Who are we? We are a behavior neuroscience design firm squarely focused on scalable behavior change solutions. We’ve achieved it, not just designed it. We leverage decades of intensive 1:1 behavior change experience combined with large-scale intervention designs that yielded engagement and efficacy.
A neuroscientist, a designer, and an engineer walk into a bar…
Kyra Bobinet, MD MPH
CEO and founder
When it comes to health engagement, Dr. Bobinet has 5 words of advice: be caring, authentic, and useful. As the CEO-founder of engagedIN, Kyra devotes her life to helping people crack the code of how, what, and especially, WHY we engage.
Kyra has founded several healthcare start-ups, spanning behavior health, population health, and mobile health. She has designed behavior change programs, big data algorithms, billion dollar products, mobile health apps, and evidence-based studies in mind-body and metabolic medicine. All of her designs, whether for at-risk teens or seniors, are rooted in the belief that true caring is our greatest value.
Dr. Bobinet teaches at Stanford School of Medicine on patient engagement and empowerment, and health design with Dr. Larry Chu, founder of MedicineX. She has studied in Dr. BJ Fogg’s Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford, whom she credits as the founder of “behavior design”.
Dr. Bobinet received her Masters in Public Health at Harvard University, specializing in Healthcare Management, Technology-enabled Behavior Change, and Population Health Management. She received her medical degree from the UCSF School of Medicine.
When she’s not geeking out on neuroscience literature, you can find her hiking on her land, studying bird behavior, and meditating.
“Engagement is everything; if we are engaged in our life, we are fully alive…we have the awareness to face the truth of our behaviors and invest in our well-being. Health is merely a by-product.”
Chief Technology Officer
Brian Garcia is a 15-year technology executive known for innovation and user-centered design of health and wellness software products. As a leading voice in the industry, he has promoted the power of combining design and technology in healthcare.
Now, Brian joins engagedIN for one reason—to add our neuroscience power to his design and technology background—as a trifecta of behavior change for our customers’ solutions. Brian is responsible for our product and technology services including product management, engineering, platform design and development, and architecture.
Garcia most recently served as Chief Technology Officer of Welltok, growing their health optimization platform revenue by over 70% year-over-year. Prior to Welltok, Garcia was Chief Technology Officer for Healthagen, a subsidiary of Aetna, where he led technology strategy across multiple business units in both growth and start-up phases. One of Garcia’s key accomplishments was developing Healthagen’s award-winning platform to combine claims and clinical data sets to create a holistic patient view and inform clinical decisions. During his tenure with Aetna, Garcia held several senior technology leadership roles, including chief architect, and created an integrated suite of solutions driving the health payer business that improved efficiencies and reduced costs by $60 million.
He also does flips on razor sharp devices. No big deal.
“Technology often intrudes in our lives, not improving our experience but creating new friction in what we do. Design and technology must coexist to take complexity and deliver simplicity and a delightful experience to the user that feels like magic.”
Chief Operating Officer
Josh Leichter has spent over 20 years as an executive and advisor to companies focused on the health of their customers. A through-line of his career has been moving closer and closer to what’s important to the people his work ultimately serves. By helping our end users with the essential skill of making positive, lasting behavior change, engagedIN represents the pinnacle of that path.
Josh is our virtuoso conductor, bringing rigor and effectiveness to the hub of many of the functions that make engagedIN flow. His responsibilities include finance, organizational effectiveness, business development, legal, intellectual property, project management, HR, and managing engagedIN’s CHANGE training center in the Santa Cruz mountains. And, occasionally, he sleeps.
Josh brings a breadth of operational experience to engagedIN, having previously led legal teams, guided business development activities and advised on strategic matters, including for finance, operations, product and HR functions. Before engagedIN, Josh served as a VP at Natera, Inc., a billion-dollar, publicly-traded company. Josh oversaw Natera’s successful IPO and sat on Natera’s executive committee through a period of 5-fold growth. During the course of his career, Josh has executed on transactions totaling in the billions of dollars.
And don’t make the mistake of challenging Josh to a game of Boggle. You’ll lose.
“Failure is not an option. It’s inevitable. And it’s not your fault.”
VP of Design
Denny Royal is an established design leader with over 25 years of experience. He has served as a creative executive for a number of top design firms. For each, he was responsible for the overall strategy, design, and implementation of all design and service design engagements. His background in design research, customer experience, brand, design, biomimicry, and technology allows him to bring a holistic and regenerative approach to solving clients’ challenges.
