April 08, 2014

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

The Colloquium, 6th Floor, Ross Building, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Dr. Strecher received his PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1983. Since 1995, Dr. Strecher has been a Professor in the UM School of Public Health and until 2009, Director of Cancer Prevention and Control at the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Strecher founded the UM Center for Health Communications Research (http://chcr.umich.edu), a collaborative research-focused organization of health and behavioral scientists, educators, software engineers, and artists. Through this Center, Dr. Strecher has been a leading investigator on over $45 million in grant-funded studies of computer-based interactive communications for health-related behavior change and decision-making.

In 1998, Dr. Strecher founded HealthMedia Inc. (http://www.healthmedia.com), an Ann Arbor-based company that has grown to over 185 employees, developing and disseminating award-winning tailored health interventions for health promotion, disease prevention, behavioral health, and disease management to millions of users through health plans, employers, pharmaceutical companies and governments in North America, Europe, and Asia. In 2008 HealthMedia Inc. was purchased by Johnson & Johnson as their initial investment in the area of wellness and prevention.

Dr. Strecher and the organizations he founded – the University of Michigan Center for Health Communications Research and HealthMedia, Inc – have won numerous national and international awards, including the Secretary of Health and Human Services Award for Innovations in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, two Smithsonian Awards, four International Health and Medical Media Awards (the “Freddie”), the International Film Festival Silver Screen Award, Health Evolution Partners Innovations in Healthcare Award, two eHealthcare Leadership Awards, and the National Business Coalition on Health’s Mercury Award. In 2010, Dr. Strecher won the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Innovator Award and his School of Public Health’s Award for Translating Research into Practice. In 2014, he won the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award.

Currently, as Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, Dr. Strecher is working in the UM School of Public Health and the University of Michigan to create an environment that promotes more direct dissemination of research efforts to improve the public’s health nationally and globally. He is also Visiting Professor at the Peking University’s School of Public Health.

Dr. Strecher’s latest research and book is related to the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life. His book, On Purpose: Lessons in Life and Health From the Frog, the Dung Beetle, and Julia, is written for the lay public with a professional comic illustrator as a graphic novel and is accompanied by a free iOS app, a website and smartphone and web apps. Dr. Strecher also has a regular blog on the Huffington Post related to purpose and meaning in life. Relevant links to his work related to purpose in life may be found at:



Vic talks about purpose in life at:

(Keynote: UM Symposium on Mental Health in the Workplace 2012)

(Keynote: Big Ten Retirees Association 2013)

(Ignite Talk: FOO Camp 2012)

Vic talks about tailored behavior change:

(TEDMED 2009)

Video footage of all Positive Links Speakers Series sessions can be found here.