News

News

Using Social Norm Marketing Tactics for Effective Health Communications

October 11, 2018 | Envolve Blog post 

In a world filled with misinformation, it’s tempting to design health campaigns that correct false beliefs. Many educational campaigns attempt to do so by first stating and then debunking the common myth. For example, a typical ad campaign might say:

“The flu vaccine causes the flu. FALSE! Thousands of studies have proven that you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine.”

Unfortunately, research shows that these myth-correcting strategies don’t actually work. In today’s blog post, we’ll explain why you should avoid myth-busting in your health campaigns and use a social norms approach instead. Read more.

Envolve Center Research to Be Presented at America's Health Insurance Plans Medicare, Medicaid and Duals Conference

October 8, 2018 | Envolve Blog post 

Jeremy Corbett, MD, Chief Health Officer of Envolve’s PeopleCare division, and Lindsay Juarez, PhD, of the Envolve Center and the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University, will present results from two research studies to the nation’s top insurance executives at America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conference next week. The studies were designed to gain insights into the impact of unmet basic needs such as food, clothing and transportation on health behaviors and outcomes, with a specific focus on those living with diabetes. Read more.

The psychology behind food indulgences: How we trick ourselves into thinking overeating is fine and that we'll bounce back quickly

September 12, 2018 | Envolve Blog post

Imagine the following scenario:

You go out to eat at a very nice restaurant. You share a few appetizers with your friends, have a beer, and enjoy a delicious steak and baked potato. After dinner, your friends talk you into splitting a piece of chocolate cake. Even though you’re pretty full, you can’t resist the cake so you have several bites. You enjoyed the meal but go home regretting you ate so much. The next morning you weigh yourself to see how much damage was done. To your delight, you don’t really notice any significant changes to your weight, so you go on with your day as usual. Maybe you eat a little less than usual to make up for the extra calories from the night before. But chances are, you don’t fully compensate for your splurge. Over time, these small doses of overeating add up, making it hard to maintain weight.

In the age of growing rates of obesity, our difficulty in maintaining normal weight is also a growing concern. On average, Americans gain about a pound each year. A pound doesn’t sound so bad, and year after year people probably barely even notice. But over 10 years this can matter quite a lot. Not only is it hard to lose weight, it’s also hard to just maintain weight. Read more.

Easier read than done: Knowledge alone isn’t enough to change behavior

August 28, 2018 | Envolve Blog post

In collaboration with the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™, researchers from Duke University surveyed 1,000 adults with Type II diabetes and found that being well-informed about diabetes self-care does not translate into healthier behaviors or better disease management. Survey participants were asked to report on their knowledge and attitudes toward diabetes self-management behaviors, including diet, exercise and following other medical recommendations. Participants were asked about their motivation to control their disease, the dangers it presented to their short- and long-term health, and their actual disease management. Despite two-thirds of ­the sample reporting extremely high knowledge of what to do to manage their disease and almost all agreeing that following those recommendations was “very important,” there was little to no relationship between those measures and the likelihood that individuals were successfully managing their diabetes and reaching their HbA1c targets. Whether it’s eating more veggies or managing diabetes, healthcare providers and policymakers need to question assumptions that being informed about healthy behaviors means people actually engage in those healthy behaviors. Read more.

Health Promotion Practice Publishes Envolve Center Research on Health Coaching-Related Terms and Associations

August 9, 2018 | Envolve Blog post

The results of research conducted by the Envolve Center for Health Behavior ChangeTM in partnership with two Centene Corporation health plans is being published by Health Promotion Practice, a peer-reviewed journal for public health professionals and those who study public health concerns. An online version of the article, “Perceptions of Health Coaching for Behavior Change Among Medicaid and Commercially-Insured Adults,” is now available. The research examines member preferences in terminology for health coaches with the goal of better engaging members in health coaching programs. Read more

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change 'Barriers to Better Health' Video Wins Award

July 23, 2018 | Envolve Blog post

A video created by the Envolve Center for Health Behavior ChangeTM highlighting the crucial role played by social determinants of health (SDOH) in personal well-being has won Bronze in the Spring 2018 Digital Health Awards.

