Women to Watch, Health Care Services | Sara S. Johnson, Pro-Change Behavior Systems
When Sara S. Johnson was young, she was asked what she wanted to do with her life, and she had an answer.
“Early on, in junior high, I wanted to be a psychologist,” said Johnson. “I have no idea how I knew.”
Johnson is now the co-president and CEO of Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc. and one of Providence Business News’ Women to Watch in the Health Care Services industry category.
A South Kingstown company, Pro-Change is celebrating its 20th year in business as a research and development company, using evidence-based behavior-change solutions for better health and well-being. Johnson’s company of 17 nationally recognized behavior-change scientists and software developers work to develop well-being improvement programs with a software platform. The company has a trade secret methodology and develops its own software platforms.
“I definitely love my job,” said Johnson, who earned her doctorate in psychology in 1998 at the University of Rhode Island, where today she is also an adjunct faculty member. “We are making an impact on people’s health and wellness.”
Johnson was named as a Top 10 Health Promotion Professional by The Wellness Council of America in 2015.
‘We are making an impact on people’s health and wellness.’
SARA S. JOHNSON, Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc., co-president and CEO
“In her 20 years at Pro-Change Behavior Systems, she has been responsible for generating and leading the implementation of innovative research and development opportunities, as well as creating and expanding strategic business alliances,” wrote Stephan Rodriguez, alumni manager of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program run through the Community College of Rhode Island, who nominated Johnson for the PBN award following her completion of the program last summer. “She has been the principal investigator on [more than] $6 million in National Institutes of Health grants to examine the effectiveness of transtheoretical, model-based inventions.”
Johnson is also the co-editor of The Art of Health Promotion, which links research for effective strategies for lifestyle changes and health improvement.
Johnson says it is important in the explosion of health and wellness information to make sure you are using the best information, which Pro-Change provides with its research.
With an increase of people focusing on their health and wellness, Johnson’s team is taking areas such as sleep, e-cigarettes and opioids and developing a text-based program for caretaking.
“With the caregivers, it is managing themselves,” said Johnson. “We want to come up with a text-based system because their lives are so busy.”
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