Success story

How Northern Arizona Healthcare Gave Back More than Just Mental Support to their Community


Being present, connecting, and self-care – all things organizations struggled with due to the chaos of 2020. Northern Arizona Healthcare thought outside the box, set a goal and regained mindfulness while giving back. But how was it possible?

Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) is the largest healthcare organization in its region with a team of more than 3,000 doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, that work together to provide superior healthcare to Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, AZ, Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood, AZ and additional medical facilities within the area.

Throughout this past year, NAH found themselves at the epicenter of the pandemic crisis and were on the frontlines providing care for COVID-19 patients. Due to the unprecedented circumstances the organization was facing, employees found themselves incredibly overworked, stressed and anxious for the health and wellbeing of their patients and themselves. That’s when Mitch Martens, NAH’s Wellness Manager and wellbeing champion, knew he had to do something to provide his people with some sort of relief to get through a typically stressful time of year in an already chaotic time – the holidays

Northern Arizona Healthcare At a Glance:


eligible employees


Average engagement per month in 2020


of employees are enrolled in Personify Health

Percy Expression

“When I am more in touch with myself – physically, emotionally and mentally – it allows me to be more aware of those around me”


In December 2020, Martens decided that he wanted to provide his people with a unique and fun way to put their mental health front and center. Martens was intimidated by the idea of launching a new program with no point of reference but trusted in his strong partnership with Personify Health to make this new initiative engaging and exciting for his people.

Martens decided that rather than conduct a traditional, company-wide team step challenge that may go overlooked due to pulled focus and a ‘been there, done that’ perspective, that he would launch a new Mindful Minutes challenge but with a twist.

Percy Expression

“I will be honest, I held my breath because we had no baseline or history of doing something like this, but with our Personify Health Senior Client Success Manager’s encouragement and guidance, I knew that we could take the leap of faith”


First Martens thought about incentive. He thought through the pros and cons of individual prizes versus that of a collective prize and realized that if the entire organization worked toward a common goal, the pros certainly outweighed the cons for this specific initiative, including increased motivation, engagement and social connectivity. Additionally, Martens made the connection that bringing together the organization would increase a sense of community and thought that he could support his organization while helping another’s during the season of giving.

Martens created a Mindful Minutes challenge with the goal for the entire NAH organization to collectively complete 25,000 mindful minutes within a two-week period with the incentive of $5,000 would be donated to a local non-profit on behalf of their organization.

To help encourage and motivate his colleagues to join and participate in the challenge, he garnered overwhelming buy- in and support from NAH senior leadership including a recruitment hype video featuring the CEO and Chief Nursing Officer that was shared throughout the organization, increasing a shared sense of community and support.

Bringing everyone together to work toward one common goal increased motivation, engagement and social connectivity throughout the entire organization.

Percy Expression

“2020 was all about adaptability. Understanding the future was not fixed; the present was unpredictable, and the choices we made had significant personal and community impact. Personify Health provided a space of stability, familiarity, and assurance for our colleagues when it was desperately needed.”


Over the course of the two-week challenge, not only had the goal of 25,000 mindful minutes been reached, but NAH colleagues collectively achieved more than 65,000 mindful minutes and raised the $5,000 to be donated to a local non-profit organization.

Together, NAH voted on where they would donate the winnings and decided that in support of their two hospitals in Flagstaff and Cottonwood, that they would give back to two local non-profit organizations in those areas – $2,500 to the Flagstaff Family Food Shelter and $2,500 to the Verde Valley Humane Society.

In addition to reaching their goal, Martens was thrilled to see that the challenge truly did increase engagement and generate a culture of excitement and connectivity. The Mindful Minutes Challenge was one of their top performing challenges they’ve ever launched, with 24% of the organization’s members participating, significantly higher than their last challenge which was unexpected due to the typical drop in engagement around the holidays, and of the 661 participants, 310 of them met their set goals, proving that the Mindful Minutes Challenge delivered outcomes, helped members build healthy habits and had a positive impact on their organization – changing lives for good.

The success of this initiative has given Martens the confidence he needs to continue growing his wellbeing program with new and innovative ways without hesitation.

Percy Expression

““For me, it spoke to our employee’s investment in their community – the communities in which they live and the communities in which they serve.””

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