The short-format video, produced through the Envolve Center’s industry-academia partnership, sets the stage for current and future investigation into the impact of social determinants on health behaviors and health outcomes. It features inspiring dialogue delivered by panelists at an SDOH forum at the Envolve Center, coupled with compelling images of life barriers confronting economically disadvantaged individuals. Read more.

BMC Public Health Publishes Envolve Center Research on Efforts to Boost Participation in a Family-Centered Pediatric Obesity Intervention Program

July 18, 2018 | Envolve Blog post

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™ announces its first published academic research paper based on interviews conducted with parents on how to better engage members in Raising Well, Envolve’s family-centered pediatric obesity intervention program. The paper was recently published in BMC Public Health, an open access, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on all aspects of public health including social determinants of health.

Seventy interviews were conducted with parents eligible for Raising Well. The program is offered to families with at least one overweight or obese child in an eligible Medicaid health plan. It promotes healthy lifestyle changes and includes telephonic outreach by clinical health coaches. Read more.

Breaking Down Barriers to Better Health

April 4, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

While the concept of “social determinants of health” (SDoH) has recently become a hot topic across the healthcare industry, this very notion has been driving our organization for more than a decade. We just called it something else: life barriers.

A new short-format video produced through Centene’s industry-academia partnership, the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™, sets the stage for current and future investigation into the impact of social determinants on health behaviors and health outcomes. It features powerful dialogue delivered by panelists at a forum on SDoH held at the Envolve Center last spring, coupled with compelling images of some of the many life barriers faced by economically disadvantaged individuals. Read more.

By the Power of Default: Using Behavioral Economics to Change Behavior

March 22, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

Have you ever wondered why, when you open your phone to search a query, Google is the engine that runs your search? It is just “one click away” to switch to Yahoo, Bing or Amazon, but most people don’t. A recent New York Times article showed that Google is “investing heavily to be the default choice on web browsers and mobile phones,” paying $100 million each year to become the default search engine on the Firefox web browser. One may argue that it is not worthwhile to pay that much to get just one click ahead of competitors. However, it turns out that although other choices are one click away, very few people bother with that single click, so Google remains the default.

This tendency to stay in the default choice is called default bias (or status quo bias) and encompasses people’s tendency to choose inaction over action as well as their preference to stick with previously made decisions. Researchers concluded there are four main reasons for this. Firstly, changing the default requires mental effort or a “cognitive cost.” Thus, people tend to “save their cognitive investment” of making a choice, or, simply, be lazy. Secondly, inertia is a strong force keeping many people in status quo, no matter what that means. Thirdly, people are twice as sensitive to a loss as they are to an equivalent gain, meaning that they tend to stick to the default choice to avoid the possible losses that might result from their behavior change. Finally, there is an implicit perception that when something is a default, it should be a good choice, causing more people to stick with it. Read more.

Why It’s So Hard to Control Diabetes and What You Can Do to Help

March 6, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

More than 30 million people in the United States are living with diabetes. Unlike some chronic diseases, managing diabetes is extremely complex. Successful diabetes management requires that people create new habits around medication adherence and glucose monitoring, dramatically change their diets, exercise, and more. In addition to each of these daily behaviors, people with diabetes must also carefully monitor their body for physical symptoms and signs of decline. Because these behavior changes are so difficult for people to make, fewer than 50 percent of patients adhere to treatment therapies, contributing to more than 75,000 diabetes deaths per year.

As behavioral scientists, we look at the low rates of diabetes control and try to understand what about the context, specific behaviors, and an individual’s psychology make it difficult to follow through. The concept of self-licensing and the ways people manage multiple goals can help us understand why disease control is particularly difficult in diabetes. Read more.

Research Insights on Titles for Health Coaches

February 20, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

Recent research conducted by the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change examined expectations for health coaching relationships and preferences for titles of health coaches among adults with commercial insurance and those with Medicaid. While several studies have explored the effectiveness of health coaching, few studies have sought to understand how health coaching should be delivered, and even fewer studies have consulted recipients of health coaching on their preferences.

While “health coach” is most frequently used to describe someone who uses experience and one-on-one communication to help others change behaviors to improve their health, several other titles have also been used to define the same professionals as well as others who fill similar roles. Other notable titles include “navigator,” “peer educator,” and “guide.”

