April 25 - 29, 2016
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista | Orlando, Florida
2016 Conference Theme
What is the Purpose of Health Promotion? Money, Health, or More?
Do We Need to Produce a Huge ROI, or Do We Need to Engage People, Improve Health and Better Serve the Organization or Community’s Broader Goals?
For most practitioners, the purpose is to enhance the health of the people we touch, to help them strive for their vision of optimal health, and to help them enjoy the best possible sense of quality of life.
For employers, health plans, communities and other funders, the purpose of health promotion is different. To be able to justify funding the program, the purpose must be to help achieve organization or community level goals. In some cases, these goals might be narrow and focused, like containing medical cost increases. Measurement of these types of goals would ﬁt in the classic ROI (return on investment) bucket. In other cases, these goals might be broad and visionary, like having the healthiest and most productive workforce in the local community, the industry sector, or even in the world. Measurement of these goals would ﬁt better in the more innovative VOI (value on investment) bucket. In reality, most organizations and communities will be somewhere in the middle, wanting to see both ROI and the VOI.
In this context, to be successful, practitioners need to be able to do at least three things well:
1. Work with the organization’s or community’s leadership on three things: (a) articulate its mission, long-term goals, and short-term priorities, (b) clarify the contribution the program is expected to make each of these and how that contribution will be measured, and (c) develop programs that engage people and improve their health and quality of life, and also contribute to the organization’s or community’s goals.
2. Implement and manage programs that engage people, and improve health and quality of life, PLUS contribute to the organization’s or community’s goals, and do this in the most cost effective way.
3. Measure the impact of the programs on these dual goals, share ﬁndings with leadership, and adapt as necessary.
Most practitioners are skilled in developing and implementing programs to improve health and quality of life ... so that is where they focus their attention. They focus less attention on engagement strategies, and achieving broader organization or community goals, and usually completely neglect working with leadership to clarify those goals, structure a program around them, or measure progress in meeting them.
This conference will focus on how to do all three well.
We welcome proposals that address any element of these three.
Michael P. O’Donnell, PhD, MBA, MPH
Editor in Chief, American Journal of Health Promotion
Program Chair, Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference