Professor and Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan Schools of Public Health and Medicine; Founder and President, JOOL Health, Inc.
Vic Strecher (pronounced “streker”) 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 President of JOOL Health, a digital health solution company that integrates the science of purpose in life, advanced smartphone and biometric technology, and big data analytics to improve well-being, helping users become better researchers of themselves as they develop, and align daily with, their purpose in life.
In 1995, Vic founded the U-M Center for Health Communications Research, a pioneering organization in the research 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 research and books are related to the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life. His most recent book (available May, 2016), 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 and is accompanied by a free iOS app, a website, and smartphone and web apps.
When asked who his target audience is for his book and app, Dr. Strecher replies, “human beings.” The book and app are being used around the world by individuals of all ages, families, religious organizations, the sick and dying, caregivers, hospitals, businesses, and universities. On Purpose is being read by prisoners in the Los Angeles jail system and by MBA students at Stanford University.