In-person interviews were conducted with 140 participants, including 61 adults with commercial insurance and 43 Medicaid beneficiaries from Missouri and 36 from Louisiana.  During the interviews, some participants were shown common titles for health coaches and asked questions on their preferences and expectations associated with the functions of health coaches. After analyzing the information collected in the interviews for emergent themes, some differences related to preferences in the title used for health coaches emerged. Read more.

Is it Time for Your New Year's 'Absolution'?

February 7, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

Did you ring in 2018 with a New Year's resolution? If so, how is it going?

Hopefully, you are sticking to your plans and are on track to meet your goal. But, if you are like most of us, you have probably already thrown in the towel. Luckily it's not too late to pick back up again – we can help.

It hasn't even been two months since our resolutions were made. Some of us may still have remnants of those healthy vegetarian meals we vowed to eat, now mingling in the fridge with pizza boxes and Chinese food delivery; others fight to cling to their resolutions like lifeboats. We had such good intentions, such important goals, such high hopes for the "future us." We made these resolutions because we wanted to be better and believed (at least for that day) that we could be.

Sadly, most of us can't stick with our new plans. More than half of resolution-makers (5080%) have abandoned them by now. A longitudinal research study done at the University of Scranton found that after a year, only 8–19 percent of people followed through on their resolutions, and in the UK, researchers found that about half of those who make resolutions report they have never kept a resolution.

So, why did we give up so quickly? Why even make resolutions if they don't work? Read more.

How to better communicate health risks and improve health outcomes: story-telling for more impact

January 24, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

We’re running a three-part blog series about risk communication in health, walking through psychological pitfalls, and offering behavioral science solutions.

In Part III, we’re using story-telling and narratives to create context.

As we’ve covered in Part I and Part II of this series, risk appeals often include several different elements that work together to shape how they are interpreted. When people respond to risk information, they are mentally calculating how likely and how severe the outcome would be, trying to control their emotions, and trying to figure out what to do next. That’s a lot to balance! Weaving health information into a story instead of just presenting numbers can make it easier for people to follow along. Centering that story on the individual or on someone they know emphasizes its meaning. Read more.

How to Better Communicate Health Risks and Improve Health Outcomes: Self-Affirmation and Feeling Good


January 17, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

Sometimes decisions about health risks are easy. Administering CPR to save a life makes sense. But sometimes the risks result from behaviors a person is taking or a complicated combination of factors, as with diabetes or a heart attack. How do people think about and respond to these risks?

What if you could reduce the risk of getting diabetes by 50 percent by losing weight? What sort of trade-offs would you be willing to make? What other information would you want before making that decision? How would you feel? Understanding risk matters for decisions about medication, surgery, and our everyday behaviors when it comes to our health.

Understanding risk, probabilities, and percentages can be difficult. This difficulty is compounded when the risks are related to outcomes like death or serious health complications at some point in the future that result from a number of different factors that accumulate over time. What does it mean to halve risk when the baseline rate is low? People may struggle to process risk information the way it is normally presented. 

We’re running a three-part blog series about health risks and communication in health, walking through psychological pitfalls, and offering behavioral science solutions. In Part II, we’re discussing self-affirmation techniques. Read more.

How to better communicate health risks and improve health outcomes: probabilities and proportions

January 10, 2018 | Envolve Blog Post

We're running a three-part blog series about health risks and communication in health, walking through psychological pitfalls, and offering behavioral science solutions. In Part I, we're starting with numbers.

Sometimes decisions about health risks are easy. Administering CPR to save a life makes sense. But sometimes the risks result from behaviors a person is taking or a complicated combination of factors, as with diabetes or a heart attack. How do people think about and respond to these risks?

What if you could reduce the risk of getting diabetes by 50 percent by losing weight? What sort of trade-offs would you be willing to make? What other information would you want before making that decision? How would you feel? Understanding risk matters for decisions about medication, surgery, and our everyday behaviors when it comes to our health. Understanding risk, probabilities, and percentages can be difficult. This difficulty is compounded when the risks are related to outcomes like death or serious health complications at some point in the future that result from a number of different factors that accumulate over time. What does it mean to halve risk when the baseline rate is low? People may struggle to process risk information the way it is normally presented. Read more.

