Behavioral Health & Wellness Program (BHWP)


Our mission is to improve quality of life by facilitating evidence-based health behavior change for communities, organizations, and individuals. As experts on health behavior change, we believe passionately in the power of community-based research, health systems change, education, and awareness. By increasing the knowledge, skills, and mindfulness of individuals or organizations, we effectively facilitate positive change.

BHWP has created a rich portfolio of evidence-based training curricula that supports wellness through behavior change working from a Motivational Interviewing approach.

Utilizing in-person, distance learning platforms, and learning communities, BHWP has trained over 10,000 interdisciplinary healthcare providers, public health professionals, and peer specialists. 

BHWP has been collaborating with local, state, and national organizations for over 10 years to develop tailored evaluations that:

  1. Identify program goals
  2. Create meaningful and manageable program objectives
  3. Monitor progress to guide program improvement
  4. Result in credible data to measure effectiveness and impact

Results from our program evaluations are widely disseminated, and they contribute to a body of evidence used by policy makers, stakeholders, and funders.

Current Projects:

RAISE Families for Health: With support from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and in partnership with Sheridan Health Services, BHWP is designing, implementing and evaluating an 8-week psychoeducational support group for parents and caregivers. Group sessions support goal setting and behavior change around tobacco cessation and establishing smoke-free household policies, as well as improving the quality of family nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and stress management.

Justice-Involved Tobacco Cessation: BHWP is assisting the Arizona Department of Health Services, Bureau of Tobacco and Chronic Disease to meet the tobacco cessation needs of Arizona’s tobacco users, with specific attention paid to individuals involved with Arizona’s criminal justice system. BHWP is working with the state, counties, public service institutions, and other key stakeholders to articulate high-utility, realistic plans for creating a tobacco cessation continuity-of-care that is both scalable and sustainable. [link to website or newsletter?]


Past Projects:

Collective Impact for High Public Service Utilizers: Sponsored by the CDPHE Office of Health Equity, this project was designed to provide people who are homeless with support in chronic disease screening, education, and service navigation for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and COPD. The project tested innovative strategies for closing healthcare gaps by utilizing Peer Health Navigators (PHNs) placed in agencies that are existing hubs of community service. [link to report?]

Recovery Support Services Program – “It Takes a Library”: In partnership with the Colorado Mental Wellness Network, Denver Public Library, and Denver Human Services, BHWP designed and implemented a comprehensive evaluation framework of an innovative recovery program. The program expanded the network of Peer Support Specialists employed at the Denver Public Library and trained additional providers across a spectrum of organizations and agencies in the use of Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP®). [link to report?]

Healthy You, Healthy Baby: Funding from CDPHE supported a project at Lutheran Medical Center to evaluate a comprehensive tobacco education, prevention and cessation project in its Women and Family Center, Delivery Unit. The Healthy You, Healthy Baby project used evidence-based practices to decrease tobacco use and sustain a tobacco-free environment for mothers and babies. [link to toolkit?]

Incredible Years Infant and Toddler Programs: Funding from Caring for Colorado Foundation supported the implementation of an early childhood social, emotional, and health education program at a residential facility serving women with significant substance and/or mental health challenges. Clinical staff received training to implement a new, evidence-based parenting group curriculum, The Incredible Years®, and BHWP provided implementation support and program evaluation of feasibility and efficacy.

BHWP’s research portfolio spans basic and translational behavioral science, community-based research and evaluation, and participation in national, randomized clinical trials. Here are a few examples of our current and former research projects:

Impacts of childhood adversity and chronic stress on tobacco use, nicotine addiction, and cessation outcomes: In partnership with the Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Lab at CU Anschutz, investigators at BHWP are developing a study designed to investigate whether individual differences in stress system functioning may influence associations between early childhood adversity and poorer tobacco-related outcomes.

Wellness and professional quality of life: Transitions from medical school to residency: Investigators at BHWP are working with other researchers in the CU School of Medicine on a study designed to investigate Professional Quality of Life among medical students and physicians during residency. Questions of interest include whether the experiences of medical students vary as a function of demographics (e.g. sex differences) or as a function of career status (e.g. 4th year medical school vs. residency).

Impacts of a tobacco cessation program within Arkansas Community Corrections: In response to a critical need for tobacco cessation services among justice-involved populations, Arkansas Community Correction (ACC) partnered with BHWP in 2013 to implement the DIMENSIONS: Tobacco Free Program within all probation, parole and drug court units. The program resulted in significant reduction of tobacco use among participants, as well as increased knowledge, confidence, and intent to quit.

Impacts of a tobacco-free policy within a residential substance use treatment facility: This study examined whether instituting a tobacco-free policy in a residential substance use treatment facility impacted either the facility’s census rates or the characteristics of patients seeking treatment there. Outcomes supported that substance use treatment agencies might realize a recovery-oriented value of treating all addictions, deter initiation of tobacco use during treatment, and remain marketable.

Through the Wellness Leadership Institute, we have created a multidisciplinary training environment that builds upon the skillsets of healthcare and public health professionals’ in wellness interventions, behavior change, translational research, program evaluation, public policy, program administration, and leadership.

We work with a range of students, including graduate, medical, and postdoctoral students as well as mid-career professionals.  

Contact Info:

1784 Racine Street
Building 401, 1st Floor, East Wing
Aurora, Colorado


Psychiatry (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 4003

Mail Stop F546

Aurora, CO 80045


CMS Login