Spectrum Health partners with Headspace, offers access to mental health app to all team members  

October 7, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 7, 2020 – In an effort to positively impact mental health among team members, Spectrum Health is proud to announce a partnership with Headspace, a global leader in meditation and mindfulness through its meditation app and online content offerings.

Through the generosity of various community donors, more than 31,000 Spectrum Health team members will now have access to a free subscription to Headspace. The app also will be extended at no cost to administrators at more than 30 local school districts that Spectrum Health partners with across West Michigan. In a pilot program, some Spectrum Health clinicians have been prescribing Headspace to patients and there are plans to greatly expand access this fall.

“With so many unknowns and so much stress in the world, mental health is more important now than ever,” said Pam Ries, Chief Human Resources Officer at Spectrum Health. “The pandemic has been tough on everyone but has been especially difficult for health care team members who are on the frontline and those who are working remotely and feeling isolated. Providing Headspace to our Spectrum Health team members helps ensure they are supported in their emotional health and well-being. We are hopeful the path to restored mental health of our team members will in turn have a positive impact on their friends and family. Our mission to improve health, inspire hope, and save lives is intended for our patients and members that we serve as well as our cherished team members.”

Headspace is a meditation and mindfulness app that is designed to improve health through guided meditations, articles and videos anytime, anywhere. The app has a large selection of content on stress and anxiety, work and productivity, and aids to fall asleep quickly and improve sleep quality.

In a pilot program, Spectrum Health clinicians have been prescribing Headspace and other apps to patients, and clinicians have had availability to use the app personally since spring of 2020.  Within that pilot, Headspace has been the most prescribed and most downloaded app.

Spectrum Health is expanding the ability to prescribe apps, including Headspace, to all patients with expansion starting across primary care offices this fall.

While the access to all team members is recent, more than 1,000 staff members have engaged with the subscription to support them on their wellness journey.

“Health care professionals need to be at their best to better serve their communities,” said Kristin Jacob, MD, medical director of the Office of Physician and APP Fulfilment at Spectrum Health. “We encourage our physicians, APPs and all caregivers to take a few minutes throughout the day to be mindful of their own well-being. The Headspace app offers realistic and practical tools in which to accomplish this.”

Physician burnout has been identified as a public health crisis for its adverse impacts for both doctors and patients. Research shows mindfulness meditation can positively impact many of the factors related to burnout, including stress and depression. Headspace research specifically shows 14 percent reduction in burnout after only four sessions among health care professionals and 12 percent reduction in stress for medical students after 30 days.

“Now more than ever, in the midst of a global pandemic, it is important to recognize the importance of helping physicians reduce stress and burnout, and improve their mental well-being,” said Dr. Megan Jones Bell, Chief Science and Strategy Officer at Headspace. “Our mission is to improve the health and happiness of the world, and part of that vision includes advancing the field of mindfulness meditation through clinically validated research, and normalizing mindfulness in medicine, for healthcare professionals and patients alike, so that we can make an impact with the communities that need us most.”

More than 1,100 companies offer Headspace to their employees as a health benefit including Starbucks, Adobe, GE, Hyatt and Unilever.

About Headspace
Headspace was created with one mission in mind: to improve the health and happiness of the world. Reaching more than 65 million users in 190 countries, Headspace was one of the first meditation apps in the world and remains a leader in mindfulness and mental training. Headspace is committed to advancing the field of mindfulness through clinically-validated research, having one of the largest research pipelines of any digital health and wellness company. Headspace operates a B2B business (Headspace for Work) to offer its mindfulness products and services to more than 1,100 companies, such as Starbucks, Adobe, GE, Hyatt and Unilever, to help them build healthier, more productive cultures and higher performing organizations. Headspace partners with many of the world’s most-recognizable brands, including Apple, Amazon and more. In 2018, Headspace launched Headspace Health, a digital health subsidiary pioneering new ways to incorporate the Headspace mindfulness experience into digital medicine. Headspace has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies, Apple’s Best of 2018, Samsung’s Best of 2019 and one of CB Insights’ top digital health companies, along with being selected for five Webby Awards in health and fitness between 2018 and 2019. For more information please visit us at, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

Rick Jensen
Media Relations
Office: 616.391.5291
Mobile: 616.706.2608