Navigating the DNA Roadmap: Genetic Testing and Health Behavior Change

December 14, 2017 | Envolve Blog Post

Today, a woman born in the United States has a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime – a staggering 252,710 women in 2017. Even for men, who have a 1 in 1,000 chance of being diagnosed, 2,470 diagnoses are expected this year. But would these numbers change, or even decrease, if people knew whether or not they are genetically more likely to develop breast cancer? Researchers are working to answer this very question and understand how and if genetic testing impacts health behavior change.

Once inaccessible to most, DNA mapping has become increasingly available in the decade following the sequencing of the human genome in 2003. While genetic testing has been used for close to a century in various forms, the focus has recently spread to personal, more preventive uses. From as little as a saliva sample, the analysis of a person’s DNA creates a genetic roadmap, showing the different paths an individual’s health may take over the course of their lifetime. These results can indicate, for example, a person’s predisposition for breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even how well (or not) their body tolerates and processes different dietary components. Though genetic testing has become increasingly available, research connecting knowing your genetic risk factors and health behavior change is relatively new. In other words, the jury is still out on whether predisposition toward certain conditions or having certain genetic markers spark long-lasting changes in health behavior. Read more.

SIX TIPS ON ADOPTING HEALTHY BEHAVIORS

December 4, 2017 | Washington University in St. Louis theSOURCE Article

Faculty at the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change, a collaboration among Washington University, Duke University and Centene Corp., share what it takes to make bad habits into good ones. Behavioral science teaches us that we can increase our chances of succeeding at a desired behavior by reducing ‘friction costs.’ The idea is that the more steps something requires, the harder or more frustrating we find it. The reverse is true as well — the easier something is, the more likely we are to do it. So think about streamlining processes so it’s easier to make healthy choices. For example, cutting up fruits and vegetables as soon as you get home from the store increases the chance that you will turn to them for a snack or last-minute meal.” Read more.

Envolve Center and Health Plan Test New Approach with Childhood Obesity

November 9, 2017 | Envolve Blog Post

Initial results of research into the use of peer coaches to manage childhood obesity have been so positive that one Centene health plan has decided to try the approach out for itself. Three MemberConnections representatives (MCRs) at Sunflower Health Plan have been trained by researchers at the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™ to work with families on healthy eating and activity interventions in their homes.

Shannon Bohannon, Karen Patterson, and Debbie Weber are already experienced at conducting home visits as part of their MCR role. They educate members on how to manage their conditions, ensure they make doctors’ appointments, and help them access additional health resources. As part of Envolve’s Raising Well® pediatric obesity program, they will now be interacting with children and families, showing them how to incorporate good eating habits and physical activity into their daily lives.

In addition to lessons on developmentally appropriate nutrition and activity, the MCRs were trained in research protocols, consent procedures, taking height and weight measurements, and engaging families in informative interactive activities. In one, families use a divided plate to demonstrate how to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables and reduce portions. Other activities are designed to get everyone up and moving. Read more.

Sunflower Health Plan Takes on a New Role in Peer Coaching Research

September 29, 2017 | Blog Post

Member connection representatives from Sunflower Health Plan are being trained as peer coaches as part of the Lifestyle Innovations research at the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™. The member connections representatives will work with families participating in Raising Well®, an Envolve program designed to educate and promote healthy lifestyle changes among families with children identified as overweight or obese. The peer coaching intervention will be offered to Sunflower Health Plan members in Wichita, Kansas.

Peer coaching has been added to Raising Well's standard telephonic coaching model as ­part of a study to evaluate whether in-home visits with a peer can enhance the coaching experience. Having similar backgrounds and experiences to those they visit, trained peer coaches may be able to develop a different type of relationship with families than clinical professionals can by phone.

The Envolve Center research team is especially excited to work with the member connection representatives, who already have relationships with many health plan members and visit with them in their homes. The research team has developed a training curriculum, which can be delivered remotely, by video conference, to train this group in nutrition and child development.

The research team will assess the intervention to see if this approach improves outcomes and if it is an acceptable alternative or supplement to telephonic coaching. This assessment will include weight measurements of the Raising Well member and his or her caregiver; the number of fruits, vegetables, and sugary beverages they consume; and how much activity they get. The focus of the program includes setting up the home environment to help make healthy behaviors easier, so the assessment will also look at the home environment before and after the program.

