Improving health and well-being, controlling medical costs and enhancing productivity through health promotion.
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

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Comments from clients

Commanding Officer,
United States Navy

“Your presentation was truly inspiring and successfully articulated our theme of Public Health Integration: Focusing on the Future. Your message regarding the recognition of health promotion in national legislation was particularly motivating."



Medical director, insurance company

“Our CEO said you nailed it!"



President, national laboratory

“Our directors and vice presidents rarely get to hear such compelling thoughts from industry leaders. Your presentation added a critical piece to the design."



Vice President, large health promotion provider

“ Your session was the highest rated of all of our sessions"



Founder, technology company

“I heard everyone was saying your presentation was fabulous as I walked out of the session."

Keynote Speaking

Dr. O'Donnell has presented more than 200 keynote, breakout, and workshop presentations on six continents to groups ranging in size from 6 to 4,000. Audiences have included business leaders, health promotion professionals, scientists, corporate boards, senior level government officials, local community members and cruise ship passengers. The most popular topics have been the health and financial impact health promotion, integrating active living strategies into everyday life, strategic design of workplace health promotion programs, and integrating health promotion into national health policy. For scientific groups, he has also spoken on research methods, program evaluation, principals of health behavior changes, design of tobacco cessation programs, and scholarly publishing. He has served as the master of ceremonies for more than 20 national conferences.

Relevant Background

Theoretical foundations

Dr. O'Donnell's approach to developing and managing health promotion programs is based on integrating scientific findings with the dynamic realities of workplace and community environments. Critical scientific learning experiences have included conducting a benchmarking study involving the 80 best workplace health promotion programs in the nation, collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a systematic review of the published literature on the health impact of workplace health promotion programs, supporting a systematic review of the published literature on the financial impact of workplace health promotion programs, serving as a judge on the selection panel of the C. Everett Koop Award for 15 years, preparing a doctoral dissertation on the predictors of health behavior, and writing in-depth reviews of more than 1600 studies on the health and financial impact of health promotion. His approach to workplace health promotion has formed the basis of three pieces of legislation introduced in the United States Congress. He served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Kinesiology and the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan for six years. He also served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Catholic University and the Graduate School of Health Sciences at Yonsei University for one year.

Publications

Dr. O'Donnell's publications include more than 170 articles, book chapters and columns, books and workbooks. His first book, Health Promotion in the Workplace (John Wiley and Sons, 1984) was the first reference/textbook on workplace health promotion, and was nominated for Books of the Year Award by the American Journal of Nursing in 1985. The second edition (Delmar, 1994) was translated into Korean. The third edition (Delmar, 2002) was translated into Chinese.

General background

Dr. O'Donnell is Founder, Editor in Chief and President of the American Journal of Health Promotion, the leading peer reviewed journal on the science of lifestyle change. He is also Founder and Chairman of the board of Health Promotion Advocates, a non-profit organization created to integrate health promotion concepts into national health policy. He has served as Director of Health and Wellness for the Cleveland Clinic and Chief Wellness Officer for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Plan. He has 3 decades of experience in designing, managing and evaluating health promotion programs in workplace, community and clinical settings at the local, national and international level. He is has also been a business owner, executive in medical and health plan settings, leader of a national legislative advocacy group, Fulbright Scholar, and member of corporate and non-profit boards.

Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

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Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

The Health and Financial Impact of Lifestyle

Lifestyle factors like obesity, poor nutrition, tobacco use and lack of exercise cause 40% of premature deaths and at least 25% of medical care costs. The United States spends more than twice as much on medical care as all but four nations in the world, but ranks 42nd in infant mortality and 46th in life expectancy. Fortunately, lifestyle changes result in improved health, reduced mortality and cost savings. This presentation reviews the latest research on this topic and describes the most effective strategies for successful lifestyle change programs.

Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

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Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

Integrating Wellness into Healthcare Organizations

Healthcare organizations have realized that integrating wellness strategies into healthcare services enhances patient outcomes, opens doors in the community and improves the bottom line. They have begun to provide comprehensive wellness programs for their own employees, launched commercial wellness ventures that serve the business community, led efforts to enhance community health, and supplemented clinical patient care and research with wellness offerings. This presentation reviews the scientific rationale for wellness, describes business and programming opportunities, outlines strategic factors that guide decisions and provides a framework to implement plans.

Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

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Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

Active Living as Strategy to Address the Global Obesity Epidemic

More than two thirds of Americans are overweight and one third are obese.  Obesity leads to heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, musculoskeletal injuries, and some cancers and is estimated to kill 300,000 people per year.  The causes of obesity are complex, but one of the central problems is that we have engineered activity out of our lives because of the way we have built our communities, encouraged a car centric society and created labor saving devices.  The good news is that we can build activity back into our lives, and begin to reverse this epidemic. This presentation reviews the latest research on this topic and describes the most effective strategies to make progress in this area.

Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

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Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

The Face of Wellness:
The Most Effective Strategy to Improve Health.

Changing lifestyle habits that have become part of a person's life over decades of time is hard, in fact most people fail. Only one in twenty people who try to quit smoking “cold turkey" succeed. The number who lose weight and keep it off is even lower. Successful behavior change requires a systematic process with three core elements: 1) Linking good health to your passions, 2) Following a systematic process that includes getting ready, measuring your health, setting goals, building new skills, forming habits, and helping others, and 3) Understanding the relative importance of awareness, motivation, skills and opportunity in sustaining change. This presentation describes this systematic process.

Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

Video

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Dr. Michael O'Donnell
Dr. Michael O'Donnell

National Health Policy to Support Healthy Lifestyle

The United States is in a health crisis.  Less than one in twenty-five American's practice the core essential habits for good health:  eating a nutritious diet, maintaining recommended weight, avoiding tobacco and being physically active.  At the same time, medical costs are so high that many employers are having trouble competing in a global market place and Medicare is expected to be bankrupt by 2010.  Many of these problems are caused by a national health policy that focuses on the business of medicine, agriculture, transportation and education rather than the health of Americans.  This presentation describes efforts that are being made now to shift national health policy to support health.

Dr. Michael O'Donnell
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