COMPANY

CHESS Health has a singular mission: improving the quality of the addiction treatment experience for patients and providers in the U.S. and globally. The A-CHESS Platform offers evidence-based technology providing patients with a smartphone app encompassing personalized recovery resources and connections with peers and clinicians when and where they need it. Not only does every interaction powered by A-CHESS promote real and lasting recovery, but the feedback and outcomes data captured from these in interactions enable providers to respond in the near-term and improve their treatment approach in the long-run. What we do matters—this is our purpose and what motivates our entire team every day.

Hans Morefield
CEO, CHESS Health

THE CHESS STORY

David F. Gustafson

David F. Gustafson
Founder

The CHESS Health story begins with the pioneering work of Dave Gustafson, PhD, the founder and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies, a co-founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

For Dr. Gustafson, improving the healthcare patient experience has been a life-long focus: “People suffer from injury and disease. They also suffer from poorly-designed health care systems. We want to eliminate that second type of suffering. No one should have to suffer twice.”

In the field of addiction treatment, for which he would become nationally-recognized, Dr. Gustafson envisioned a smartphone app could support an individual during and after treatment and reduce the incidence and severity of relapse. With a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Gustafson developed the original A-CHESS app in 2011 and conducted a three-year randomized clinical study with treatment centers in Illinois and Massachusetts.

Chris Wilkins

Chris Wilkins
Founder

The study results, demonstrating the effectiveness of the A-CHESS app, were published in 2014 in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry and led to an interest in more studies and implementations, one of which was a project with veterans in Western New York. This study connected Dr. Gustafson with Christopher Wilkins, who realized the potential for A-CHESS to improve recovery outcomes for everyone and made it his mission to place the technology into the hands of every patient in addiction treatment. Chris Wilkins launched CHESS Health to bring A-CHESS to market.

In 2016, Dr. Gustafson recruited John Holton, the founder of three successful healthcare technology companies, to become Chairman and lead CHESS Health’s first major investment round. Late in 2017, following a year of rapid customer expansion, including the addition of key provider and health plan customers and international deployments, Hans Morefield took the reins as CEO to bring operational leadership, expand the A-CHESS platform, and continue the mission of delivering lasting recovery for all.

