William & Mary

Michael O'Donnell Speaks about "What Works Best in Workplace Health Promotion"

Michael O'Donnell (Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H.) addressed William & Mary faculty, staff, and students as well as representatives from Williamsburg area nonprofits on April 16, 2015 about the impact of health promotion in the workplace and on national health policy.  Dr. O'Donnell is President/Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Health Promotion as well as Director of the Health Management Research Center and Clinical Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan.  He has helped over 50 employers develop workplace health promotion programs, and his publications include a study of the 80 best workplace health promotion programs in the U.S.

With the inclusion of "wellness incentives" in the Affordable Care Act, the number of health promotion programs across the country is increasing.  Dr. O'Donnell's talk focused on, among other things, the characteristics of successful health promotion programs.  In designing an effective program, Dr. O'Donnell discussed the need to set goals, tailor programs to individuals’ specific health needs, and use learning styles appropriate to employees.  He estimates that employers will spend about $250/person for a successful health promotion program, and he cited the Cleveland Clinic and Johnson & Johnson as having among the best employer-based programs. 

The Williamsburg Health Foundation sponsored this presentation along with the College’s Schroeder Center, the Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, Mason School of Business, Department of Kinesiology, and the Office of Human Resources.