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Health Promotion in the Workplace - 4th Edition
Michael P. O'Donnell, MBA, MPH, PhD
From the Editor
Editor's Notes: November 2016
Michael P. O'Donnell, PhD, MBA, MPH
My Last Lecture
This issue, Volume 30, Number 8, of the American Journal of Health Promotion, published in November 2016, is the last one for which I will serve as editor in chief. My first, Volume 1, Number 1, was published in June 1986, 176 issues, 30 years and 5 months ago.
Given that this is my last issue; I am going to invoke a privilege that is sometimes bestowed upon esteemed professors in academia; the honor of presenting a “Last Lecture.” Last lectures allow the professor the opportunity to share wisdom that has accumulated over a decades-long brilliant career, and insights that can serve as foundation building blocks for students constructing their careers and against which colleagues can compare their own contributions to knowledge and society. Sometimes last lectures do meet those lofty standards. Other times, they confirm that it is indeed time for the professor to retire. The message is greeted with vociferous and sincere heart felt applause and celebration in either case. My goal with this editorial is to fall somewhere in the middle on the performance and importance spectrum, and my hope is that it will be greeted with vociferous and sincere heart felt applause and celebration, not for me, but for all that our field has accomplished in the past 30 years. Rather than trying to weave a coherent single message, I would like to reflect on several somewhat unrelated points, some tactical, some aspirational, and some existential, in a rambling fashion.
What is the Right Mix?
Definition of Health Promotion
Health Promotion is the art and science of helping people discover the synergies between their core passions and optimal health, enhancing their motivation to strive for optimal health, and supporting them in changing their lifestyle to move toward a state of optimal health. Optimal health is a dynamic balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. Lifestyle change can be facilitated through a combination of learning experiences that enhance awareness, increase motivation, and build skills and, most important, through the creation of opportunities that open access to environments that make positive health practices the easiest choice.