THE CHESS TEAM

PEER ENGAGEMENT SPECIALISTS

Bre
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Hello! I am Bre, a Recovery Coach for Chess Health. I have been in the recovering stages of addiction and mental health for over 10 years. My personal struggles with alcohol, anxiety, and depression, were significant enough to disrupt my daily functioning. I became sober at the age of 30 and surrounded myself with support from my Peer specialist and therapist. I am an advocate for co-occurring group therapies and other self-help groups, as getting to the roots of my own addiction was a necessity in helping me heal. My Peer Specialist eventually became my boss! My approach as a Recovery Coach is person-centered. I strive to be creative in supports that work for you to personalize your plan to be successful. Recovery is not a one size fits all…what works for others may not work for you, and that is OKAY! It is my honor to give back and help you guide your recovery ship. By sharing our own lived experience, it creates a safe place for you to know you are not alone in yours.
Jeff
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Hello, my name is Jeff, and I am a person in long-term recovery. My sobriety date is Nov. 1, 2018. I am Currently a certified Peer Recovery Support specialist with Seneca Health Services at our male inpatient facility in West Virginia. I have been a Chess health engagement specialist Since august of 2020. My Journey into recovery was not a beautiful one. In 2016 I reached a level of depression and as my mental health depleted, my addiction spiraled out of control. My mental state stopped me from ever thinking there was any other way than my SUD. In October 2018 I caught a very serious charge and looked at recovery as another way to escape imprisonment. I did not seek recovery with the intention of thinking I had a problem; It was more the world not conforming to my will. At Recovery Point I was introduced to a 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was through the 12 steps I regained a relationship with my higher power, realized I had taken my whole life and had nothing to offer it. It was in that moment I decided to give my life to God and helping others. I started pursuing a career in Peer Recovery and moved back to my hometown to bring recovery there where it was so desperately needed. Coming out of treatment right before the pandemic, I knew shortly after any tool to recovery was vital as options became very scarce. Digital recovery saved me many times over the past year and has made my mission I have set out on to be a very rewarding and blessed one. I never knew what help was until it was too late, I have devoted my life to making sure that is not the same story for those behind me. Digital recovery and through my work with the Chess app has made this a dream come true.
Keith
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Hi my name is Keith, and I’ve been in long-term recovery now for over twenty-four years. My sobriety date is December 23 of 1996. I’ve been working with CHESS as a Consultant and Consumer Engagement Specialist for over six months now, and find it very rewarding. I have a passion for people in recovery, and a passion for what I do. I also work as a Certified Peer Mentor for Valley Hope, which is one of the top treatment centers in the country. We have over 64 inpatient and outpatients facilities in 7 states and are consistently ranked as the best, right up there with Betty Ford and Hazeldon. The facilities that I have the pleasure of working with are also ranked number one within the Valley Hope Family. Our Help Us Help You Patient Satisfaction Survey rates are always above the 98 percentile range. I’ve been involved with, and worked through many different recovery programs myself, including the major ones such as AA, NA, CR, (Celebrate Recovery,) Al-Anon, and I am currently working through the steps with a sponsor in the Al-Anon Family Group of Adult Children of Alcoholics. I have a sponsor and have the honor of sponsoring other men in recovery. I am also a professional magician, who has been doing magic since the age of seven. I started my own business, Magicreations, back in 2000, and have been performing in the corporate world ever since. I love magic, and I especially love being a part of our helping people turn their lives around through the encouraging, empathic, positive and supportive environment that we have created through the CHESS Connections platform. When you love what you do for a living, you never work a day in your life!
Mary
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Mary, Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC), has found where her talents and passions align with Recovery Coaching. Formerly in the field of digital media, communications, and graphic design, Mary embarked on a new path through her own recovery from alcohol. Deeply passionate about connecting with and validating other’s pain, growth, and experience, Mary has immersed herself in the spirit of recovery coaching and loves supporting and encouraging people to believe that they are worthy of their wildest dreams and that they are enough, just as they are. Her journey to recovery truly began when she read This Naked Mind by Annie Grace and realized that she wasn’t alone in her desire to eliminate alcohol from her life. Mary’s sobriety community now includes Connections, as well as The Luckiest Club, a sobriety support group founded by the author of We, Are the Luckiest, Laura McKowen. As a Peer Recovery Engagement Specialist with CHESS Health, Mary has the pleasure of communicating directly with patients to listen, uplift, and affirm them wherever they are in their journey.
Shane
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My name is Shane and I’m no different than you. Despite the fact that alcoholism and addiction was quite prevalent in my family, that I loved drinking and doing drugs from the very first time I tried them, and despite dozens of other warning signs, I saw no reasons to worry. Then, like many of you, I tried opiates. It wasn’t long before I turned into someone I never imagined I was capable of becoming. My life was miserable and I saw absolutely no way out of it. I resigned to the fact that I’d die an addict. I just hoped I wouldn’t have to go through too much withdrawal on my way. I had absolutely nothing and nobody, and I had done it all to myself. On August 9th, 2010 I finally reached out for help. And I got it. I checked into inpatient rehab and that very day I knew I was DONE. I’d had enough. I surrendered. I took every suggestion, went to outpatient, AA every single day, got a sponsor, worked the 12 steps, and my life got good, fast! Over 10 years later here I am, still grateful, still with that perspective, still vigilant, and still excited about recovery. I got a second chance at life and now I get to support others, as a peer recovery coach for CHESS Health, as they embark on their second chance. Almost all of my absolute favorite people I’ve met in recovery. We have that bond as survivors.

Interested in joining our team?

 

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