2021 Conference Theme

Sara Johnson Conference Chair
Conference Chair: Sara S. Johnson, PhD

Health Promotion: Rising to the Challenge Today and in the Next Decade

A number of trends are converging that will shape the future of health promotion, including:

• An increased recognition of the critical role that systemic racism, climate change, and social determinants of health (i.e., the conditions in which we live, learn, work, and play) have in a diverse array of health outcomes
• Transformative shifts in work

Fueled in part by stay-at-home and social distancing orders, technology is fundamentally altering how, where, and on what we work. The nature and composition of the workforce is changing drastically: In today’s gig economy, five generations of employees are navigating flexible schedules; remote teams; hoteling; increased automation; and artificial intelligence. At the same time, we are experiencing the aftershocks of the COVID-19 crisis on our social, educational, and healthcare systems and an overdue reckoning about the need for racial equity and justice—all while battling epidemics of loneliness; mental health and substance use disorders; unmet social needs; and chronic illnesses. The question facing health promotion professionals is how we will adapt to stem the rising tide of pervasive, daunting challenges facing society in the context of our rapidly evolving and increasingly decentralized workforce.

Conference sessions will explore:

• Disruptively innovating to maximize employee engagement, health, and well-being in the context of the future of work
• Fostering individual and organizational sense of purpose; collaborative, socially connected teams; a culture of health and well-being; and sustainability as we work to optimize physical and mental well-being in organizations and communities
• Developing holistic solutions that expand far beyond traditional health promotion programs to address emerging issues (e.g., caregiver responsibilities; increased availability of genetic testing, extreme weather events, pandemics)