Lifestyle factors are related to as many as 50 percent of all premature deaths in the United States--deaths that could be prevented through exercise, good nutrition, avoidance of tobacco and alcohol, psychological well-being and healthy interpersonal relationships, says Michael O'Donnell, PhD, MBA, president and founder of the American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP).

With their expertise in helping people change unhealthy behaviors, psychologists are, of course, key to helping people improve their lifestyles. That's why APA will co-sponsor--along with other groups such as the American Public Health Association, the American Nursing Academy and the Wellness Councils of America--the AJHP "Creating a New Vision for Health Promotion," conference Feb. 25­March 1, in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

"Psychology has a primary role in collaborative, integrative care," says Lisa Osborn, PsyD, APA's director of corporate relations and business strategy. "Our profession is uniquely positioned to help other health practitioners understand the basics of health promotion and fully integrate various aspects of healthy lifestyles," she adds.

The conference will bring the various health disciplines together to "articulate a vision of the world in which health promotion has been integrated in all elements of society--schools, families, neighborhoods, health organizations and health policies," says O'Donnell.

"This health promotion conference offers a great opportunity for professionals from several disciplines to share their relevant perspectives and learn from one another. That's consistent with APA's efforts to foster collaborative practice opportunities for psychologists," Osborn adds.

Some of the speakers include:

  • Robert K. Kaplan, PhD, professor and chair of the department of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego.

  • Don Powell, PhD, founder and chief operating officer of the American Institute for Preventive Medicine.

  • Allan Best, PhD, senior scientist at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation at the Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre.

The conference is being considered for continuing-education credit and student internships are available in connection with the meeting.

--J. DAW

Further Reading

To find out more about the conference and obtain registration materials, visit www.healthpromotionconference.org or call (248) 682-0707.