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

Dr. Sara Johnson Named Chair of Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference

Pro-Change Behavior Systems is pleased to announce that their Co-President & CEO, Dr. Sara Johnson, has been appointed Chair of the Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference. In her capacity as Chair, Dr. Johnson will be responsible for the educational content of the conference and serve as Master of Ceremonies, beginning with the 2021 conference. 

The purpose of the Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference is to maximize the effectiveness of health promotion in the U.S. and globally through the application of lessons learned from rigorous research and practice. The conference has a thirty-year legacy of presenting scientific expertise and practical experience on the science of lifestyle change. Last year, they joined forces with The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, a premier educational organization with more than 32,000 members dedicated to improving employee benefits education. 

Dr. Johnson is succeeding Dr. Michael O’Donnell, who chaired the conference for 30 years. The 31st Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference will be held March 29-April 2, 2021 at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, CO. The conference theme relates to how health promotion will adapt to stem the rising tide of pervasive, daunting challenges facing society (e.g., the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis; epidemics of loneliness; mental health and substance use disorders; unmet social needs; and chronic illnesses) in the context of our rapidly evolving and increasingly decentralized workforce.

Hope to see you there!

Well-Being Now Included in Aggregate Reports

Pro-Change recently enhanced their standard, on-demand aggregate reporting for their Health Risk Intervention to include well-being trends. This new functionality further distinguishes their best-in-class health assessment and intervention, for which Pro-Change has received NCQA certification.

One of the most widely used measures of well-being is the Cantril Self-Anchoring Scale, which classifies individuals as suffering, struggling, or thriving based on two items regarding their current and future lives. Thriving is associated with less overall work impairment, presenteeism, absenteeism, and health behavior risks. Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management solutions have demonstrated positive impacts on well-being, increasing the number of people who are thriving and reducing the number who are suffering and struggling.

While the Cantril Self-Anchoring Scale has been used as a measure of well-being within Pro-Change Behavior System’s Health Risk Intervention, the standard, on-demand reporting capabilities were recently upgraded to include key insights into well-being trends over time. The addition of these metrics enables program administrators to gain critical insights into the status of their population’s well-being.

For a demo of the new reporting capabilities, please contact info@prochange.com

Sample Well-Being Progress Report

In Other News…

Join Pro-Change’s Co-President & CEO, Dr. Sara Johnson, at the upcoming 30th Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference April 22-24th in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Dr. Johnson will be presenting Creating Connection is a Core Value on Wednesday, 4/22 and The Promise of Purpose-Driven Organizations on Thursday, 4/23.

 

 

NCQA Certifications underscore Pro-Change’s commitment to quality and best practices

We are pleased to announce that Pro-Change has yet again achieved two NCQA Health and Wellness Promotion (WHP) Certifications for its Health Appraisals and Self-Management Tools. Pro-Change’s Health Risk Assessment & Intervention (HRI) and seven programs within the Lifestyle Management Suite passed a rigorous NCQA review using evaluation standards that are intended to help organizations achieve the highest level of performance possible, increase healthy behavior change in eligible individuals, and create an environment of continuous improvement.

“Pro-Change has had a long-standing dedication to quality since our inception 21 years ago,” said Co-President and CEO, Dr. Kerry Evers. “Our NCQA certifications underscore Pro-Change’s steadfast commitment to implementing best practices in evidence-based solutions. We deliver the industry’s highest quality programs that are proven to improve well-being.”

“I congratulate Pro-Change for distinguishing itself by earning Wellness & Health Promotion Certification. This achievement signals to employers that Pro-Change is organized and ready to improve workforce health,” explained Margaret E. O’Kane, President of NCQA. “Savvy employers know that the health and well-being of their workforce is a critical asset.”

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA’s website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more-informed health care choices. NCQA can be found online at ncqa.org, on Twitter @ncqa, on Facebook at facebook.com/NCQA.org/ and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ncqa.

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.”

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.