Founder and CEO, Kumanu; Professor, Schools of Public Health and Medicine | University of Michigan
Vic Strecher (pronounced “streker”), PhD, MPH, is a behavioral scientist, professor, and Director of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He is also founder and CEO of Kumanu, a precision well-being company that integrates the science of well-being with advanced predictive analytics.
In 1995, Vic founded the U-M Center for Health Communications Research, a pioneering organization studying the impact of digitally-tailored health communications. Through this Center, he 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, Vic founded HealthMedia, Inc., an Ann Arbor-based company that grew 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 before being purchased in 2008 by Johnson & Johnson.
Vic 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, Vic 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.
Vic’s latest intervention, neuroscience, and epidemiologic research, and his two recent books, are related to the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life. His most recent book, Life On Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything (HarperOne), examines the science and philosophy of purpose in life and ways to develop and align with one’s purpose. His book On Purpose: Lessons in Life and Health from the Frog, the Dung Beetle, and Julia (Dungbeetle Press), is written for the lay public with a professional comic illustrator as a graphic novel.
When asked who his target audience is for his books and apps, Dr. Strecher replies, “human beings.” The books and apps are being used around the world by individuals of all ages, families, religious organizations, the sick and dying, caregivers, hospitals, businesses, and universities.
In late 2017, Dr. Strecher was the Donald A. Dunstan Foundation’s “Thinker in Residence” in Adelaide, Australia, assisting in their efforts to develop a “Purpose Economy” of business, government, and communities.