Mental health, DEI on tap for Day 2 of benefits conference

Wellness and wellbeing topics anchor the second-day agenda of the free, virtual Health & Benefits Leadership Conference.

That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change workforces and workforce planning, and benefits are central to helping employees navigate what’s next, whether that’s physical, emotional or financial wellness. With that, sessions throughout day two of the conference focus on these topics and more. The event runs through Thursday with more than 80 speakers addressing a variety of topics. Register here.

Jessica Brooks

Day two begins with a keynote discussion about how better benefits design can help organizations address racial inequality, a vital discussion nearly a year after the murder of George Floyd prompted employees to demand more around DEI. You’ll hear personal stories about the reality of racial disparity in healthcare from Andrea Trudelle, who has led global benefits at NVIDIA and Box, and Jessica Brooks, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health.

Related: How to use employee benefits to tackle–not perpetuate–racism

Jennifer Benz, senior vice president and communications leader at Segal Benz, will moderate the conversation, which begins at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday.

At the end of the day, financial wellness will be the topic with Melissa Gopnik, senior vice president at financial security nonprofit Commonwealth. Her keynote, which begins at 4 p.m., will present strategies that have come into stark relief with the pandemic. Beyond education, Gopnik has said, action is key. Read more here.

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Financial security also will be the topic earlier in the day when conference chair Kathryn Mayer sits down with personal finance expert Suze Orman to discuss the newest trend in benefits: emergency savings. That session begins at noon and is followed by a live Q&A with Orman.

Other sessions of note include one on blending work and life for better outcomes presented by Alight, also at noon; one on improving engagement and wellness by reimagining PTO presented by PTO Genius at 1 p.m.; and strategies for improving mental health presented by Total Brain at 1 p.m., plus several sessions beginning at 3 p.m. with top experts. Those Spotlight Sessions include:

  • what’s next in the mental health crisis;
  • how to burnout-proof your workforce; and
  • navigating serious health conditions.

Don’t worry if you’d like to attend several at the same time. You can view all sessions on-demand through June 11.

Click here for the full agenda and to register.

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Elizabeth Clarke
Elizabeth Clarke is executive editor of Human Resource Executive. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Florida and then spent more than 25 years as a reporter and editor in South Florida before joining HRE. Elizabeth lives with her family in Palm Beach County. She can be reached at [email protected].