About Us.

CHESS Health is committed to developing and delivering evidence-based solutions that enable our partners to reduce the personal and societal crisis of substance use disorder (SUD).

No one should suffer twice.

Dave Gustafson, PhD
provider access

The mission evolved from a concept conceived by Dave Gustafson, PhD, rooted in his unwavering belief that people suffering from injury or disease should not also have to bear the burden of poorly designed healthcare systems. In his words, “No one should suffer twice.”

Gustafson, the founder and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies (CHESS), held that technology could effectively aid mental health care providers, specifically those working with individuals with substance use disorders, by extending support and reinforcing recovery skills for individuals when and where they needed it. 

To address what he identified as a critical gap in care, Gustafson built a smartphone app, initially called A-CHESS. The app gave patients in recovery immediate access to counselors, peer discussion groups, and other support.

technology and innovation to address SUD

John Holton, the founder of three healthcare technology companies, became chairman in 2016, and in 2017, Holton brought Hans Morefield on as CEO to lead the company’s expansion.

CHESS Health grew beyond recovery support with the launch of eIntervention, a closed-loop referral system with peer engagement to connect individuals with SUD to providers and services. And, a partnership with CBT4CBT brought digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) into the eRecovery solution. 

A $1.5 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse funded the development, testing, and ultimately, the launch of ePrevention, a tool that automates screenings using the evidence-based practice of SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment). 

There was continued expansion to serve the Spanish-speaking population better, CHESS Health expanded its educational materials to include Spanish versions across various solutions, including ePrevention and eRecovery’s Connections/Conexiones app. Bilingual peer specialists equipped to conduct support meetings, engagement activities, and crisis support in Spanish joined the team. 

CHESS Health is the leading provider of evidence-based digital health solutions supporting our partners in addressing the individual and societal crisis of substance use disorder. Its solutions span the entire lifecycle of SUD management — from prevention and intervention to treatment and recovery — and amplify the impact of providers, health plans, and governmental and community organizations by extending their reach to meet individuals at moments that matter. 

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