Empathia, Inc. Introduces Change1st Behavior Modification Program to Deliver Lasting Positive Behavior Change

MILWAUKEE / August 15, 2012 — Building on 30 years of success in the employee assistance and behavioral health fields, Empathia has launched Change1st, a program that helps organizations assist their employees in making positive behavior changes to deliver lasting results.

Several organizations have piloted Change1st, including ProHealth Care, Inc., a large health care system based in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Program participants have reported significant improvements in satisfaction related to five separate aspects of their lives: financial, wellness, vocational, community and social.

ProHealth Care pilot participants reported greater satisfaction in all five aspects. Using a scale of -3 (least satisfied) to +3 (most satisfied), participants cited a +1.86 rise in their wellness-related satisfaction upon completing the Change1st program, a +1.50 rise in their vocation-related satisfaction, and a +1.21 rise in their finance-related satisfaction.

The ProHealth Care Pilot: Changing Behaviors and Lives
According to Laura Armstrong, ProHealth Care’s Education Specialist and head of the company’s pilot, the Change1st program enables participants to set goals, combat challenges, and ultimately reach their personal goals.

Cindy Lindstedt, a participant in the ProHealth Care pilot, called the Change1st program “a tremendous asset” and described her coach as “an accountability partner.”

“I not only successfully completed the program,” said Lindstedt, “but I trimmed down and achieved my goal of improving my blood panel numbers. As an added bonus, I shared my enthusiasm and resources with my husband and he got moving and achieved the same result. This has been much more than just being involved in a program. It has been a lifestyle change.”

The Change1st Difference
Change1st differs from many traditional wellness programs in several critical ways. One key difference is the focus on all aspects of an individual’s life rather than merely addressing fitness or health alone.

“One of the program’s greatest strengths is that it gives participants the necessary tools to make change where it matters most to them,” noted Philip Chard, president and CEO of Empathia, Inc. “Participants can focus on their physical health, their financial health, on improving relationships—anything that needs improvement is fair game. And, quite often, achieving non-health related goals has an indirect but positive result on a participant’s physical health, and it provides the momentum needed to make life changes in other areas.”

Another key feature of Change1st is that its coaches are all professional counselors and therapists, as opposed to the dieticians and fitness trainers widely used by many traditional wellness programs.

“As behavior change experts, our coaches are a tremendous advantage in helping people set realistic expectations and achievable goals,” said Chard. “They are skilled at determining if and when individuals are ready to make real changes in their lives, and readiness to change is a crucial factor for success.”

Change1st couples one-on-one coaching with an online communication system and a specialized Web site that gives participants 24/7 access to the program and enables them to communicate with coaches on their own terms. Change1st coaches also provide participants with highly personalized resources to help them continue making progress outside of the coaching process.

About Empathia, Inc.
Empathia provides behavioral health solutions that improve the well-being, safety and productivity of organizations and individuals. The company collaborates with private and public sector entities from expansive Fortune 500 corporations to small businesses in addressing a diverse range of needs: employee assistance, disaster response and planning, work-life balance, employee relations, leadership development, training and benefits support. Founded in 1982, the company has been on the forefront of behavioral health science, collaborating with Tufts University and Research Triangle Institute for national studies in behavior change research. Change1st is one of several specialized programs available for organizations to help their workforces become healthier and more productive. For more information, visit www.empathia.com.

Media Contacts:
Carrie Reuter
Empathia, Inc.

Adriana Saldana
HRmarketer for Empathia