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The History of Employee Assistance in the U.S. and Canada: UMB's Dr. Dale Masi interviews eight

The Employee Assistance Research Foundation’s (EARF) latest project is designed to address a critical deficiency in the employee assistance/work-life knowledge base – a definitive resource that documents the history and evolution of EAPs. The initial phase of this effort is now complete and available – video interviews with eight key informants focused on the development of EAPs and Work-Life in the U.S. and Canada over the last 50 years. Dr. Dale Masi, a well-known distinguished scholar, Professor Emeritus, and professional consultant in the employee assistance field conducted the interviews in the Media Lab at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Dr. Masi was assisted by Dr. Jodi Jacobson Frey, Associate Professor and Chair of the EAP sub-specialization at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work.

Dr. Masi, with the approval of the EARF Grants Committee, selected the eight key informants because of their expertise in significant conceptual themes that shaped the EAP field. “Each key informant offered a rare perspective on both the history and current developments in contemporary EAP work. I’m thrilled the lived experiences and observations among these key informants will be preserved for all to hear and learn from for years to come” says Masi. In the next phase of the project Masi will conduct a literature review using archival research methods to document the origins and milestones of the history of EAPs in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Ann Roche, Flinders University in South Australia, will focus on EAP history and development outside of North America. The two distinct geographical components will be merged into a single manuscript. Foundation Founder and President Carl Tisone is excited to see the Foundation “turn its attention to a facet of our field that has been neglected for far too long – an academically-based archival history of EAP from the early days of Occupational Alcohol Programs to the diverse array of EAP interventions occurring in virtually every country and culture today."

Dr. Masi’s interviews can be viewed at the Employee Assistance Digital Archive ( housed in the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library. Direct links to the individual interviews are provided below:

The EARF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit foundation dedicated to advancing research in the field of employee assistance and workplace behavioral health. For more information, contact EARF Board Member and Treasurer David Sharar at or (309) 820-3570

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