University of Michigan


Director, Health Management Research Center
Clinical Professor, School of Kinesiology
Michael P. O'Donnell, PhD, MBA, MPH

Dr. O’Donnell has helped more than 100 employers, health care organizations, government agencies, foundations, insurance companies and health promotion providers develop new and refine existing health promotion programs and has served in leadership roles in four major health systems. He is Founder, President and Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Health Promotion and is also Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Health Promotion Advocates, a non-profit policy group created to integrate health promotion strategies into national policy. Health Promotion Advocates was successful in developing six provisions that became law as part of the Affordable Care Act. He has co-authored 6 books and workbooks, including Health Promotion in the Workplace, which was in continuous publication for 27 years, and more than 190 articles, book chapters and columns. He has presented more than 260 keynote and workshop presentations on six continents, served on boards and committees for 48 non-profit and for-profit organizations and received 13 national awards. His most recent awards are the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award, presented October 29, 2011 from the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, and the Bill Whitmer Leadership Award, presented September 14, 2011 from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO). He earned a PhD in Health Behavior from University of Michigan, an MBA in General Management and an MPH in Hospital Management, both from University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in psychobiology from Oberlin College. He attended high school and was later a Senior Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor in Seoul Korea.

Founder and Professor
D. W. Edington, Ph.D.

D.W. Edington is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan and a Research Scientist in the School of Public Health.  He is the Founder and Professor of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center and was the Director of the Center until June 2011.

Trained in mathematics, kinesiology and biochemistry, Dr. Edington received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University and completed his M.S. at Florida State University. He taught at the University of Massachusetts before coming to Michigan in 1976. Dr. Edington is the author or co-author of over 500 articles, presentations, and several books, including Biology of Physical Activity, Biological Awareness, Frontiers of Exercise Biology, The One Minute Manager Gets Fit and the 2nd edition, The One Minute Manager Balances Work and Life.

Dr. Edington’s teaching and research focus on the relationship between healthy lifestyles, vitality and quality of life, as they benefit both individuals and organizations. He is specifically interested in how individual health promotion, worksite wellness activities and programs within organizations impact health care cost containment, productivity and human resource development. In essence, the HMRC studies the precursors to disease and vitality.

Dr. Edington enjoys the constantly emerging challenges at the HMRC. He describes the Center as dynamic, innovative and a world-class leader in driving towards information-driven decision making in the evolving new health care environment.

Louis Yen, Ph.D.

Louis Yen is an Associate Research Scientist in the School of Kinesiology and a special consul to the Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan.

Trained as an exercise scientist, Dr. Yen received his undergraduate and graduate training in Beijing Sports University.  He completed both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Michigan and has worked for the School of Kinesiology at Michigan since 1980.

As the leading analyst in the UM-HMRC, Dr. Yen has engaged in the development of the relational databases and research models for the Integrated Health Management System.  This system, which is in use worldwide, has become an important tool for supporting decisions for organizational medical claim cost containment, productivity, and personal health management. His research on the economic value of personal health and health management programs has been well recognized in both the United States and China. Currently, he is on the editorial boards for the American Journal of Health Behavior and the Chinese Journal of Health Management.

Dr. Yen actively participates in international collaborative research and educational initiatives with several universities in China.  Dr. Yen has served as visiting professors at several Chinese universities, including Nankai University, Tianjin Educational Research Institute, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin Normal University, and Dalian Medical University.

Analytical Systems: Members of this team perform the statistical analyses required to examine associations between risks and costs, and to track trends over time. They also participate in the management of client data.

Business Services: This team provides the internal business administration and support to keep HMRC running smoothly. Facility management, travel services, financial services and event planning all fall under this team's responsibilities.

Client Systems: This team provides client support and strategic planning regarding the development of a project from its creative inception to its research outcome. Their activities include communicating with internal client teams; establishing logistics and operations; facilitating the work of internal and external teams; coordinating the data flow needed to conduct the research; delivering and presenting client reports; responding to external requests and proposals, writing and renewing client contracts and University Institutional Review Board approvals.

Database System Programmers: This team manages databases for HRA production, the integrated data warehouse and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP). It develops and maintains systems for data integration, individualized feedback reports and aggregate reports.

HRA Systems: Members of this team are responsible for ensuring the highest quality data entering the database via the Health Risk Appraisal. This team, with support from the Database System Programmers, provides a personalized information report (HRA profile) to the individual and group summary reports to the organization. Additional services include: personalized follow-up letters and reports, as well as data tracking assistance for organizations with incentive and other wellness programs.

IT Systems: This team provides hardware and software consultation and trouble shooting services including network services, workstations printers, scanners, etc. to make the HMRC work in a seamless and efficient environment. They provide the high level information system that will lead to advances in our knowledge systems.