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

Sara S. Johnson, Ph.D.

Co-President & CEO


As co-President & CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., Dr. Johnson is deeply and passionately committed to leveraging the undeniable power and reliability of behavior change science to empower people to experience life-changing breakthroughs. At Pro-Change, she leads business development and strategic initiatives. She brings to her role over 20 years of experience developing behavior change solutions in a variety of domains, including weight management, tobacco cessation, medication adherence, and medical education. She is also the Co-Editor of The Art of Health Promotion.

Dr. Johnson received the co-recipient of the Health Enhancement Research Organization’s Mark Dundon Research Award and was named the Health Care Services Woman to Watch by Providence Business News in 2018. In 2015, she was selected as a Top 10 Health Promotion Professional by the Wellness Council of America. Most recently, she was named one of the 2019 50 on Fire by Rhode Island Inno.

Dr. Johnson has been the principal investigator on over $6 million in National Institutes of Health grants to examine the effectiveness of evidence-based health and well-being interventions and has more than 40 publications including refereed research publications, book chapters, and published reports. She is currently leading new initiatives to integrate individual- and culture-level interventions to enhance well-being; increase engagement with evidence-based mobile apps that promote behavior change; and develop interventions for pain self-management, sleep, and financial well-being.

Sara received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and is currently an adjunct faculty member to the Psychology Department.


Johnson, S.S. & Evers, K.E. (2015). Advances in multiple behavior change. The Art of Health Promotion, March/April 2015, Vol. 29, No. 4, TAHP-6-TAHP-8. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.29.4.tahp

Johnson, S.S. & Castle, P.H. (2015). How do sleep, food, mood, and exercise relate to well-being? The Art of Health Promotion, March/April 2015, Vol. 29, No. 4, TAHP-4-TAHP-5. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.29.4.tahp

Johnson, S.S. & Evers, K.E. (2015). Using individually tailored and mobile behavior change solutions to promote multiple behavior change. The Art of Health Promotion, March/April 2015, Vol. 29, No. 4, TAHP-8-TAHP-10. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.29.4.tahp

Johnson, S.S., Castle, P.H., VanMarter, D.L., Roc, A., Neubauer, D., Auerbach, S., DeAguiar, E. (2015). The effect of physician continuing medical education on patient-reported outcomes for identifying and optimally managing obstructive sleep apnea. JCSM, 11(3), 197-204.

Johnson, S.S., Paiva, A., Mauriello, L., Prochaska, J.O., Redding, C., & Velicer, W.F. (2014). Coaction in Multiple Behavior Change Interventions: Consistency Across Multiple Studies on Weight Management and Obesity Prevention. Health Psychology, 33(5), 475-480.

Kaegi, J. & Johnson, S.S. (2014, October 20). 4 elements of a well-designed wellness program. Employee Benefit News. http://ebn.benefitnews.com/blog/beadvised/4-elements-of-a-well-designed-wellness-program-2744451-1.html#Login

Johnson, S.S. & Cook, B.  (2013). Using the Transtheoretical Model to Promote the Adoption & Maintenance of Regular Exercise.  In C. Nigg (Ed.) ACSM’s Behavioral Aspects of Exercise. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Johnson, S.S. (2012). Maximizing Behavior Change by Matching Your Message to Clients’ Readiness to Exercise. ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal, 17(1), 1-3.

Johnson, S.S., Cummins, C.O., Paiva, A., Brown, J.J. (2012). Measuring Effectiveness of Continuing Medical Education Using the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change. CE Measure, 6 (3), 32-40.

Russell, B., Maher, G. Prochaska, J.O., Johnson, S.S. (2012). Strategic Approaches to Continuing Medical Education: Applying the Transtheoretical Model & Diffusion of Innovation Theory. CE Measure, 6 (3), 27-31.

Yin, H.-Q., Prochaska, J.O., Rossi, J.S., Redding, C.A., Paiva, A.L., Blissmer, B., Velicer, W.F., Johnson, S.S., & Kobayashi, H. (2013). Treatment-enhanced paired action contributes substantially to change across multiple health behaviors: Secondary analyses of five randomized trials. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 3(1), 62-71. doi: 10.1007/s13142-013-0193-4.

Dempsey-Fanning, A., Johnson, S.S., Westhoff, C.W. (2011). Prediction of oral contraception continuation using the Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 43(1), 23-29.

Johnson, S.S., Cummins, C.O., Evers, K.E., Prochaska, J.M., Prochaska, J.O. (2009). Proactive health consumerism: An important new tool for worksite health promotion. American Journal of Health Promotion, 23, S1-S8.

Johnson, S.S., Cummins, C.O., & Evers, K.E. (2008). The impact of Transtheoretical Model-based multiple behavior interventions on nutrition. In N.E. Bernhardt & A.M. Kasko (Eds.) Nutrition for Middle-Aged and Elderly (pp.195-212). Hauppauge: Nova Science Publishers.

Johnson, S.S, Paiva, A.L. Cummins, C., Johnson, J.L. Dyment, S., Wright, J.A., Prochaska, J.O., Prochaska, JM., Sherman, K. (2008). Evidence-based Multiple Behavior Intervention for Weight Management: Effectiveness on a Population Basis. Preventive Medicine, 46(3), 238-246. PMC 2327253

Prochaska, J.O., Johnson, S.S., & Lee, P. (2008). The Transtheoretical Model of behavior change. In S.A. Shumaker, J.K. Ockene, & K.A. Riekert (Eds.), The Handbook of Behavioral Change, Third Edition. New York: Springer.

Johnson, S.S., Driskell, MM., Johnson, J.L, Prochaska, J.M., Prochaska, J.O., Zwick, W. (2006). Efficacy of a Transtheoretical model based expert system for antihypertensive adherence. Disease Management, 9,(5), 291-301.

Johnson, S.S., Driskell, MM., Johnson, J.L, Dyment, S., Prochaska, J.O., Prochaska, J.M., Bourne, l. (2006). Transtheoretical model intervention for adherence to lipid-lowering drugs. Disease Management, 9(2), 102-114.

Prochaska, J.M., Prochaska, J.O., & Johnson, S.S. (2006). Assessing readiness for adherence to treatment in W.T. O’Donohue & E.R.Levensky (Eds.) Promoting Treatment Adherence, pp.35-46. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Mauriello, L. M., Driskell, M. M., Sherman, K. J., Johnson, S. S., Prochaska, J. M., & Prochaska, J. O. (2006). Acceptability of a school-based intervention for the prevention of adolescent obesity. Journal of School Nursing, 22, 269-277.

Prochaska, J.O., Velicer, W.F., Fava, J.L., Rugiero, L., LaForge, R.G., Rossi, J.S., Johnson, S.S. & Lee, P.A. (2001). Counselor and stimulus control enhancements of a stage-matched expert system intervention for smokers in a managed care setting. Preventive Medicine, 32, 23-32.

Sarkin, J.A., Johnson, S.S., & Prochaska, J.O., & Prochaska, J.M. (2001). Applying the Transtheoretical Model to regular moderate exercise in an overweight population: Validation of a stages of change measure. Preventive Medicine, 33, 462-469.