Culture of Health: What is It? Why is It Important? How Do We Get It?

Culture and Environment

Judd Allen presents Culture of Health

Judd Allen, PhD

President, Human Resources Institute, LLC

Richard Safeer, MD, FACLM, FAAFP, FACPM

Chief Medical Director, Employee Health and Well-being, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Assistant Professor of General Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Health, Behavior and Society, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University


A lot of health promotion vendors, foundations and researchers are rebranding themselves around the words “culture of health.” Unfortunately, the new branding has not coincided with a shift in approach that addresses the complex webs of social influences that shape long-term health behavior. The power of cultures and subcultures are embedded in leadership support, shared values, norms, peer supports, informal cultural touch points (such as modeling, rewards, communication and traditions), and overall social climate. In this breakout, we will examine cultural influences and how they can be measured. We will also learn how to systematically shift these influences to foster a living culture of health that will continue to serve and no longer undermine well-being.


Presenter Bio(s):

Judd Allen, PhD
Dr. Allen is President of the Human Resources Institute, LLC, a research, publishing and consulting firm that focuses on the creation of supportive cultural environments. He earned his Ph.D. in Community Psychology from New York University and serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Health Promotion. Dr. Allen supports over 200 health and wellness professionals in their Wellness Culture Coaching work. He also directs the Healthy Culture Research and Education Foundation.

Dr. Allen has assisted several hundred government, business and community settings to bring about lasting and positive culture change. Dr. Allen has served as on the Board of Directors of the National Wellness Institute, as a Senior Research Analyst at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and on the Vermont Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports. Dr. Allen has authored more than 50 books, journal articles, training manuals and software titles. His most recent books are 103 Challenges for Manager-Led Wellness, Leading for Purpose, Culture Change Planner, The Social Climate Toolkit, The Cultural Analysis Toolkit, A Family Guide to Wellness, Kitchen Table Talks for Wellness, Bringing Wellness Home, Wellness Leadership and Healthy Habits, Helpful Friends. Further information about Judd’s work is available at www.healthyculture.com.

Judd has completed more than 30 New York City Marathons, multiple Ironman distance triathlons and long distance cross-country ski races. He lives in Burlington, Vermont.


Richard Safeer, MD, FAAFP, FACPM, FACLM

Dr. Safeer is Chief Medical Director of Employee Health and Well-being at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dr. Safeer completed his Bachelor of Science in Nutrition at Cornell University before graduating from medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo (magna cum laude). He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Franklin Square Hospital Center, in Baltimore, Maryland. After which, he completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He is also certified in Clinical Lipidology. He’s achieved fellowship status in the American Academy of Family Practice, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Prior to arriving at Hopkins, Dr. Safeer practiced family medicine in Northern Virginia. He was then on faculty at the George Washington University, serving as the Residency Director of Family Medicine in his last year at the institution. He was the Medical Director of an Occupational Health Center in Baltimore and Wellness Director for the Mid-Atlantic region of the parent company, just before starting at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Baltimore, Maryland as the Medical Director of Preventive Medicine. He has been credited by some for bringing ‘wellness’ in to the realm of responsibilities of the managed care industry. He also led CareFirst BCBS to be among the first cohort of health plans to be accredited for Wellness by NCQA.

Amongst his responsibilities at Hopkins, includes addressing the employee health initiative, Healthy at Hopkins. He also sees patients in the Hopkins Hospital Lipidology clinic. He has published several papers in the cholesterol and wellness arena and has spoken nationally numerous times. He is in his third year serving on the Board of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.