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

In Memory of Julie Padula

Our treasured friend and colleague Julie Padula passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on August 23, 2017. Julie was our Senior Manager of Operations and had been with Pro-Change since 1999. She took a brief hiatus to share her talents with University of Connecticut Office of Research Compliance as they developed conflict of interest and export control policies. While she enjoyed her time at UCONN, we were very fortunate to have her re-join our team in February of 2016. To say that she had unparalleled organizational skills, an unwavering commitment to excellence, and a true dedication to learning only begins to scratch the surface of Julie’s professional strengths. She was always the first person you thought of when a new initiative arose because of her willingness to accept daunting challenges to advance our organization. She was an exceptional team player who made us all more accountable.

But what we will remember forever is her sparkling and exuberant personality. We loved Julie because she had a great sense of humor and mischief—and a giggle that no one will ever forget. She had a big heart that she gave freely to her friends and loved ones. Julie had a very large and tight knit family whom she adored and shared with us—through her stories about them, coopting them to participate in Pro-Change projects, and recruiting them for internships. Having grown up in Rhode Island, Julie maintained her life-long friendships with friends from high school, college, and her first job at the University of Rhode Island’s Cancer Prevention Research Center. These friendships were woven into the fabric of Pro-Change…we can easily play 3 degrees of separation from Julie Padula. In recent years, she shared her love for her fiancé Ken to all on Facebook and shared her wedding and honeymoon plans with us during lunch. We all shared her joy, reveling in the fact that she was the happiest she has ever been.

For all of these reasons, and many more too numerous to mention, Julie’s memory will live on at Pro-Change. Our lives were enriched by having known and worked with her. We will honor her legacy by, as her father said at her memorial service, living with love, joy, and generosity. We invite you to join us in thinking fondly of Julie each time you see a sunflower.

May she rest in peace.

Sara Johnson Interviewed as Industry Expert on “Redesigning Wellness” Podcast


Pro-Change is pleased to announce Sara Johnson’s podcast interview with Redesigning Wellness founder Jennifer Arnold. Jennifer founded the company to help HR and wellness professionals implement effective worksite wellness programs, and to talk about what works and doesn’t work with traditional worksite wellness programming. Redesigning Wellness podcasts give listeners the opportunity to learn about wellness from the best in the industry. You can access the podcast @ https://redesigningwellness.com/category/podcast/.

In the interview, Sara describes Pro-Change products and collaborations. She also talks about her new role as co-editor of The Art of Health Promotion section of the American Journal of Health Promotion, which is a great resource for health and wellness professionals that provides useful insights and practical guidance.

Sara also imparts advice for moving the wellness industry forward. Overall, she feels it’s a great time to be engaged in the wellness industry. “Worksite wellness programs can be empowering, motivating, and a great employer benefit BUT most of them aren’t….”

Pro-Change Behavior Systems Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. is proud to announce that they are celebrating 20 years of dedication to the implementation of best practices in behavior change.

Pro-Change Behavior Systems develops and disseminates award-winning, unique, and innovative behavior solutions that are tailored to the individual, scaled to populations, and driven by technology. With interfaces for end users, health coaches, and clinicians, our solutions are appropriate for entire populations, yet are uniquely tailored to each individual. We employ rigorous behavior change science, theory, and data analytics to individualize behavior change guidance that helps participants—ready to change or not—take steps to enhance their health, well-being, and productivity.  

“So much has changed in the well-being industry over the past 20 years. It’s amazing how so many of Pro-Change’s core values still apply today. But also how seamlessly we have changed along with the industry. Our commitment to science and well-being remains at the forefront while we continue to lead the field in innovative ways to implement evidence-based practices and technologies.”

–Kerry E. Evers, Ph.D., co-President and CEO

Pro-Change is proud to partner with well-being solution providers, onsite clinic providers, integrated delivery systems, employers, health care centers, insurers, universities, continuing medical education providers, sport and fitness companies, publishers, and schools. Without the mutual trust and support of strong partners, Pro-Change would not be where it is today.  The entire organization is continually energized by Pro-Change’s ever expanding circle of partners.

“I’m honored to be a part of this amazing team of incredibly passionate, fun-loving, and collaborative people who are totally committed to implementing best practices in behavior change. We want to thank them and all of our partners who share our relentless drive to innovate in the pursuit of optimal well-being. Here’s to the next 20 years!”

