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Paul Terry From the Editor

Editor's Notes: January 2017


Paul E. Terry, PhD




Succession, Humility, and Fidelity to a Vision
An Interview With Michael P. O’Donnell

Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote thousands of pages in his journals that more than 150 years later still offer seminal insight into science, scholarship, and the meaning of truth. He wrote, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Starting with this issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion, it is my great honor to be succeeding Michael O’Donnell, this journal’s founder and its editor in chief for the past 30 years. Only time can tell how Michael’s influence on the health promotion discipline will shape scholarship and practice in the years ahead. I think it will be significant and, per Kierkegaard’s observation, as I have been considering the future of our field and this journal, my plans are happily rooted in vision statements, definitions, models, and thousands of pages of writings from Dr. O’Donnell.
Many professionals are strategic about their career path. Mine has been more serendipitous and I could not be more delighted for the chance to serve as this journal’s new editor in chief. I’ve found leadership succession to be an act of humility because it marks a point in time where new history is about to be created. I have succeeded 3 CEO’s in private and nonprofit organizations, and they were each extraordinarily successful in having built something great. It so happens they each also had inimitable styles. And so it shall be, in spades, following my friend Michael. 




                                                     2017 Conference

2017 Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference
March 27 – 31, 2017
The Broadmoor | Colorado Springs, CO
Core Conference: March 29-31, 2017
Intensive Training Seminars: March 27 & 28, 2017
Awareness, Motivation, Skills and Opportunity…
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."    

Michael P. O'Donnell (2009) Definition of Health Promotion 2.0: Embracing Passion, Enhancing Motivation, Recognizing Dynamic Balance, and Creating Opportunities. American Journal of Health Promotion: September/October 2009, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. iv-iv, updated from Michael P. O'Donnell (1986), Definition of Health Promotion, American Journal of Health Promotion, June 1986; vol. 1, 1: pp. 4-5.


 Physical     : Fitness. Nutrition. Medical self-care. Control of substance abuse.
  Emotional  : Care for emotional crisis. Stress Management
  Social         : Communities. Families. Friends
  Intellectual : Educational. Achievement. Career development
  Spiritual     : Love. Hope. Charity.