Research Insights Inform Health Coaching Experience

 September 25, 2017 | September 2017 Envolve Center Update

In one of the few scientific studies to examine perceptions and expectations of health coaches and coaching among people of disparate socioeconomic backgrounds, researchers at the Envolve Center for Health Behavior ChangeTM have discovered both similarities and differences. The findings, to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in November, could ultimately be used to enhance Envolve's health coaching services to better engage and assist members.

The research team interviewed 61 people with commercial health insurance and 79 Medicaid beneficiaries about various characteristics of health coaches and coaching relationships. They posed questions on coaches' personality traits, education, training, and experience, as well as methods and frequency of communication. 

"Most people were very positive about the idea of getting a health coach," says Molly Loughran, a Masters research fellow with the Health Communications Research Lab at Washington University which collaborates with the Envolve Center. She will be presenting the study results at the APHA meeting.  "Both groups cited knowledge and education as important qualities in a coach, along with the ability to be empathetic and understand their issues. It's the coaching relationship or contact preferences where we found the greatest differences."

Those with commercial insurance said they want more autonomy in defining the relationship, according to Loughran. They like to be able to control when, how and how often they are contacted, and usually prefer to initiate that contact themselves. They also tend to be more interested in receiving motivation and support during the coaching experience as opposed to education in lifestyle or condition management.

The Medicaid recipients, meanwhile, responded favorably to the notion of regular coaching contact. "'Please, reach out to me,'" is what many told their interviewers, Loughran explains. "They want the follow up and accountability the coaches provide." Medicaid beneficiaries were also less concerned about the logistics of coaching, placing a greater emphasis on the importance of coaches understanding their daily life experiences.

One major point of differentiation between the two groups – and one that significantly influenced responses – was the frame of reference around health coaching. Many of the commercially-insured had previous experience with a coach or trainer or referral source; they spoke from experience. They also had less enthusiasm around health coaching, according to Amy McQueen, associate professor of Medicine at Washington University and the lead researcher on the project.

"Overall, there is probably more agreement than disagreement," notes McQueen, "but contrasts in life context prompt the differences. At the core, they both want that great coach."

This new knowledge can help Envolve better tailor coaching services to participants' preferences. For example, emphasizing the flexibility, convenience and nonintrusive nature of the program for the commercially-insured, while assuring those on Medicaid that their health coaches can provide meaningful support more tailored to their life experiences.

​​​Envolve Center Brings Promising Behavior-Based Healthcare Interventions to Light AT AHIP NATIONAL CONFERENCES

September 15, 2017 | Envolve Blog Post

Families who deal with inequities or social determinants that challenge their overall wellbeing and quality of life are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to both getting and staying healthy. When it comes to root-cause unhealthy behaviors, the impact is often intergenerational. Experts have found that behavior-change lifestyle interventions can re-set the course of families toward better health.   

Evidence-based lifestyle interventions to help boost better health is a major focus of the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™, a collaboration between Centene Corporation, the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University. Dr. Debra Haire-Joshu, faculty director of the Envolve Center and Dr. Mary Mason, senior vice president of Centene Corporation and chief medical officer of Envolve, will be presenting on "The Humanization of Healthcare: Addressing Social Determinants of Health to Improve Behavior Change," at the American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) National Conferences on Medicare, Medicaid & Duals on September 28, in Washington, D.C. Their presentation will address behavior-based healthcare interventions and partnerships, and the impact these initiatives have in building long-term healthy behaviors. They will review programs that educate and also eliminate obstacles to care, starting with early interventions with pregnant mothers and then, their children, to promote healthy choices mitigating future chronic health conditions, including childhood obesity and diabetes. Read more.

finding answers to substance use disorders

August 17, 2017 | Envolve Blog Post

Research into health behavior change often focuses on the barriers and pitfalls people face when trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle – and how to overcome them. In the search for solutions to substance use disorder and more specifically the opioid overdose epidemic currently facing the U.S., one project at the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™ is taking a different approach: gaining a greater understanding of what actually works.

