GreatCall Offers Employees an Innovative Approach to Wellness Programming


Corporate Wellness Programs have gained popularity over the last 10 years with an increasing amount of companies investing time, effort, and funds on activities to promote healthy choices to their employees.  Typical wellness programs tend to focus on weight loss, increasing physical activity and nutrition, but can be challenging to implement and engage employees. These now mainstream programs also tend to lack in focus on emotional and mental health fitness that often leads to physical ailments.

San Diego-based GreatCall, Inc., the nationwide leader in wireless health and safety services for older consumers, has approached “corporate wellness” in a groundbreaking way – partnering with Dr. Brian Alman of TruSage to provide employees with coaching and support to navigate the challenges and issues faced in their day-to-day lives.  GreatCall first partnered with TruSage to offer The Wellness Call, an automated coaching service, to its subscriber base focused on providing an older demographic relaxation tips, motivational messages, and techniques on overcoming challenges. The program provides immediate results and long term success. While extending this type of service to the wireless subscriber base, it also felt natural to extend a similar service to GreatCall employees so they can benefit from Dr. Alman’s techniques as well.

This innovative program was launched in January 2013 and provided employees a unique at-work opportunity to learn life skills and techniques on stress reduction, work-life balance, relationships and a variety of other personal and interpersonal topics.  GreatCall employees had access to monthly sessions in an intimate and safe group setting; the opportunity for one-on-one meetings; and the ability to email or call Dr. Alman directly to follow up on personal situations. Archived videos and resources were also provided to employees for on-demand access.

Participants were surveyed at the end of the program to learn what motivated them to attend and the value that they found from those sessions. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and many employees expressed their hope for the sessions to continue in the following calendar year. A sampling of employee comments is included:

  • “I found the program to be very valuable. I have learned helpful techniques and gained valuable advice in multiple sessions that have helped me cope or deal with situations in my personal and professional life.” – Employee X, Executive Assistant
  • “I attended the parenting session.  His examples and suggestions we're really appropriate and helpful.  He engaged the participants and asked about each person's situation, then gave helpful and supportive information in a general sense as well as specific to the various participants.  You could tell he was listening and really cared about each individual. It was time well spent!” – Employee Y, Training Manager
  • “Dr. Alman focuses his sessions on equipping employees with techniques to help them live a fuller life less cluttered with stress, anxiety, and physical, mental or emotional pain. Many employees would not have the opportunity to experience the benefits of having a coach or "therapist" so this permits them the chance to do that.” – Employee Z, HR Business Partner
  • “Attending Dr. Alman's sessions helped me to gain peace about a personal relationship matter, which enabled me to better focus on work when I am at work.  Dr. Alman's work helped me to assign responsibility where it belongs to myself or other people as appropriate, so I don't feel guilty about or take on responsibilities that are not mine.” – Employee XX, Anonymous

The success of the program can really be seen through the anecdotal evidence and individual comments of changes employees have experienced by attending session and incorporating the techniques. The goal for future delivery is to increase engagement and drive participation numbers higher.  GreatCall is committed to providing opportunities for employees to incorporate well-being into their lives and the Life Skills Coaching program is yet another critical component to achieve balance and health.

About GreatCall: Since its founding in 2006, GreatCall has focused on supporting seniors to lead active and independent lives while staying connected to their friends and families.  Through rapid innovation focused on helping seniors, GreatCall has expanded Jitterbug to become a mobile health platform that provides customers with access to nurses, doctors, emergency concierge (PERS), medication adherence programs, clinically proven brain games to improve mental acuity, wellness coaching, and much more.  As a leader in simple design that considers the effects of aging, GreatCall has delivered these services in an easy-to-use platform that sits in the palm of your hand. GreatCall has followed up on the success of Jitterbug by launching 5star, one of the first mobile medical alarms, and by creating a suite of apps for Android and iPhone that help older consumers.  GreatCall’s UrgentCare app has regularly been the #1 medical app in the Apple App Store. GreatCall’s relentless commitment to helping seniors has allowed the company to grow from startup to hundreds of employees in less than 7 years. Employees are energized by coming to work every day to help people in need and actually save lives.

GreatCall hires employees that are caring, collaborative and smart, and its health focus is reflected in the company culture. Employees participate in life skills coaching. 

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