–Sara S. Johnson, Ph.D., co-President and CEO

Pro-Change was founded by Drs. Janice and James Prochaska and is now co-owned and led by Dr. Kerry E. Evers and Dr. Sara S. Johnson.  Kerry and Sara lead with encouragement, respect, and trust to enable Pro-Change’s multidisciplinary team of 19 to do and be their best.

“Pro-Change truly is magic. It’s this small little company where everyone believes so strongly in the mission. We don’t only do great things, but the people here are brilliant thought leaders in the field, hard-working, collaborative, and best of all…fun – and funny. The first 20 years were just the beginning!”

–Lynne Broderick, MPH (Lynne is a 9-year Pro-Change Veteran and a Senior Manager of Research & Development)

Pro-Change is planning a series of special events to commemorate this anniversary year.

Thank you for being by our side during this incredible journey and as we look forward to an exciting 20th year ahead!

Pro-Change Adds Text Messaging to Our Health Risk Intervention

Pro-Change is pleased to announce an innovative new feature added to Health Risk Intervention (HRI). Since 2014, Pro-Change has had NCQA Certification for our HRI which includes typical health risk assessment questions. But unlike others, it also assesses readiness to change leading health risk behaviors and provides immediate evidence-based, stage-matched feedback about the single most important strategy individuals can take to make progress on each behavior. Each time the HRI is taken, feedback is updated to reflect change. New recommendations are provided to promote the use of the behavior change strategies most likely to improve health and well-being.

Now users can opt to receive text messages that inspire and encourage them to make small changes throughout the year, between HRIs sessions. Text messages are based on the same rigorous behavior change science and statistically-derived decision rules embedded in the HRI. Informed by decades of research, the text messages are not merely one-size-fits-all nudges.

Part of the secret to the success of the tailored text messages is the proactive, ongoing delivery. Historically, health assessments have been a once-yearly event. Text messaging enables brief, evidence-based messages to continue to engage participants in the behavior change process. The texts essentially provide ongoing doses of behavior change medicine, elevating the HRI to the next level.

The text messages in similar Pro-Change programs have been met with rave reviews from end users.

I liked that whoever created this seems to care about my well-being.

Early on, the text messages were the only thing that made me think twice and not give up. With time, I was confident enough to manage this on my own!

Click here to read more about our HRI.

Pro-Change Presenting at the Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc announced today that Dr. Sara Johnson will present two sessions and participate in a lively debate at the 27th Annual Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference, March 27-31, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO.

Johnson, Pro-Change’s co-President & CEO, will present “The Recipe for Finding the Optimal Blend of Awareness, Motivation, Skills, & Opportunities: Applying Lessons from Baking” on Wednesday, March 29 at 1:45 pm. The presentation will focus on creating a recipe for blending key ingredients of well-being initiatives (e.g., policy, leadership development, individualized well-being programs, and culture of health initiatives) to optimize individual and organizational well-being.

Later that day, Dr. Johnson will participate in an Oxford style debate moderated by Paul Terry, President & CEO of HERO. The session, entitled “Awareness, Motivation, Skills and Opportunity… What is the Right Mix?” will involve Johnson and Stewart Sill of IBM/Watson facing-off against Margaret Moore of Wellcoaches and Dr. Matthew Clark of Mayo. Each team will argue for or against the proposition that there is evidence to support a “right mix” for health promotion.

Johnson will also co-present with Laura Putnam, one of the industry’s leading experts on enhancing managers’ influence on workplace well-being. Putnam is the CEO of Motion Infusion and author of Workplace Wellness That Works. Johnson and Putnam are co-developers of the “Manager on the Move” initiative, which includes the first tool for measuring managerial impact on well-being at work. They will be joined by esteemed colleague Crockett Dale, CEO of Healthstat. Healthstat has been an innovator by being among the first organizations to systematically implement Manager on the Move with their managerial team. The presentation will take place on Friday, March 31 at 11:00 a.m.

Pro-Change will attend, and highly recommends, Laura Putnam’s two day-pre-conference Intensive Training Seminar (March 27 and 28, 9 am – 5 pm). This highly interactive session, entitled Workplace Wellness that Works: A Smarter Framework for Designing More Effective Workplace Wellness Programs, will provide a fresh perspective on how to promote employee well-being. Putnam’s work is based on cutting-edge research and backed by real-world examples and case studies.

Prochaskas’ New Book, Changing to Thrive, is Published

Changing to Thrive
Pro-Change Behavior Systems want to congratulate our founder, Dr. James Prochaska and our former CEO, Dr. Janice Prochaska on the publication of their newest book,
Changing to Thrive.

