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

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!”

Care Transformation Collaboration

The Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI), an 8.3 million dollar grant awarded to RIQI through CMS, is a new opportunity for clinicians to improve patient outcomes and quality of care while preparing for the inevitable financial changes and future reimbursement models that are rapidly unfolding and directly tied to quality. TCPI has partnered with Pro-Change to make evidence-based award-winning behavior change tools available to both patients and clinicians at five practices throughout the state.

As part of the newly released HealthCoach for Me, patients are invited to complete a brief online self-assessment in the waiting or exam room to determine their risks. When they meet with a clinician, she or he has immediate access to actionable insights, based on the patient’s readiness to change, via a clinical dashboard. The dashboard displays the patient’s risks and stage of change for each risk and enables the clinician to deliver a brief, tailored behavior change message matched to the patient’s stage of change for that behavior. Clinicians can then prescribe the online Tobacco Cessation, Weight Management, Healthy Eating, or Exercise programs the patient can do at home. When patients return for follow-up visits, their stage of change can quickly be re-assessed, enabling the clinician to reinforce any progress, address any challenges, and deliver updated tailored behavior change guidance.

The pilot will continue through at least the end of 2018.

Pro-Change joins HERO Think Tank

Pro-Change is pleased to join the nation’s health and well-being experts as members of HERO and the HERO Think Tank. Pro-Change has a firm commitment to HERO’s mission to promote a healthy and high-performing workforce through evidence-based health management as a core business imperative. Oversight for these efforts is provided through the HERO Think Tank membership.

The Think Tank is a select leadership group that has a hands-on role in the creation and dissemination of national Workplace Health and Well-Being policy, strategy, and infrastructure. Membership in the Think Tank allows innovative organizations like Pro-Change to be at the epicenter of a dynamic evolutionary process that enhances the sophistication and credibility of the industry.

Think Tank member organizations, including Pro-Change, are also heavily involved in HERO committee activities. Committees of representatives from member companies meet to explore and provide guidance on topics of importance to employers in the field.

“Pro-Change is honored to be involved in the HERO Think Tank and committees. We look forward to contributing to the advancement of population health and well-being through active collaboration with our fellow HERO members,” said Dr. Sara Johnson, Co-President and CEO of Pro-Change.

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

Recertification received for both WOSB and WBE

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is proud to announce national recertification as both a Women’s Business Enterprise and a Woman-Owned Small Business by the Center for Women & Enterprise, a regional certifying partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

“We are pleased once again that the WBENC organization has certified Pro-Change as a women-owned business,” said Kerry Evers, Co-President and CEO, Pro-Change Behavior Systems. “This reinforces our commitment to our clients to provide outstanding solutions and results with the added benefit of being 100% women-owned.”

The WBENC certification for women-owned business is the most recognizable and sought after certification of its kind. WBENC’s national standard of certification implemented by the Center for Women & Enterprise requires a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by women.

This certification benefits Pro-Change’s clients by helping them to achieve their diversity initiatives and demonstrating their commitment to fostering diversity. It also provides our clients with a proven well-being solutions partner holding a certification that is nationally accepted by hundreds of major corporations and government entities.

About WBENC:
Founded in 1997, WBENC is the nation’s leader in women’s business development and the leading third-party certifier of businesses owned and operated by women, with more than 13,000 certified Women’s Business Enterprises, 14 national Regional Partner Organizations, and over 300 Corporate Members. More than 1,000 corporations representing America’s most prestigious brands as well as many states, cities, and other entities accept WBENC Certification. For more information, visit www.wbenc.org.

Click here to learn more about our inspiring leadership.

How can Pro-Change’s Responsible Drinking program meet your population’s needs?

Pro-Change is proud to announce the positive outcomes from a rigorous 18-month clinical trial of Pro-Change’s Responsible Drinking program that was conducted as part of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The Responsible Drinking program is a mobile optimized, stage-tailored behavior change program designed for adults who exceed low-risk drinking guidelines. Those guidelines for men 65 and under are no more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 in a day; and for men over 65 and all women no more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 in a day.

In a randomized trial of nearly 1000 employed risky drinkers, participants receiving the Responsible Drinking program were significantly more likely than control participants to have reduced their drinking to low-risk limits at 18 months follow-up. They were also drinking significantly fewer drinks per week and scored higher on measures of productivity and well-being. Participants in the treatment group rated the program very positively, with over 90% of program users saying they would recommend the program to someone else, that they learned new information, and that it helped them to make changes.

The Responsible Drinking program, which has now been added to Pro-Change’s award-winning LifeStyle Management Suite, consists of 1) an online computer tailored intervention (CTI) sessions with questions and feedback tailored to each individual’s needs, 2) web activities matched to an individual’s readiness to change (e.g. goal setting, cost and calorie counters, ways to get supports, stress management techniques), and 3) tailored text messages.

Send us a message if you’d like more information about the program or would like a demo.

Acknowledgement: The development of the Responsible Drinking program was supported by Grants #R43 AA017333 and #R44 AA017333 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

New Tobacco Cessation Program Unveiled

Pro-Change Behavior Systems just completed a major revamp of its proven effective Smoking Cessation program. The Tobacco Cessation program leverages Pro-Change’s innovative and data-driven tailoring technology to customize behavior change guidance for all tobacco and e-cigarette users. 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.

Pro-Change’s Co-President and CEO Sara Johnson explains the company’s investment in expanding the program. “This is a great enhancement to our program. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease, death, and disability in our country. Furthermore, the rapidly escalating increase in the use of e-cigarettes and personal vaporizers is an alarming trend for population health. We remain steadfast in our commitment to assisting our partners and clients in addressing these major public health challenges.”