The American College of Lifestyle Medicine,
In Partnership with Dell Medical School
was pleased to host in April 2018 the inaugural
Summit on Happiness Science in Health Care 

Experts and stakeholders convened to determine strategies for infusing evidence-based positive psychology interventions into health care clinical processes, treatment plans and healthcare workers’ personal health

Click here to download the post-summit summary document.


Meeting Dates


Meeting Place 

 May 6, 5:30pm - 8:30pm  May 7, 8am - 5:00pm  Dell Medical School Auditorium


Summit application process and registration is now closed.

One interventional modality that is not well-integrated into health care and is underrepresented in health education programs is emotional well-being, also referred to as happiness, flourishing and resilience. Yet the evidence is mounting that it is a critical element for securing improved health outcomes—a key lever to boost and support health care systems in an era shifting towards value-based care.

Emotional well-being, not only provides the underpinnings for achieving and sustaining healthy habits, but also has a direct physiologic impact. Hence the burgeoning science of positive psychology can be harnessed in total healthy lifestyles prescriptions.

Moreover, physician burn-out is on the rise. Personal application of empirically-supported resilience interventions and empathetic clinical encounters, based in positive psychology, are crucial to support the health care workforce.

Therefore, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and Dell Medical School are proud to announce the convening of health care innovators, lifestyle medicine and positive psychology experts, clinicians, and other key stakeholders to address this issue.

The luminaries Dean Ornish and Barbara Fredrickson will inspire us by laying out the foundation of the current science and future vision for harnessing positive psychology into health care to support total health.

The remainder of the event will focus on panel discussions and engage all participants, each representing the spectrum of key stakeholders.

This event is by invitation-only due to limited space and aim to convene a balanced representation of stakeholder groups and areas of expertise. Please complete the brief information section in the registration link.

We aim to:

  1. Highlight the empirical evidence on how resilience and happiness promote physical health and longevity
  2. Recommend practical strategies for implementing positive psychology interventions into health care
  3. Identify terms for these strategies that are meaningful and consistent for health care settings
  4. Publish a paper to launch a movement that promotes positive psychology interventions in health care
  5. Elevate attention to the science and relevance of positive psychology interventions on health outcomes
  6. Promote awareness through social media and other channels beyond the summit
  7. Kick start a program to train health care providers, provide clinical tools, highlight resources, and translate the evidence for practical application in medicine and health care

Rationale for Advancing the Application of Positive Psychology Interventions into Health Care

  1. Supporting providers to facilitate patients’ health behavior change requires addressing emotional well-being.
  2. Positive psychology interventions have direct physiologic impact, in line with other health habits. Some interventions are simple and low cost, and easily recommended alongside healthy nutrition and physical activity.
  3. All patients need their emotional well-being addressed for health and quality of life outcomes. Hence the responsibility lies with practitioners, in addition to mental health professionals, to take the lead.
  4. Current “standard” clinical practices fall short of leveraging the full spectrum of evidence-based positive psychology science and neuroscience. Providers need additional training, tools and support.
  5. Most comprehensive medical trainings and conferences devote minimal time to emotional well-being topics.
  6. Evidence-based resources that address mental and emotional well-being through telemedicine and digital solutions are increasingly available and can be incorporated into total health prescriptions and referrals.
  7. Effective solutions to improve practice satisfaction and providers’ personal health are urgently needed.
  8. Positive clinical encounters are crucial for the health care workplace to support quality care.

Summit Participant Objectives

  1. Apply in clinical settings evidence-based interventions for resilience/happiness to support healthy behaviors and improve physical health
  2. Collaborate in a movement to advance total lifestyle prescriptions—that include positive psychology interventions
  3. Design and implement effective strategies for integrating positive psychology interventions into a variety of health care settings
  4. Practice health and happiness habits for personal well-being

Meeting Place

Dell Medical School Auditorium

Meeting Dates

May 6-7, 2018

Keynote/Plenary speakers

Lifestyle medicine—Dean Ornish

Positive psychology—Barbara Fredrickson

Additional brief talks and exercises to engage the participants in key pillars of emotional well-being: meaning/purpose, connectedness, mindfulness, self-compassion, and gratitude.

Highlight Empirically-Based Interventions That Promote Resilience and Happiness

  • Physical activity
  • Plant based diet
  • Sleep
  • Gratitude
  • Mindfulness
  • Positive Psychology PERMA: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment

Using appreciative inquiry process, discuss strategies for implementing these interventions into health care to benefit patients and health professionals

Preliminary Schedule

May 6th Kick-Off Session

5:30pm Reception
6:30pm Introductions and keynote by Ed Diener
8:10pm Adjourn
8:15pm Optional session: Well-being of health care workers

May 7th Summit Day

8:00 Introduction/overview
8:10 Plenaries by Dean Ornish and Barbara Fredrickson: Healthy Lifestyles and Positive Psychology—The Interlink
9:10 Panel 1: Terms and definitions, followed by open discussion
10:10 Break
10:40 Pillar 1 talk and exercise
11:10 Panel 2: Role of health care systems, followed by open discussion
12:10 Lunch
1:10 Pillar 2 talk and exercise
1:40 Panel 3: Role of providers and health care teams, followed by open discussion
2:40 Break
3:10 Pillar 3 talk and exercise
3:40 Panel 4: Community resources for health teams, followed by open discussion
4:30 Review and highlight action items with final open discussion
4:45 Adjourn


The aim of this event is to convene individuals who can provide expert opinion and participate in a consensus process that will result in expert recommendations and that will be published. In order to avoid the perception of commercial influence, we are not accepting commercial exhibitors or sponsors. We are charging a nominal registration fee to help defray the costs of conducting this meeting.

We do welcome and encourage individual donations to support this meeting and the development of an institute to provide ongoing training and support. To learn more, please contact us at

Commercial vendors interested in sponsoring a conference on this topic, please contact us for details of future conferences at


Reminder: This event is by invitation-only due to limited space and our aim to convene a balanced representation of stakeholder groups and areas of expertise. Please complete the brief information section in the registration link by March 9, 2018. We will notify you of acceptance by March 16, 2018. After being notified of your acceptance, you will then be able to register for the event. The registration fee is $99 to cover basic expenses, including your meals.

The link to submit the request may close sooner, if the limited spaces are filled.

Summit application process and registration is now closed.