David Patterson Silver Wolf, associate professor of social work at Washington University in St. Louis, has been looking into the behavior profiles and success predictors of substance use disorder treatment in small-scale research projects. Now, through the Envolve Center partnership, Patterson Silver Wolf is bringing his research to a whole new level with access to multiple Centene data sources representing millions of de-identified health plan members. He can dig deeper into why some people are able to end their dependence on alcohol, drugs, and prescription pain medications while others aren’t and begin mapping out those effective pathways. Read more.

McQueen awarded grant to identify unmet basic needs in individuals living with diabetes

June 5, 2017 | Brown School

Amy McQueen, assistant professor of medicine at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Center for Diabetes Translational Research to document unmet basic needs and diabetic-related healthcare gaps among Medicaid beneficiaries with Type 2 diabetes.

The research, which starts in June 2017, is being conducted in collaboration with the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™ at the Brown School, and will inform future policy and interventions to reduce diabetes-related health disparities. Read more.


Envolve Center Leads Collaborative Effort to Reduce Impact of Social Determinants on Health

June 2, 2017 | Envolve Blog Post

On May 3, the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change™ at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, hosted a forum on Social Determinants and Healthcare. View the full recording here.

The influence of social determinants on health is a national and global issue. The World Health Organization defines social determinants of health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age,” which in turn “are shaped by the distribution of money, power, and resources at global, national, and local levels.”

Centene Corporation and Envolve® seek to understand how life inequalities create barriers to access and care, an area of work that has now become a priority for the Envolve Center. The Center is leading cutting-edge research focused on supporting the health of vulnerable populations, with the forum serving as one of the Envolve Center’s leading efforts to develop multi-faceted solutions. Read more.


Up to $7,500 in Grants for Health behavior reseach - apply now

September 6, 2016 | Brown School

Research abounds on how people can incorporate lifestyle changes to manage chronic illnesses and lead healthy, active lives. If we know what to do to be healthy, why aren't we doing it? An approach that merges behavioral science with public health evidence can help to mitigate some of the gaps between knowledge and action when it comes to health, with strategies such as tailored communications, behavioral economics and inter-generational approaches offering great promise.

To support researchers in these efforts, The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change is pleased to announce its first Call for Proposals.

Up to three Washington University faculty researchers will be awarded $5,000-$7,500 and granted access to large data sets with Centene Corporation members, including Medicaid recipients. The selected investigators will be supported in a broad range of research investigation related to health behavior change, with potential for future opportunities and collaboration. Proposal submission guidelines and the application form are available in the Application Instructions online. Applications should be emailed to Yancey Crawford, Center Manager, at crawfordy@wustl.edu by the September 30th deadline.


Launch Event for Envolve Center Draws   Record-Breaking ATTENDANCE

February 29, 2016 | Brown School

Over 250 people attended the launch event for the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change in Hillman Hall, Jan. 28, setting the record for live attendance at an event in the Clark-Fox Forum.

Founded and directed by Brown School Professor Michal Grinstein-Weiss, the Envolve Center is an industry-academic collaboration between the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, Duke University and Centene Corporation. The Envolve Center's purpose is to improve the health of vulnerable populations by using path-breaking behavioral and public health science to create, evaluate and implement translational research on improving health behavior.

Grinstein-Weiss introduced the Envolve Center with an overview of its goals. She emphasized the center's collaborative model, which will leverage the expertise of stakeholders across healthcare, from health coaches to public health researchers to executives and beyond. "What we find that will work," she promised, "we will scale to millions."

Audience members included representatives from academia, industry, local and national nonprofits, and media, reflecting the transdisciplinary nature of the Envolve Center and the resonance of a key question for the center's research: If we know how to be healthy, why aren't we in better health? The event featured compelling, interactive presentations by the Envolve Center's leaders, focusing on the center's potential contribution and its three main areas of research: behavioral economics, intergenerational lifestyle interventions, and health communication.​ Read more​.


​​​​WashU, Duke Partner with Centene on Health Behavior Change

February 11, 2016 | Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health 

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis has launched a partnership with Duke University and Centene Corp., aimed at translating research into more effective health related behaviors.

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change is led by Dr. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, professor at the Brown School and associate director of the Center for Social Development.