Changing to Thrive is a sequel to Changing for Good, a classic that has sold over 175,000 copies. Changing to Thrive represents the next generation in staging: a revolution in guiding people through the Transtheoretical Model of change for the most risky health habits–smoking, alcohol misuse, inadequate exercise, unhealthy diets, and mismanaged stress. The book, published by Hazelden, can be purchased on Amazon.

According to Dr. Janice Prochaska, “Our recent breakthroughs demonstrate how to remove bad habits and how to enhance positive domains of well-being. Our discoveries describe how synergistic strategies can simultaneously reduce multiple bad habits and increase multiple domains of well-being: including physical, emotional, social, financial, and purpose. Readers with no understanding of the stages of change can easily understand and relate to the book. Advanced readers can feel validated and reminded and learn several new things.”

Book Link:

Sara Johnson, Jessica Grossmeier named co-editors of the Art Science of Health Promotion

Sara Johnson, Ph.D., and Jessica Grossmeier, Ph.D., MPH, have been named co-editors of  The Art & Science of Health Promotion (TAHP). TAHP is a special section of the American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP), a leading scientific periodical produced by SAGE for research that advances healthy behaviors and communities. Johnson, who is co-president and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.will share the role with Grossmeier, who is vice president of research of HERO (the Health Enhancement Research Organization), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing best practices in health promotion and well-being in the workplace and communities.

Johnson and Grossmeier will succeed Paul Terry, Ph.D., president and CEO of HERO, who recently assumed the role of editor in chief of AJHP. AJHP regularly covers health promotion research topics, including mental, social, spiritual, and physical health and well-being; and intervention strategies for building healthy workplaces and designing effective behavior change programs.

“We’re excited to embrace the formidable challenge of continuing Paul’s more than five-year tradition of excellence in TAHP. He has set a wonderful example for Jessica and me in helping to inform the work of health promotion practitioners nationwide by identifying, curating, and providing brilliant and thought-provoking insight into cutting-edge concepts, authors, and health promotion initiatives,” said Johnson.
The editorial goal of the AJHPis to provide a forum for exchange among the many disciplines involved in health promotion and to provide interface between researchers and practitioners. TAHP is a special section of AJHP that highlights innovative applications of the best practices described in the AJHP. It is specifically dedicated to helping practitioners improve the quality of their health promotion initiatives.
“Research and the sharing of best practices is essential to the continued evolution of health and well-being programs,” said Grossmeier. “TAHP builds on the peer-reviewed research that is featured in the AJHP and delivers real-world guidance to help employers and practitioners create a healthy workplace and community culture that fosters population health, now and in the future.”

About HERO
Based in Waconia, MN, HERO (the Health Enhancement Research Organization) is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 corporation that was established in 1996. HERO is dedicated to identifying and sharing best practices that improve the health and well-being of employees, their families, and communities. To learn more, visit www.hero-health.org.Follow us on Twitter@heroehm or LinkedIn.
About SAGE Publishing
Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 900 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies, and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melbourne. www.sagepublishing.com
About Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.
Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, is a research and development company providing wellness partners with computer and coaching-based programs for changing health risk behaviors. Based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change developed by founder Dr. James O. Prochaska, Pro-Change programs are for entire populations and are uniquely tailored to each individual. Pro-Change programs have produced unprecedented impacts on multiple behaviors to enhance health and reduce health care costs. In 2012, the LifeStyle programs were featured on AHRQ’s Innovation Exchange website. In 2014, Pro-Change was awarded Health Information Products (HIP) Certification for Health Appraisals by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). For more information about Pro-Change, please visit www.prochange.com.

Three Pro-Change Presentations at the Upcoming Connected Health Symposium

Connected Health Symposium

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. will be well represented at the 2016 Connected Health Symposium taking place on October 20-21 in Boston. The theme of this year’s meeting,”Digital Technology that Cares: Bringing the Human Element to Life,” resonates with Pro-Change’s philosophy-it’s what they strive for in each of their products.

Three team members are slated to present posters on the development, acceptability, and outcomes of Pro-Change’s latest digital health technology solutions.

Deborah Levesque, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, will present a poster entitled “A Stage-Based Mobile Intervention for Substance Use Disorders in Primary Care.” Dr. Levesque’s poster outlines the development and acceptability testing of a mobile-delivered substance use risk intervention for primary care patients as well as a Clinical Dashboard for primary care providers that can address major barriers to using Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for risky drug use.

