Conference Theme

​A Message from Conference Chair, Dr. Sara Johnson


If we haven’t had a chance to meet yet, I’m Sara Johnson Chair of the Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference. And I was really looking forward to seeing all of you later this month in Hilton Head. But I’m afraid it’s going to be a little longer before we can be together in person. After very careful and thoughtful consideration, we have come to the decision that the 2021 Art & Science Conference will be fully virtual. 

Six months ago, when we began making these plans we thought surely we would be in the clear. But to paraphrase Dr. Fauci, “We don’t set the timeline – the virus sets the timeline.” And even with the extensive mitigation protocols we had in place, given current trends, we believe that it is our role and obligation to lead by example in making responsible choices.

But you know, probably better than most, how important it is to keep moving forward, for ourselves and for those we serve and support. There are so many other issues amid and beyond the pandemic that need our attention and our action. We have an amazing faculty prepared to bring you their thoughtful, inspiring presentations and discussions. Our conference team is working on a revised agenda to bring all of that to you, and they’ll have more details for you about the program schedule and your registration soon. In the meantime, please keep September 29, 30 and October 1 blocked off on your calendar. 

Thank you so much for taking this journey with us. I’m really looking forward to seeing you soon.

Sara S. Johnson, PhD
Chair, Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference

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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)

Conference Planning Committee

Jen Arnold, MS
CEO, Redesigning Wellness

Jay E. Maddock, PhD
Chief Wellness Officer
Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
Texas A&M University
Co-Director, Center for Health & Nature, Houston Methodist Research Institute

Kate Wolin, ScD
Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer, Optum
Adjunct Associate Professor & Co-Leader of the healthcare track for the Kellogg Zell Fellows Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University