Don Hall, DrPH, CHES

Founder, Wellsource

Donald R. Hall, DrPH, CHES

Fitness, nutrition, and health promotion expert – Dr. Don Hall has made good health his life’s work. In the early 1970s, Dr. Hall developed wellness programs for school districts and a worksite wellness program for a health insurance company – one of the first in the nation. Seeing a great need for health promotion in the business sector, Dr. Hall eventually founded and became CEO of Wellsource, now in its 40th year of developing health risk assessments.

Here is a timeline and brief biography of Dr. Don Hall’s contributions to the population health industry.

Timeline

1972
Wrote an algebraic equation for Health Age Appraisal on a calculator.
1973
Graduated from Loma Linda University with a Master of Public Health degree in nutrition. Wrote Fitness Assessment, Heart Check, and Stress Profile paper-based health assessments.
1977
Developed the first computerized health risk appraisal—the Health Age Appraisal—and began work on programming 11 more assessments measuring health in specific areas such as nutrition, stress, fitness, heart health, weight management, cancer prevention, and bone health.
1978
Graduated from Loma Linda University with a Doctor of Public Health in preventive healthcare.
1979
Put all 12 assessments on a big floppy disk and sold them as one comprehensive Computerized Health Assessment Library. This was the first computerized HRA in the U.S. to include fitness, stress, and nutrition information.
1980
Joined the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and was certified as an Exercise Test Technologist. Dr. Hall has been an active member with the ACSM for more than 30 years. He conducted the first Health Fitness Instructor’s certification course for the ACSM in the Northwest.
1981
Translated all assessments into MS-DOS.
1984
Became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
1985
Developed a scannable HRA for the desktop computer, called Personal Wellness Profile. His appraisal was revolutionary for its time because it was based on optimal health (wellness) rather than morbidity and looked at factors associated with longevity, such as nutrition and fitness.
1996
Developed the first Wellsource® online HRA.
1998
Developed the Lifestyle Change Series™, educational programs to help people make lifestyle changes identified in their assessments.
2004
Created the online Health Activity Tracker™.
2007
Released the revolutionary Personal Wellness Profile™ – Advantage Edition Health Risk Assessment.
2011
Selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be on a panel to assist in developing guidelines for a health risk assessment (HRA) to be used by Medicare on a national basis for wellness visits to physicians.
2014
Launched WellSuite® IV Health Risk Assessments for Medicare and Medicaid that meet state and federal requirements for health literacy and areas of focus.
2019
Celebrated the 40th anniversary of selling comprehensive computerized health risk assessments.

Fitness and Health Enthusiast

While attending graduate school at Loma Linda University, Dr. Hall founded a Southern California running club (Loma Linda Lopers) that now has more than 500 members. He has completed 19 marathons, including the Lopers’ Orange Grove marathon, LA marathon (5 times), Portland Marathon (5 times), New York marathon in 2000, the Paris Marathon in April 2004 (which he ran with his daughter), and the Honolulu Marathon in December 2004 and 2007.

Dr. Hall started a climbing club while attending Walla Walla University for his undergraduate degree and taught climbing classes and wilderness travel for four years. He has led many climbs on peaks such as Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Rainier, and climbed to Camp 1 on Mt. Everest.

He also enjoys hiking and backpacking in the mountains. He recently backpacked the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier (100 miles) and has completed the 200+ mile John Muir trail in the high Sierras, another 85 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail in the High Sierras between Tioga and Sonora Pass, and a one-day rim-to-rim crossing of the Grand Canyon.

Skiing is another passion, and Dr. Hall has taken ski trips throughout the Northwest and Canada as well as Cervinia, Italy, and Zermatt, Switzerland. He has bicycled across seven states, and across Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Dr. Hall and his wife completed a biking tour of Tuscany Italy in 2015, as well as tours in Canada and New Zealand. He recently completed a double century (200 miles in two days) bicycle event.

Dr. Hall has enjoyed SCUBA diving in such places as Micronesia, South Pacific, Great Barrier Reef, Caribbean, Florida Keys, Bahamas, Hawaii, and the Red Sea. He also enjoys photography, weight lifting, and lap swimming.

Author

Dr. Hall enjoys writing and has developed an online wellness center with over 1,000 articles, authored the Making Healthy Choices™ Newsletter for 19 years, and created WellNotes® (a monthly corporate wellness health letter). He contributes articles to the Gleaner (a monthly publication of the North Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), Adventist Review, and Vibrant Life. He completed a book called Step Into Fitness and Health for the InStep for Life walking initiative of the North American Division (NAD) of Seventh-day Adventists. Dr. Hall has written three books for Pacific Press entitled, The Vegetarian Advantage, 9 Ways to Prevent Diabetes, and Staying Healthy for Life.

Educator

Dr. Hall offers health education programs to churches through his non-profit organization, Lifelong Health™. Current wellness programs include Eight Weeks to Wellness, Fitness for Life, Lifelong Weight Management, and the Prevention Series (nine seminars on preventing chronic disease).

Over the years, Dr. Hall has taught graduate classes at Portland State University, Eastern Washington University, and Whitworth University. He taught the first certification course for the American College of Sports Medicine in the Northwest. He has made presentations at many other universities, including LLU, Southern Adventist University, Vanderbilt University, and Stanford University Hospital.

He has also presented at various national health conventions such as the National Wellness Conference (2005), the Association of Occupational Health Professionals, Hospital and Fitness Business, Health Summit 2005, Healthy People 2004, Atlantic Wellness Conference (in Canada), Western Society for Kinesiology and Wellness (2005), Abbot Wellness Symposium in Toronto (2005), NCQA and Association of Insurance Providers of California (2006), CDC Health Appraisal Conference for Medicare (2011), Health Benefits Conference and Expo (2012), Health Summit (2013), and various others.

He is currently an adjunct professor at LLU and is a member of the General Conference Nutrition Council. He has served on the NAD Health Advisory Counsel and was a board member for several years for WWU. He continues to teach health seminars at hospitals, churches, and community organizations, including the annual Orlando Health Summit and several annual camp meetings for the Adventist church each summer. He has taught Health Ministry Training Seminars in all Unions of North America and also trained thousands of individuals to teach his lifestyle improvement programs.

He has conducted Corporate Wellness Seminars throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean to help businesses control high healthcare costs. He has provided health assessment, consulting, and training services for numerous organizations, including Nike, Tektronix, Hewlett Packard, United Metal Trade Association, several school districts in Oregon, Safeway, North American Division of SDAs, Vanderbilt University, Loma Linda University, Stanford University, Kaiser-Permanente Health Care System, Chrysler Corporation, and many more.

Industry Leader

Dr. Hall is a respected leader in health and wellness and is recognized as a health and fitness enthusiast, industry expert, visionary, entrepreneur, educator, and technology fan. His computerized health assessments and self-management programs for population health management are used by several organizations including: health insurers, health educators, wellness companies, corporations, hospitals, and government agencies. Some of his more recent awards include:

  • Outstanding Leadership and Service Award, Health Summit 2002, NAD
  • Mayor of Philadelphia’s Distinguished Service Award for Community Health, 2001
  • Alumnus of the Year at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, 2000
  • National Health Information Gold Award for Best Consumer Health Programs, 1998-2009
  • The 6th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition Award for contribution to vegetarian nutrition concepts and practices, 2012
  • Alumnus of the Year at Walla Walla University, 2018
  • Alumnus of the Year at Loma Linda University, 2019

Read more: Our History of Innovation

Running the LA Marathon for Loma Linda Lopers
Biking the Seattle to Portland Classic