Evidence-based health and well-being for entire populations.

Pro-Change Behavior Systems Certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is proud to announce national re-certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise and a Women-Owned Small Business by the Center for Women & Enterprise, a certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

The rigorous certification process ensures that Pro-Change is owned, operated & controlled by women. Click here to learn more about the women behind the certification. 

Including women-owned businesses among suppliers and partners demonstrates corporations’ and governmental agencies’ commitment and dedication to fostering diversity. According to the results of a 2016 Hackett Group study on supplier diversity, working with minority-owned and small businesses can result in increased market share, talent retention, product innovations, cost savings, process improvements, and many other benefits.¹ 

“Working with WBENC and having both the WBE and WOSB certifications has led to invaluable connections for us,” stated Dr. Kerry Evers, Co-President and CEO. “Many of our partners strive for diversity in who they work with, which helps drive innovation. When they choose to work with Pro-Change, they know we are a diverse business that generates novel and evidence-based solutions.”

Pro-Change Receives Funding to Develop a Lupus Self-Management Program

Pro-Change is pleased to announce that it is kicking off year two of its work with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) to develop an innovative self-management program for adults with lupus. Lupus is a devastating and life-changing autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs) and currently has no cure. In the United States, lupus is two to three times more prevalent in African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders than among Caucasians.

Building on a comprehensive program of primary and secondary research conducted last year, Pro-Change is working with the LFA to develop an interactive, online self-management program that delivers tailored behavior change messaging to promote key behaviors associated with successful lupus self-management and patient activation. The funding was made possible via LFA’s cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Program development is being informed by extensive input from key stakeholders, including adults with lupus, subject matter experts, clinicians, cultural experts, and experts in engagement with digital health interventions. The program will take into account the unique needs of individuals from the racial and ethnic groups disproportionately affected by lupus.

Pro-Change’s Chief Science Officer and Project Lead Dr. Deborah Levesque notes, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our work with the Lupus Foundation of America to develop an online program that builds on our extensive formative research to help individuals with lupus who are seeking information, guidance, and tools matched to their needs as they work to manage this complex disease.”

Rush Offers Broad Rollout Of Pro-Change Tobacco Cessation Program

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. announced today that Rush University Medical Center is offering its scientifically grounded and proven effective Tobacco Cessation program for tobacco and e-cigarette users across their patient and employee population, as well as the greater community. Rush is a nationally recognized academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the people and the diverse communities across the greater Chicago area it serves through the integration of outstanding patient care, education, and research and community partnerships.

The Tobacco Cessation program leverages Pro-Change’s innovative and data-driven tailoring technology to customize behavior change guidance for each participant. Ready or not, program participants receive feedback, interactive activities, and text messages specifically matched to their readiness to stop using all forms of tobacco and e-cigarettes. Like Pro-Change’s other award-winning behavior change programs, the proven-effective Tobacco Cessation program is available in English and in Spanish from any internet-enabled computer or mobile device.

Postcards (available in both English and Spanish) about Pro-Change’s Tobacco Cessation program are being distributed to patients. Providers are also recommending the program to patients who report tobacco use and when doing so, they are able to take advantage of a seamless referral order through their EMR (electronic medical record).

The program is also being promoted to employees through internal newsletters and other marketing materials. Employees on the Rush medical plan who participate in the 2019 Choose Health screening can earn 50 Action Plan points when they report completion of the Tobacco Cessation program. Future marketing strategies will further target community members as well.

“We are thrilled to be working with such a highly regarded and forward-thinking organization on providing solutions that can be integrated into both clinical practice and community outreach,” said Dr. Kerry Evers, Co-President and CEO of Pro-Change. “We look forward to a long and successful collaboration to assist Rush’s patients, employees, and the greater community with tobacco cessation.”

Pro-Change offers expertise for Kresser Institute’s Health Coach training


As a premier training provider in functional medicine, Pro-Change was thrilled to be approached by the Kresser Institute to assist with the creation of the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program. The inclusion of training in behavior change and the Transtheoretical Model was an incredible addition to the already very strong curriculum.

Over 6 months, Pro-Change developed 13 custom training modules covering not only the basics of the TTM, but also how to use and apply the different constructs of the model throughout coaching sessions. The training modules assist student coaches in their journey to become better prepared to help clients change behaviors, no matter which stage of change they are in at their first coaching session.

In addition to the training modules, Pro-Change also collaborated with Kresser Institute faculty to develop coaching session role-plays using the TTM. These pre-recorded role plays allow students to see and hear what a coaching session could look like, including where and how different aspects of the model can be utilized.

