Dr. O’Donnell provides consulting services to employers, hospitals, health promotion providers and welcomes international collaborations.


Dr. O’Donnell has developed and/or managed workplace health promotion programs for more than 50 medium, large and very large employers over the span of three decades.This has included 10 years as a director of internal programs provided directly to employees and 20 years as a consultant/vendor to other employers. Sectors served have included healthcare, manufacturing, publishing, telecommunications, and technology. His work has included developing strategic and operational plans, refining and implementing corporate policy, developing incentive systems, writing program materials, writing successful grant applications, creating communication campaigns, hiring and training staff, presenting lectures, auditing and refocusing programs, and creating and implementing evaluation efforts.

He provides a wide range of services for employers.

For new programs, services include establishing strategic goals, aligning operational plans with strategic goals, engaging leadership and employees in development processes, guiding review and selection of program vendors, and developing internal interventions.

For existing programs, services include auditing programs for scientific validity, vendor performance and outcomes, and refocusing programs to better achieve health and organization outcomes.

For new and existing programs, services include evaluating, hiring and training staff, developing operating program plans budgets, structuring cost-neutral funding strategies, ensuring the scientific integrity of programs, developing incentive programs, integrating incentives into health plan offerings and designing and monitoring evaluation efforts


Dr. O’Donnell has a graduate degree in hospital management and 12 years of experience serving in executive roles in hospitals and health plans, including Cleveland Clinic, William Beaumont Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and San Jose Hospital.

His work has included direct responsibility for occupational health, employee assistance, fitness centers, and employee and commercial health promotion programs. He has been responsible for developing and managing comprehensive health promotion programs, integrating health promotion protocols into occupational medicine screenings, developing a wellness section of an electronic medical record, developing intensive clinical health promotion programs, training medical staff to refer qualified patients into intensive health promotion programs, creating grand rounds series, integrating health promotion concepts into medical school curriculum, and helping to develop a study to test the health and financial impact of health promotion programs offered to Medicare recipients.

Dr. O’Donnell has several years of experience leading community health promotion programs in hospital settings. His work has included developing campaigns to engage thousands of employers in establishing smokefree workplace policies, tripling the call volume to the state Tobacco Quitline, mobilizing more than 10,000 people to advocate for a state ban on smoking in public places, and creating a framework for a decade long plan to cut county level smoking rates in half.

Health Product and Service Providers

Dr. O’Donnell has three decades of experience as an entrepreneur, intrapreneur and as an advisor to health promotion providers.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, he has gone through the process of writing a business plan, raising startup capital, developing and marketing products and services, hiring and managing a staff, managing finances and ultimately selling the business.

As an intrapreneur in both hospital and university settings, he has launched new ventures, refocused existing ventures, developed technology and service products, managed client services, worked through organizational hierarchies and politics, and expanded and contracted staff and operations.

As an advisor, he has helped identify market gaps and product opportunities; articulated organizational niche and positions; reviewed, refined and enhanced the scientific validity and effectiveness of existing and potential products and services; developed, expanded and served on advisory boards; and supported venture capital raising and asset sales efforts.

International Collaborations

Dr. O’Donnell embraces opportunities for international collaboration because of the insights they provide into the influence of culture on behavior and the creativity they spark by viewing problems and solutions through new lenses. He has been involved in collaborations in 14 nations that have included helping to develop national tobacco control strategies, refining national policies, linking funders with programmers, launching service operations, translating books and materials, designing course curriculum and teaching courses, organizing and presenting at conferences, and brainstorming on global health policy strategies. He has lived in other nations for five years as a Peace Corps kid and later as a Senior Fulbright Scholar

Theoretical Foundations

Dr. O’Donnell’s approach to developing and managing health promotion programs is based on integrating scientific findings with the dynamic realities of workplace and community environments. Critical scientific learning experiences have included conducting a benchmarking study involving the 80 best workplace health promotion programs in the nation, collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on a systematic review of the published literature on the health impact of workplace health promotion programs, supporting a systematic review of the published literature on the financial impact of workplace health promotion programs, serving as a judge on the selection panel of the C. Everett Koop Award for 22 years, preparing a doctoral dissertation on the predictors of health behavior, and writing in-depth reviews of more than 1800 studies on the health and financial impact of health promotion. His approach to workplace health promotion has formed the basis of three pieces of legislation introduced in the United States Congress. He served as faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan for nine years. He also served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Catholic University and the Graduate School of Health Sciences at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea for one year.