Life Purpose

The Health Benefits of Life Purpose

Evidence shows that health-related behavior change is best achieved when an individual has a strong sense of life purpose. Dr. Victor Strecher, a professor at U-M SPH, has been exploring ways to both help individuals find greater purpose in their lives, and measure the health outcomes of these efforts. Strecher's work in the area of purpose stems from a personal journey following the death of his 19 year old daughter. He chronicles this journey, and offers guidance for others looking to develop purpose in their own lives, in his recent book, On Purpose: Lessons in Life and Health From the Frog, the Dung Beetle, and Julia.

About Vic Strecher

Dr. Victor Strecher has been a Professor in the U-M SPH since 1995. He founded the Center for Health Communications Research and has been leading investigator on over $45 million in grant-funded studies. With the University, Dr. Strecher founded HealthMedia Inc. in 1998, which was purchased by by Johnson & Johnson on 2008.  Currently, as Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, Dr. Strecher is helping the University of Michigan disseminate research to the real world, improving the public's health nationally and globally.
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About the Book

Dr. Strecher's latest research and book is related to the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life. 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. The book details his search to find purpose, and identifies steps that individuals can take to help align themselves with core values and purpose, including identifying core values, developing a purpose statement, and aligning ones life with goals. For more information, including book excerpts and "Behind the Story" interviews, visit

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U-M SPH Contact Information

Terri Mellow, Senior Media Strategist
Phone: 734-764-8094

For SPH experts on these and many more topics, see the Experts List.