, along with host, Dr. Paul Terry, Senior Fellow at HERO, to speak on “How Health Program Planning Drives Behavioral, Environmental, and Policy Change.” It did not come as a surprise when HERO research found strategic planning was associated with better health improvement outcomes. What does surprise us is that HERO studies continue to show that too few organizations have detailed written plans related to their employee health promotion initiatives. They will discuss community and workplace applications of the PRECEDE-PROCEED model, a planning framework that has been employed in over 1,000 health improvement studies and program implementations. This webinar coincides with the soon-to-be-released new edition of one of the most seminal books in the health promotion profession: “Health Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation: Creating Behavioral, Environmental, and Policy Change.”
  • Dr. Paul Terry will also be hosting a webinar with Dr. Antonis Kousoulis, Director at Mental Health Foundation where he leads the public mental health research, programs, and policy functions in England and Wales. He will be bringing us “What Works Best in Promoting and Protecting Mental Health? Featuring a New Consensus Study.” Could it be that “fundamentals of life” are also fundamental to maintaining mental health? This webinar features findings from a Delphi research methodology that sought expert and public input into effective mental health messaging. In particular, study authors aimed to highlight those behaviors that were most actionable and highly likely to prevent mental illness. Published in September 2021 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, the study is already one of the most cited and downloaded studies of the year, and study findings have been featured extensively in the popular press in America and abroad.


©2024 Health Enhancement Research Organization ‘HERO’


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