“Industry and academia are coming together with a shared mission of using cutting-edge science to improve the health of millions of Americans,” Dr. Grinstein-Weiss said.

The unique partnership will translate the science of behavior change and public health research evidence into practical strategies that foster sustainable change in health-related behaviors, she said.​

Read the full article at ASPHH.


Centene, Washington U partner on health research center​

January 29, 2016 | St. Louis Business Journal 

Managed care provider Centene Corp. has partnered with Washington University and Duke University to launch a new center aimed at translating research into more effective health-related behaviors.​

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Chang​​e was launched Thursday at an event at Washington University. It will bring together researchers in the fields of behavioral economics, health communication, obesity prevention, and social and economic policy, officials said.

Leading the new center is Michal Grinstein-Weiss, professor at the Brown School at Washington University and associate director of the Center for Social Development. The partnership brings together the Brown School, Duke University's Center for Advanced Hindsight, and Centene's Envolve branded specialty division. The Envolve Center will translate behavior change science and public health research into strategies to foster sustainable change in health-related behaviors, officials said.

“Moving beyond providing information to using proven, behavior-based techniques, the Envolve Center will be positioned to contribute to the healthcare research knowledge base, influence positive health outcomes and reduce the economic burden of poor health on individuals and society,” Grinstein-Weiss said in a statement.

​Read the full article on BizJournals.


​Brown School to Launch Envolve Center

Partnership with Duke University, Centene aims to translate research into better health behaviors

​​January 26, 2016 | Washington University's The Record 

Washington University in St. Louis is launching a partnership with Duke University and Centene Corp., aimed at translating research into more effective health related behaviors.

The Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change will kick off with a launch eventfrom 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Clark-Fox Forum at Hillman Hall.

The event is free and open to the public. David Bornstein, social innovation journalist and co-author of The New York Times “Fixes” column, will provide the keynote address.

Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, professor at the Brown School and associate director of the Center for Social Development, will lead the new center as director and principal investigator.

“The most compelling aspect of this partnership is that industry and academia are coming together with a shared mission of using cutting-edge science to improve the health of millions of Americans,” Grinstein-Weiss said.​

Read the full article at WUSTL News​.


​Announcing the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change

​​January 26, 2016 | Envolve 

Envolve PeopleCare is thrilled to announce the opening of the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change! The Envolve Center is the result of a unique collaboration between researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Duke University, and industry leaders from Centene and Envolve.

The mission of the Envolve Center is to improve the health of vulnerable populations by creating, testing, implementing, and advancing effective behavior-based innovations that remove barriers to healthy habits and facilitate pathways for healthier living. Over the next five years, researchers at the Envolve Center will focus on answering three key questions:

  • Can what we say, and how we say it, actually alter health outcomes?
  • How can we use research on behavioral economics to change ingrained health behaviors?
  • Do programs that work across multiple generations lead to healthier lives for entire families?

The findings that come out of the Center will be applied to the Envolve family of companies’ products, transforming the way we address health behavior change across the population. Read more.


Centene Partners with Washington University in St. Louis and Duke University to Launch the Envolve Center for Health Behavioral Change

January 20, 2016 | PRNewswire

Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) announced today it has partnered with Washington University in St. Louis and Duke University to launch the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change (Envolve Center).

The personal health risk behaviors millions of Americans engage in have led to a health crisis in the United States: nearly half of all premature deaths and considerable chronic conditions are preventable and stem from poor health behaviors, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This statistic highlights one of the healthcare industry's biggest challenges in the 21stcentury — discovering effective ways of enabling better health and wellness decisions and habits beyond simply providing information, which research shows does not work alone.

The Envolve Center is a unique industry-academic partnership that will translate the science of behavior change and public health research evidence into practical strategies that foster sustainable change in health-related behaviors. Moving beyond providing information to using proven, behavior-based techniques, the Envolve Center will be positioned to contribute to the healthcare research knowledge base, influence positive health outcomes and reduce the economic burden of poor health on individuals and society.

"Centene's priority is to transform the health of the community, one person at a time," said Jesse Hunter, Executive Vice President, Products, Centene. "That's why we support the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change, which, through scientific research and innovation, will educate, motivate, and empower personal choices and behaviors that improve health and wellbeing."​

Read the full article on PRNewswire​.

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