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

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.

Pro-Change Provides URI Film Students Production Opportunity

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. reaffirmed its commitment to assisting students at the University of Rhode Island by teaming up with Professor Keith Brown’s Film 351: Client Media Production class. The class provides the opportunity for advanced film students to work with clients in creating short film productions. This collaboration allowed students to experience real-world client interactions in a production environment. Professor Brown had a very specific vision for the class. “It was really important to design a course that gave students an opportunity to make media for clients because what they learned in this class will be very useful to them after they graduate from college.”

Pro-Change worked with two separate groups of students to create videos that will be included in a mobile application being developed as part of a Phase II SBIR contract funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The app, entitled Individual Well-Being Navigator (Iwin), is designed to increase well-being and decrease substance use among active duty military personnel. The Pro-Change project team presented concepts to the students who then worked collaboratively on the script and production. The student teams, including a director, producer, editor, sound and cameraman, were provided with requirements, budgets, and schedules. Production took approximately four months and gave the students real-life experience in working with a client. One film addresses the physical and mental effects of lack of sleep, and the other illustrates how military personnel can manage tempting situations that make can make it difficult to drink responsibly. Pro-Change staff provided the students with tips and feedback on their communications, work, and organization.

“It’s one thing to make things for class, for just the school. But it’s another thing to make things for real clients with real budgets and real deadlines.” Thomas Lietar, Class of 2017

The Pro-Change team enjoyed the experience of assisting with the class projects and was very happy with the results, which will be included in the mobile application launch in September.

To see more details about the collaboration, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdEV9D0kCII

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract # HHSN271201500061C

Pro-Change Behavior Systems partnering with Motion Infusion of San Francisco

motion fusion logo
With so many companies offering some kind of programs to help employees address and resolve their work/life balance, why do so few employees choose to participate?

“Fifty percent of companies have some kind of [program], but only 12 percent of those employees are taking advantage [of them],” said Laura Putnam, chief executive officer and founder of Motion Infusion, a well-being training and consulting firm in San Francisco. “It comes down to the manager; there’s evidence to suggest that the manager is the ‘missing link.’ ”

Motion Infusion and South Kingstown’s Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc., which develops behavior change programs, are collaborating for the first time to “find a real solution for a real problem” – that of managerial engagement, said Putnam. By joining forces, the two companies have collaborated to offer – in beta form – Motion Infusion’s ‘Manager on the Move” workshop and Pro-Change Behavior System’s “Manager on the Move” assessment. This assessment, said Sara Johnson, co-president and chief executive officer of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, and Putnam, is an evaluative tool that they believe is the first of its kind in the nation. This joint initiative is designed to engage managers better in their own well-being and to encourage them to model well-being, communicate its importance and create systems that support well-being, said Putnam, who wrote “Workplace Wellness That Works” (published by Wiley in 2015). The pair anticipate going live with the workshops and assessments during the first quarter of 2017.

Putnam’s commitment “to implementing best practices in learning and organizational development and her unparalleled ability to engage audiences” drove Pro-Change Behavior Systems to collaborate with Motion Infusion, said Johnson. “We share her passion for improving managers’ capacity to enhance the well-being of themselves, their teams and their organizations because managers account for as much as 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement.”

In conjunction with other wellness measurement scales, the “Manager on the Move” assessment evaluates whether managers help or hinder their employees’ efforts to improve their well-being. Are they “multipliers,” who lead by example and communicate the importance of well-being and create a supportive infrastructure? Or, are they “gatekeepers,” who don’t talk the talk, don’t walk the walk and neither create new wellness opportunities nor encourage employees to access existing initiatives?

The beta form of the online assessment has approximately 100 items, and requires an average of 17 minutes to complete, said Johnson. The assessment will be offered before a workshop and again three to six months later, to evaluate the workshop’s impact. Ideally, the assessment will also capture data from employees who work for participating managers.

As of press time, no business entities or companies in Rhode Island or Massachusetts have enrolled in the workshops or the assessment. Although Motion Infusion and Pro-Change Behavior Systems are targeting geographic areas outside of southeastern New England, area businesses entities and state and local governments are eligible to participate in the beta testing process. During beta testing, they are offering clients a rate that is discounted from the normal prices, which vary depending on a number of factors.