Kathy Knudsen

Founder & President
Healthbreak, Inc.

Location: Golden, CO
Founded: 1990
Industry: Worksite Wellness

*Second Year Honoree*

Kathy Knudsen begins each day mindful of her core values: gratitude, empathy, integrity and resilience.

Upholding these values both personally and professionally, Knudsen, Founder and President of Healthbreak, Inc. has led her team through 2020 with grace, comfort and success.

Taking calculated steps, to expand Healthbreak’s capabilities to offer additional virtual wellbeing services including the execution of a new agreement signed with global technology leader, Virgin Pulse, she was able to grow an opportunity from 14 clients to 46 clients, a 228% increase.

She explained that expanding Healthbreak’s Live Services Division by on-boarding a HIPAA-compliant platform to extend capabilities to deliver virtual services, such as coaching, personal training and wellness programming.

“When our corporate fitness centers closed due to COVID-19, we outfitted the fitness team with new laptops, recording gear, wireless mics and brought in a consultant and videographer to train on conducting live-streamed classes and recorded videos to create an online fitness channel,” she said.

Knudsen said COVID is helping to further the digital revolution in healthcare and the increased awareness of the need for preventative care, and as leaders, remaining well poised for that paradigm shift is pertinent.

“These times can help create more teaching moments about the value of healthy lifestyle habits as preventative medicine,” she said.

In her role, Knudsen focused on the need to shift business operations quickly to keep the team safe, empower them with the necessary technology and tools, and ensure that they could meet our existing contractual obligations as a wellness management company. Along with her team, they mobilized all core technology needed for business continuation, gave the team the roadmap to move forward, and communicated often.

“I talk often with our team about the importance of having the ability to pivot,” she said. “I learned about this discipline as an All-American volleyball player where the team adopts a systematic approach for working together, to overcome challenges and to work toward clear and defined goals. Applying that to our business, the initiatives we implemented in 2020 that drove our success focused first on supporting our employees, then on our clients.”

She confided the biggest challenge was managing the constant change management that was needed due to the pandemic.

She explained, “Our Digital Solutions division had to plan and execute alternative annual wellness program plans for over 90% of our customer block to address the cancellation of onsite health screenings. This took time and resources but was met with a proactive approach where we created a client screening decision guide,” Knudsen said. “We added alternative screening options through partners who could deliver home kits and adapted an existing coaching program called ‘Strive’ to add in as an alternative for members to earn credit in their employer’s wellness program.”

Providing proactive solutions and demonstrating confidence in helping their customers get through the change management process brought needed results.

“The wellbeing services we brought forward were utilized at record rates to help them weather this unpredictable time,” Knudsen said.

Sharing her lessons from the perspective of being a leader at a wellness company in these times and in this specialized industry, Knudsen said,

“Our nation’s healthcare system is traditionally a sick care system that places far too few resources and education around taking personal responsibility for preventative health. The global pandemic has magnified that gap, as well as the importance of exercise, not only on physical, mental and emotional health, but also how it enhances the immune system to help fight off infection.”

Looking ahead with positivity, Knudsen’s 5-year vision for Healthbreak is to continue to lead a disciplined organization that places focus on their greatest asset, employees.

“The goal is to remain a thriving, competitive, and growing wellness company that helps individuals reach optimal wellbeing while guiding organizations toward achieving their population health, productivity, and cost containment goals,” she said.

Under Knudsen’s leadership based on her core values, the future is bright for Healthbreak, Inc., and the opportunities are endless.

Presented by:
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"These times can help create more teaching moments about the value of healthy lifestyle habits as preventative medicine."