January 2015

Happy New Year!

It's hard for me to believe it's been more than a year since my last newsletter. If you recall, I stopped writing to afford myself the time and emotional space to help family members through serious illness.

Some of you are aware that my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in August 2013. My sister-in-law was diagnosed at the same time with Stage II breast cancer. Happily, my sister-in-law is finished with therapy and surgery and my mother is facing her ongoing treatments with grace---surprising her medical team, but not those of us who know her, by defying the statistics.

2014 Wrap
Despite the need to ratchet back, 2014 delivered both resources for you and achievements for context.

First up, the resources. Client work enabled me to create useful tools to help with health promotion and engagement and the selection of an online well-being platform. This decision-support guide for selecting a platform partner features categories to consider and questions to ask.

You may also be grappling with the role of health technology at work. An instructive, forecasting conversation I moderated on the subject was captured by EBN during its Fall Benefits Forum & Expo. 

2014 was the year to debate the effectiveness of workplace wellness. Through CoHealth Checkup, my co-host Carol Harnett and I spoke with RAND researcher Soeren Mattke about his illuminating research. We also explored other hot topics, including mindfulness with Aetna's wellness clinical program design lead, and using design to improve health with Cornell Food and Brand Lab's Brian Wansink. Review, listen to, and download the full 2014 CoHealth archive on iTunes, BlogTalkRadio, or Stitcher.

Now, to context's achievements. I was thrilled to see Hotseat recognized as a productivity-improving app by The Webby Awards and as a business innovation by Nilofer Merchant, a business innovator and TED speaker. Hotseat was also exhibited with Zipcar and IDEO at Design Museum Boston. And I was proud to celebrate context's 11th year of helping employers and employees make better health and health care decisions.

Looking forward, you can expect this newsletter to return to a curation of informative reads, intriguing events, and other shareable bits.

Please reach out if I can help you better connect with employees and their family members or speak at an upcoming event. Thanks for reading. 


2015 Events
The first few months of 2015 present events where we can meet and learn together:

2015 Virgin Pulse Thrive Summit
I'll be a panelist and a session leader at this three-day event in Boston this April. Registration rates are $300 if you register by January 31.

Human Resource Executive Health & Benefits Leadership Conference
I'm delighted to return to this conference to lead a panel on turning disengaged executives into wellness champions. The super early bird rate runs through January 26. Register today.

Business Innovation Factory Patient Experience Lab
This intimate, two-day participatory design workshop in February will focus on how we can better use narrative to improve the patient experience. I'm delighted to be invited into this select group of 30 thought leaders and will report back on its transferable lessons.

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