Kerry Evers, Pro-Change’s Co-President and CEO, also conducted two live training sessions with the ADAPT students. The live sessions dug deeper into the TTM enabling students to ask questions and receive answers in real time. “Our collaboration with the Kresser Institute has been incredibly exciting,” said Kerry Evers. “The work that they are doing in terms of training health coaches is both innovative and extensive. We can’t wait to see the impact that these Kresser trained coaches will have on their communities!”

New Feature Added to the Health Risk Intervention Addresses Social Media Use and Digital Addiction

It seems digital device use has seeped into every aspect of our lives. Did you know that 35% of mobile phone users check their phone within 5 minutes of waking? And while the use of digital devices and social media can help streamline our days and help us stay connected to others, using smartphones can be disruptive at work and can be destructive to relationships at home. Too much screen time can lead to health problems such as disturbed sleep, reduced exercise; and increased loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

Pro-Change is tackling this issue by adding a feature to the Health Risk Intervention (HRI) that includes assessment and individualized feedback about social media use and key indicators of high levels of digital device use. This feature can be turned on and off by organizations who license our HRI.

“Technology has often been designed to make it irresistible. But what impact does that have on our lives and our companies?” asked Kerry E. Evers, Ph.D., Co-President and CEO. “Pro-Change has spent years helping people improve their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Now it’s time to turn our attention to digital well-being.”

Pro-Change adds SDOH screening and feedback to HRI

In the most recent release of Pro-Change’s Health Risk Intervention (HRI), clients and partners now have the ability to enable a screener for key health-related social needs that play a significant role in determining health outcomes.

Increasingly, organizations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) are advocating for addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). In fact, RWJF reports that as much as 40% of health outcomes are attributable to unmet social and economic needs. Unfortunately, however, these factors are often largely unaddressed in worksite health promotion programs or clinical settings.

The optional screener in Pro-Change’s Health Risk Intervention includes ten items that assess core unmet social needs, such as housing, food, transportation, and personal safety. The questions were explicitly selected because they are validated assessments of social needs* that can be addressed at least in part by community services. Any affirmative response triggers feedback that refers the respondent to vetted local community resources, as well as suggesting they speak with a healthcare provider, social worker, or community health worker.

“We have a long-track record of successfully promoting population health,” said Dr. Sara Johnson, Co-President and CEO of Pro-Change. The addition of this optional screener for Social Determinants of Health and the ability to provide referrals to local community resources is another crucial piece of the comprehensive solution for health systems and employers. We stand firm in our commitment to advance health equity.”

*With thanks to the AAFP EveryONE Project

Caring for the Caregiver: Pro-Change Awarded Grant to Promote Caregiver Well-Being

In the words of Rosalyn Carter,

“Caregiving is universal. There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who currently are caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

And what better time than during National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month to announce that Pro-Change has been awarded a grant from the National Institute on Aging? With this funding, Pro-Change will develop and pilot test a mobile intervention designed to improve well-being among individuals who provide unpaid care to a family member or friend diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

While caregiving can be a positive experience that brings meaning and an increased sense of purpose, it can also lead to the caregiver feeling overwhelmed. Caregiver distress is associated with adverse health outcomes for the caregiver and poorer quality care for the care recipient. As the number of older Americans increases, so will the need for informal caregivers.

Led by Dr. Deborah Levesque, Chief Science Officer, Pro-Change will employ a design-for-dissemination approach to the development of Connect2Care, a text-messaging based intervention for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Connect2Care will be designed to promote the caregivers’ use of healthy strategies to manage emotional distress. Dr. Levesque’s team has already begun working to collect extensive end-user, expert consultant, and key stakeholder input to ensure that the program is responsive to the needs of end users and incorporates best practices for program engagement and retention. The project will culminate with a pilot test including 50 caregivers who will use the program and provide feedback to refine and further the development of the intervention.

“The Pro-Change team is thrilled to be working in this very important area.” said Dr. Kerry Evers, Co-President and CEO. “Our goal is to be able to provide a very brief but impactful program to help care for the caregiver.”


This research is funded by grant #R43AG060784 from the National Institute on Aging.

Pro-Change Receives $1.77 Million Research Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Nearly 22 million Americans age 12 and older (8.1%) need treatment for a substance use disorder. While only 10%-11% of individuals requiring treatment receive it, an estimated two-thirds see a primary care or urgent care provider every 6 months. Primary care providers are in a unique position to identify and intervene on substance use disorders.

