*Please note that mugs are limited, so start referring ASAP! All 5 colleagues must register for the conference. Cartoons and mugs will be sent to qualifying attendees after the conference.

Richard Safeer

Chief Medical Director, Employee Health and Well-being

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Dr. Safeer is Chief Medical Director of Employee Health andWell-being at Johns Hopkins Medicine.    Dr. Safeer completed his Bachelor of Sciencein Nutrition at Cornell University before graduating from medical school at theState University of New York at Buffalo (magna cum laude).  He completed his residency in Family Medicineat Franklin Square Hospital Center, in Baltimore, Maryland. After which, hecompleted a Faculty Development Fellowship at the Virginia CommonwealthUniversity of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He is also certified in Clinical Lipidology.  He’s achieved fellowship status in theAmerican Academy of Family Practice, the American College of Lifestyle Medicineand the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Prior to arriving at Hopkins, Dr. Safeer practiced familymedicine in Northern Virginia. He was then on faculty at the George WashingtonUniversity, serving as the Residency Director of Family Medicine in his lastyear at the institution.  He was theMedical Director of an Occupational Health Center in Baltimore and WellnessDirector for the Mid-Atlantic region of the parent company, just beforestarting at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Baltimore, Maryland as theMedical Director of Preventive Medicine. He has been credited by some for bringing ‘wellness’ in to the realm ofresponsibilities of the managed care industry. He also led CareFirst BCBS to beamong the first cohort of health plans to be accredited for Wellness by NCQA.He holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the American University, where heteaches “Organizational Health”.

Amongst his responsibilities at Hopkins, includes leadingthe employee health and well-being initiative, Healthy at Hopkins.  Dr. Safeer also advises the institution onmatters related to health plan benefits, occupational health and the employeeassistance program. He previously provided clinical care in the HopkinsHospital Lipidology clinic.  He haspublished close to fifty papers in the health and wellbeing space andcontributed a chapter to a textbook on population health. He regularly speaksto national audiences on the employee health and wellbeing space, in particularhow to create healthy workplace cultures. He recently finished serving on theBoard of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, a professionalorganization he helped establish.

Speaker Questionnaire
What is the biggest thing you learned in 2020?

What do you feel are the two most important benefits or areas that need to be a top priority in 2021?

Can you share a story on an area of your healthcare program or employee benefits where you were able to create significant savings or stop costs from rising?

If you could automatically receive a 10-20% reduction in costs in three areas/programs, what would your dream list be?

Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (our biggest expenses). Programs/areas: stress reduction, nutrition, and physical activity. Not only do these behaviors address the three previously mentioned health categories, but they also transcend every other health state (including mental health).

What is the most innovative program you will focus on in 2021 and/or 2022?

Bringing mindfulness in to the workplace.

How are you re-imagining corporate culture & well-being?

We apply a culture of health framework so that we can methodically support the social and environmental structure that shapes a health culture. There is a process. We don't have to guess. I've published and spoken on this framework and we use the framework at Hopkins.

What virtual care solutions did you roll out during the pandemic? How valuable were they and why?

Virtual care solutions. We did several things, but one I feel particularly enamoured by is our well-being menu. There were and are multiple challenges to our well-being under these circumstances. I think everyone would agree that our stress levels were multiplied by the situation. We also all learned how important others are to our own health. We give teams the opportunity to engage in a virtual stress reducing program. Choices include progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, chair yoga and more. Not only does this serve to decrease stress, but it opens up a conversation within teams about the stress they face, solutions and that they know they are not alone. It helps to bond teams together and keep that kinship alive.

If you look at our 3 Moonshots - Costs, Culture, and Care; In one sentence, tell us what would be something positive for us to take from 2020 and bring into this new year?

Social connectedness is an unappreciated element of good health, happiness, and longevity.

What are your top priorities for employee health and well-being in 2022?

To support managers and other leaders as they create a wellbeing culture on their teams.

What are the most innovative programs that you will focus on in 2022 and 2023?

We're innovative in delivering care. We're old school when caring for eachother. We will focus on the employee experience. Creating a wellbeing culture at Johns Hopkins Medicine so that our employees are supported in whatever their wellbeing journey looks like.

Looking at our three moonshots surrounding costs, culture, and care, which do you align with the most? What are you doing in this area?

We clearly emphasize our work around wellbeing culture. Our model includes six building blocks: Shared Values, Social Climate, Norms, Contact Points, Peer Support and Leadership Support.

If you could automatically receive a 25% reduction in costs in three areas/programs, what would your dream list be?

I'm not sure I understand the question. We would want to reduce the cost of health care for our own employees, as this is one of our largest line items after salary and benefits. We'd also want to reduce the cost of employee recruitment, which is intimately tied of course to retention. Finally, we'd want to reduce workplace burnout. If you meant three diseases, then heart disease, cancer and depression.

Is there an area where you were able to either create savings or stop costs from rising?

It's highly likely that we've done this on a number of occasions. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine views our employee health and wellbeing strategy as an investment in our people and we don't measure an ROI in this work.

Are you doing anything to reimagine corporate culture and wellbeing?

This is the foundation of our work. We have published paper on our framework. We are intentionally shaping our wellbeing culture by enhancing opportunities around social climate, leadership and peer support, contact points, norm building and shared values.

If there were two physical solutions that could be turned into virtual or remote care instead, what would those be?

A big part of our current well-being problem is the reliance on virtual solutions. Nothing comes to my mind as an answer.

If you look at our 3 Moonshots - Costs, Culture, and Care; In one sentence, tell us what would be something positive for us to take from 2020 and bring into this new year?

Social connectedness is an unappreciated element of good health, happiness, and longevity.

Sessions Speaking

Comprehensive Well-Being Strategies for 2022 and Beyond

April 26, 2022
1:00 pm
1:50 pm

Learn how you can assess your current well-being culture and make adjustments or changes to offer the best of the best. Learn the importance of creating community and social connection between employees and how two organizations are trailblazing in making this happen.This session is for organizations looking to improve the employee experience and increase engagement, well-being, and ultimately, performance.

View session details


1 Conference. 3 Moonshots.

Remember the mission to reach the moon? In 1962, President JFK set forth a vision. He initiated a movement that outlived him! Even in his death, the mission was accomplished seven years after his famous speech. Now we’re on a five-year mission, and it's not about us. This is a mission for you – the individual, the stakeholder, the employer healthcare and benefits professional. Join the mission to reduce costs, reimagine culture, and reinvent care.


Moonshot #1​

Reduce employer healthcare and benefits costs by 25% by 2025.​



Moonshot #2​

Reimagine engagement and well-being.



Moonshot #3

Provide 40% of healthcare services virtually and through technology by 2025.​


No Admission Fee!

Participate from your office with a mask...or home without one!

Join us for the 13th HEALTHCARE ЯEVOLUTION®