Deborah Van Marter, M.P.H., Senior Manager, Research & Development, will present “Acceptability of Responsible Drinking, a Theoretically Tailored mHealth Intervention to Target Risky Drinking among Employed Adults.” Ms. Van Marter’s poster details the evaluation of the acceptability of a stage-matched and individually tailored behavior change mobile health intervention for employed adults who exceed the recommended weekly and/or daily limits for alcohol consumption (defined by the National Institutes of Health for men as drinking more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 in a day and for women or anyone over 65 as drinking more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 drinks in a day).

Lynne Broderick, M.P.H., Senior Manager, Research & Development, will present a poster entitled “Health eRide: Outcomes of a pilot program leveraging principles of gamification and SMS messaging to help Veterans self-manage chronic pain.” Ms. Broderick’s poster highlights the design, development, and feasibility of a theoretically-grounded, mobile-optimized, interactive pain self-management intervention for Veterans with chronic pain. The Health eRide leverages text messaging for multiple behaviors and principles of gamification.

Each project was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Pro-Change Behavior Systems and Blackstone Valley Community Health Center Team Up to Offer Innovative Bi-Lingual Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Program

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. announced that beginning today, Blackstone Valley Community Health Care will offer Pro-Change’s award-winning NCQA-certified Smoking Cessation Program to patients, employees, and community members.

The evidence-based, online Smoking Cessation Program includes tailored text messaging and is designed to help all smokers–including the 80% who are not ready to quit or are getting ready to quit. The program now features all content in Spanish.

Blackstone Valley’s goal is to recruit every smoker into the program over the coming year and to produce a 35% cessation rate. The availability of the program, which is entitled Fresh Start, will be promoted via personal invitations from members of the care team, including physicians, nurses, dentists, mental health counselors, front desk staff, and Vista workers; email invitations; and custom posters and other informational pieces throughout the health centers.

Offering this population-based Smoking Cessation Program is part of a larger effort at Blackstone Valley Community Health Care to transform health care delivery in Rhode Island by deploying the first Neighborhood Health Station in the country. The Neighborhood Health Station is a new kind of community organization that will improve the health of individuals by delivering high-quality, accessible primary care and social services to everyone in the Central Falls neighborhood. The Neighborhood Health Station aims to improve community health by tailoring services to the specific needs of the neighborhoods they serve and by outreach efforts designed to encourage the entire community to receive care. Fresh Start will be made available at no charge to all patients and employees of Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Inc.

Ray Lavoie, CEO of Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Inc. said, “As an Accountable Entity, we are able and committed to improving the health of all our patients. Reducing smoking prevalence in the population we care for using this ground-breaking approach is the first of many innovations we mean to use to create healthier people in Central Falls and Pawtucket.”

Dr. Michael Fine, Blackstone Valley’s Senior Clinical and Population Health Officer, says “We are thrilled to be enhancing population health by offering the evidence-based Fresh Start program. We hope the work we are doing here will serve as a model for other Federally Qualified Health Centers and Neighborhood Health Stations.”

“It is our pleasure to be partnering with Blackstone Valley Community Health Care to support smokers on their journey to quitting,” said Dr. Sara Johnson, co-President and CEO of Pro-Change. We share Dr. Fine’s enthusiasm for the potential to replicate this successful collaboration.”

Sara Johson to present at 2016 Hero Forum

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. announced today that Dr. Sara Johnson will present at the 2016 HERO Forum, Sept. 27-29 in Atlanta, GA. Johnson will share expertise on managers’ influence on engagement and well-being of team members.

Johnson, Pro-Change’s co-President & CEO, will present with Laura Putnam, one of the industry’s leading experts on the topic of enhancing managers’ influence on workplace well-being. Putnam is the CEO of Motion Infusion and author of Workplace Wellness That Works. They will be joined by esteemed colleague Crockett Dale, CEO of Healthstat. The presentation takes place on Tuesday, September 27 at 11:30 a.m. ET.

Johnson and Putnam are co-developers of the “Manager on the Move” initiative, which includes the first tool for measuring managerial impact on well-being at work. Together they will explain how the assessment works and provide detailed illustrations of the accompanying workshop that can enhance managerial engagement. Healthstat has been an innovator by being among the first organizations to systematically implement Manager on the Move with their managerial team.

HERO Forum is one of the health care industry’s largest annual conferences dedicated to identifying and sharing best practices in the field of workplace health and well-being. More than 500 employers, employee health and well-being providers, wellness industry professional organizations, and research experts are expected to attend.