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Nicolaas P. Pronk, PhD

Appointed to the CPSTF: 2004

Nicolaas PronkNicolaas P. Pronk, PhD is vice president for health management and chief science officer at HealthPartners, an integrated, non-profit and member-governed health system headquartered in Minnesota. Dr. Pronk is also a senior research investigator at the HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research, an integrated research and medical education division of the HealthPartners organization. Dr. Pronk holds a faculty appointment as adjunct professor of social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also a visiting professor in the department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Dr. Pronk's work is focused on connecting evidence of effectiveness with the practical application of programs and practices, policies and systems that measurably improve population health and well-being. Solutions of this kind may be applied to the workplace, the care delivery setting, and the community and therefore also involve the development of new models to improve health and well-being at the research, practice and policy levels.

Dr. Pronk is a member of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. He is co-chair of the CEO Innovation Collaborative at the National Academies of Medicine, an initiative focused on cross-sector partnerships involving the business and industry sector. He is the founding and past president of the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion and was appointed by the Armed Forces Surgeon's General and confirmed by the White House to serve on the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board.

He is widely published in both the scientific and practice literature and is a national and international speaker on population health and health promotion. Dr. Pronk received his doctorate degree in exercise physiology at Texas A&M University and completed his post-doctoral studies in behavioral medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Service on International/National research, practice or policy boards or committees

  • Past-president of the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion
  • Member of the Content Expert Group for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Integrated Worker Health for the NIH
  • American Heart Association (AHA) Workplace Health Steering Committee Member
  • Board Member Alliance to Make US Healthiest (USH)
  • Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO); Co-Chair, Employer-Community Collaboration Committee
  • Member IOM Roundtable for Obesity Solutions National Academy of Medicine

Service on recent Community Guide reviews

  • Prioritization Committee
  • Annual Report to Congress Committee
  • Worksite reviews
  • Cardiovascular disease prevention and control reviews
  • Diabetes prevention and control reviews

National research or practice awards

  • Fellow, Association for Worksite Health Promotion (FAWHP) (2000)
  • Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) (2001)
  • NIH Merit Award (2012)
  • Mark Dundon Research Award from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (2013)

Recent Selected Publications

  1. Pronk NP, Narayan KMV. The application of systems science to addressing obesity at the workplace: tapping into unexplored potential. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2016;58(2):123-6.
  2. Pronk NP. Structured diet and physical activity programmes provide strong evidence of effectiveness for type 2 diabetes prevention and improvement of cardiometabolic health. BMJ: Evidence Based Medicine 2016;21(1):18. doi: 10.1136/ebmed-2015-110292.
  3. Pronk NP. Design recommendations for active workplaces. Ergonomics in Design 2015 July;23(3):36-40.
  4. Pronk NP. Fitness of the US workforce. Annual Review of Public Health 2015;36:131-49.
  5. Pronk NP, Baase C, Noyce J, Stevens DE. Corporate America and community health: exploring the business case for investment. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2015;57(5):493-500.