Pro-Change Behavior Systems is pleased to announce that Dr. Deborah Levesque, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, was just awarded a $1.77 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to continue her prior NIDA-funded work.

The grant will enable Pro-Change to complete development of and test a mobile-delivered intervention designed to reduce barriers to screening, brief intervention, and referral for treatment (SBIRT) in primary care by delivering universal screening and feedback on substance use risk to patients at home or in the practice.

Two integrated interfaces are being developed. For patients at risk, the program delivers a brief intervention based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) to facilitate progress through the stages of change for quitting their most problematic drug, and for seeking treatment, if indicated. The solution also includes stage-matched text messages and online activities addressing key topics (e.g., managing cravings). For providers, the intervention includes a Clinical Dashboard that summarizes the patient’s substance use risk scores and stage of change data, and provides stage-matched scripts and action steps to guide a brief in-person intervention session. The program will be integrated in the electronic health record at the implementation sites and monitor patient follow-through.

The research will be conducted in two phases. In Phase I, the mobile tools will be integrated into the clinical practice and electronic health record of a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Phase II will involve a cluster-randomized trial among 1300 patients recruited by 20 FQHCs sites randomly assigned to the intervention or usual care.

The work is now underway.

This research is funded by grant #R44DA044840 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Pro-Change Teams Up with Spectrum Health to Combat Tobacco & E-Cigarette Use

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. announced today that Spectrum Health is offering its recently released Tobacco Cessation program for all tobacco and e-cigarette users in primary care and cardiology practices.

Spectrum Health, an integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of their communities. Their talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, 225 ambulatory sites, and telehealth offerings. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

The Tobacco Cessation program leverages Pro-Change’s innovative and data-driven tailoring technology to customize behavior change guidance for each participant. Ready or not to quit, program participants receive feedback, interactive activities, and text messages specifically matched to their readiness to stop using all forms of tobacco and e-cigarettes. Like Pro-Change’s other award-winning behavior change programs, the proven-effective Tobacco Cessation program is available in English and in Spanish from any internet-enabled computer or mobile device.

Providers at participating practices recommend Pro-Change’s tobacco cessation program to patients who report tobacco use. In addition to promotional materials outlining the benefits of participating in the program, Spectrum has developed videos for patients and clinicians and is enabling patients to register during their visit to facilitate engagement.

“Spectrum Health is leveraging innovative technology platforms to ensure that they can successfully engage all members of the healthcare team in innovative population-based solutions for tobacco and e-cigarette use,” said Dr. Sara Johnson, co-President and CEO of Pro-Change. “We’re looking forward to a long and successful collaboration to scale this solution within their health system.”

Drs. Evers & Johnson Receive HERO’s Mark Dundon Research Award

At the recent Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Forum, Dr. Kerry Evers and Dr. Sara Johnson were named the 2018 recipients of The Mark Dundon Research Award as part of the presentation of the 2018 HERO Health and Well-Being Awards.

As co-CEOs and Presidents of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., it makes sense that Dr. Sara Johnson and Dr. Kerry Evers would be the first co-recipients of the Mark Dundon Research Award. Both are well known for their expertise on theory-driven approaches to health behavior change, for implementing evidence-based behavior change strategies, and for identifying methods for increasing program impact. They have dedicated their careers to research on and the dissemination of best practices in behavior change to advance population health and well-being. Together, they have overseen millions of dollars in research grants from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research in diverse populations that addresses a variety of behavior change challenges, such as substance use prevention among active military and veterans and chronic pain self-management. This award is a clear reflection of Pro-Change’s commitment to ground-breaking research to drive innovation in the science and practice of behavior change.

“As the field of workplace health and well-being continues to evolve, we need leaders working to advance the field, improve our understanding, and increase adoption of best practices,” said Paul Terry, president and CEO, HERO. “The collective work and collaborative approach that Kerry and Sara bring to population health research has contributed greatly to the evolution of our knowledge of behavior change and well-being.”

“This award is an incredible honor, said Dr. Kerry Evers. But it is made even more special to be awarded it with Sara, as we have grown in this field alongside each other through graduate school, our early career, and now as a team leading Pro-Change. To have our partnership recognized with such a prestigious award is an extraordinary moment in our careers!”

“We are honored and humbled to be following in the footsteps of the previous Mark Dundon award-winners,” said Dr. Sara Johnson. “And we are very grateful to our colleagues at Pro-Change for contributing so significantly to the success of our organization’s research. This is truly a recognition for our whole team!”