Centene Partners With Washington University In St. Louis And Duke University To Launch The Envolve Center For Health Behavior Change

Jan 20, 2016, 08:00 ET from Centene Corporation

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 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 21st century — 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."

This partnership brings together academic and industry leaders in the science of behavior change including:

  • Centene's newly rebranded specialty division, Envolve™
  • The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
  • Duke University's Center for Advanced Hindsight

"The Envolve Center not only brings together some of the brightest minds in the world, but by creating a partnership between leading universities and our health behavior change business, it also provides the potential to improve millions of lives," said Dan Cave, CEO of Envolve PeopleCare™. "Together, we can tap into shared expertise spanning the medical, research and education fields, all while being able to help patients, providers, students, companies and the public at large improve their lives through innovative discoveries in the science of health behavior change."

The Envolve Center's research leadership team comprises world-renowned scholars in the fields of behavioral economics, health communication, obesity prevention, and social and economic development. Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, a social and economic policy expert who has led successful large-scale research projects for federal, philanthropic, and industry partners, will lead the Envolve Center as director and principal investigator. Other lead researchers include:

  • Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics, Duke University; Founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight
  • Debra Haire-Joshu, Joyce Wood Professor, Brown School; Director, Center for Diabetes Translation Research; Director, Center for Obesity Prevention and Policy Research, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Matthew Kreuter, Associate Dean for Public Health, Kahn Family Professor of Public Health, Brown School; Founder and Senior Scientist, Health Communication Research Laboratory, Washington University in St. Louis

"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," said Michal Grinstein-Weiss, PhD, Washington University in St. Louis.

"Some of the most important and devastating irrational behaviors play out in healthcare.  So many of our bad health outcomes are caused by small mistakes that we do every day: overeating, not washing our hands, not exercising, etc." said Dan Ariely, PhD, Duke University. "As academics, we are limited in our ability to study and help in this very important domain, which is why I am so excited about this collaboration — and I am looking forward to studying, understanding and ultimately making an impact on health together."

The Envolve Center's leadership team has developed a multi-pronged approach to drive positive health outcomes, prevent disease and ultimately reduce the economic burden of healthcare costs by addressing areas of preventable health risk. The initial research agenda will prioritize:

  • Using insights of behavioral economics to promote health behavior change
  • Tailoring communications for improved health outcomes
  • Designing and implementing an inter-generational lifestyle change program for parents and children

The launch event of the Envolve Center will occur on Thursday, January 28, in St. Louis at Washington University in St. Louis. The event will feature presentations on research priorities, a special guest keynote, and perspective from industry and academic leadership.

About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to government sponsored healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and Long Term Care (LTC), in addition to other state-sponsored/hybrid programs, and Medicare (Special Needs Plans). The Company operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health, care management software, correctional systems healthcare, in-home health services, life and health management, managed vision, pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy and telehealth services.

Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the Company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene's investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.

About the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
The George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis creates positive social change through its path-breaking research and educational excellence. The Brown School offers doctoral, Master of Social Work, and Master of Public Health degrees, and its MSW program is ranked number one in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The School's international community of faculty, students and graduates works throughout St. Louis, across the country and worldwide to apply new knowledge and use the best available evidence to impact policy, practice and service delivery. The School is also home to 13 research centers and applied programs. For more information, visit brownschool.wustl.edu.

About Duke University's Center for Advanced Hindsight
The Center for Advanced Hindsight (CAH) at Duke University seeks to apply evidence based behavioral insights to real world problems and rigorously test their impact. The CAH team has vast experience in designing and implementing interventions that draw on behavioral economics to produce positive changes in consumer financial and health behaviors, including those related to medication adherence, exercise, nutrition and health policy. A core focus of CAH is the dissemination of science to the greater public and translation of research findings into practice.


SOURCE Centene Corporation