Sara Johnson, PhD
Co-President & CEO, Pro-Change Behavior Systems; Co-Editor, The Art of Health Promotion
There is a growing consensus that loneliness is an invisible epidemic that represents a significant public health issue. Though often overlooked, social connection is a critical component of organizational and community well-being given that it impacts health, cognitive function, longevity, and performance at work. This session will review the literature that demonstrates that social connection is a necessary ingredient for a long, well-lived life and the potential mechanisms explaining why. Inspiring examples of how public health organizations, employers, researchers, and payers are taking up the charge to address lack of social connection will be shared. Small group discussions will focus on innovative ideas organizations can implement to ensure creating and strengthening high-quality social connections is a strategic priority for their organization in today’s hyper-connected but disconnected world. The session will conclude with an interactive discussion regarding how these efforts can be linked to the broader community.