Denny has engaged with a wide variety of clients including extensive work in travel, financial services, education, and a recent focus on health and wellness and healthcare innovation. Denny holds a deep interest in behavior design with the goal of encouraging real behavior change rather than incremental improvement.
Denny holds an MS in Biomimicry from Arizona State University, a Professional Certification in Biomimicry from Biomimicry 3.8, a BFA in design with a minor in cultural anthropology from Ball State, and has had additional training at Stanford’s d.school and the Persuasive Technology Lab. In 2012, Denny was selected as a Presidential Innovation Fellows finalist.
Denny uses his background and training in design thinking, behavior design, and biomimicry to speak and train others in these methodologies. He speaks regularly at healthcare and design industry conferences and events advocating for a human-centered approach to the design process and using nature’s designs to inspire solutions.
When he’s not working, you can find Denny in the woods or mountain biking – that is, if he wants to be found.
“Approaching a design problem with a human centered design methodology is a given for most successful companies today. Putting people at the center of everything you do now requires you to go further and requires deep work on behavior design in order for products and services to feel natural, unobtrusive, and be successful for the user.”
VP of Engineering
Nate is a lifelong learner and problem solver with proven technical and leadership skills. He’s worked in the Health and Wellness space for the entirety of his career, focused on helping people realize their inherent potential through computer- and device-based interactions. His true passion lies in the promise of helping others find their paths to healthier and happier lives.
When he’s not hacking on new technology or enjoying the great outdoors with his wife and two sons, Nate is a dedicated fermentologist who enjoys fermenting just about anything that will sit still for long enough to be consumed by yeast. You can often find him brewing beer, baking breads, or pickling random foods in his spare time.
“Technology so often drives us toward bad habits and negative behaviors, though that doesn’t have to be the case. My mission is to engage people in compelling and compassionate online experiences that give them the power to improve their real world lives by taking control of their own wellbeing.”
An expert in understanding the human mind/human behavior, Keenan studied behavior neuroscience at UC Davis. He conducted lab research on the effects of oxytocin on stress and anxiety and worked at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences studying the effect of adult neurogenesis in learning and memory. Over two years at the Salk, he volunteered extensively in clinical settings, observing surgeries, emergency medicine, and primary care.
When he’s not debating the subtleties of the human brain, he’s coaching volleyball or surfing waves.
“The most powerful statement for understanding behavior change is the simple thought: ‘That’s just my brain being my brain!’”
Simone takes our ideas and brings them to life – on screen and in your hands. A USC graduate, she uses creativity, story-telling, and empathy to create digital experiences that engage users – like this website, for example.
When she’s not glued to her Wacom tablet, she’s studying typography, watching Seinfeld reruns, or chipping away at her goal: 100 countries before she’s 30.
“I set apart my design strategy by asking, how will the brain react when I put this in front of it? It’s my starting point, and everything else flows from there.”
Margarita Ramos, MD, MPH
Dr. Margarita Ramos is a Scholar in Residence from Johns Hopkins University. She is currently a resident in Preventive Medicine at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School after training for 5 years of clinical surgery at Harvard University. While at Harvard, she received the distinguished Paul Farmer’s Global Surgery Fellowship, where she partnered with humanitarian organizations, such as Operation Smile, to use research for better program planning and implementation.
Dr. Ramos received her medical degree from University of Washington, with a concentration in Indian Health and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. Her research in public health has taken her to Peru, Dominican Republic, India, and Madagascar. Her research interests include wound healing and wound prevention, environmental health, global health, lifestyle medicine and behavior change. She received her Bachelors of Science in neuroscience from Brown University, having the opportunity to publish in the fields of pain management, memory and learning.
Her love for other cultures has led her to travel to China to study Traditional Chinese Medicine and she continues to seek out experiences to understand effective communication and community building across economical, social, ethnic and national frontiers.
She’s all about healthy cooking, teaching yoga, running, sailing, kite surfing and anything in the ocean.
“At engagedIN, I found the art and science of medicine were again in harmony, as we take that golden nugget of the patient-health provider interaction and filter it through a lens of neuroscience, design thinking and compassion. This unique approach not only adds value to the life of the users of the health products we design but also enables the American people to experience better health throughout their lifespan.”
Executive Assistant and Project Manager
Hayley Kirksey is the glue that holds the team together. She keeps engagedIN running like a well-oiled machine. A total lifesaver and organizational wizard, she ensures every one of our clients gets the very best service. Hayley is also our coordinator for all events and design workshops at CHANGE, the 160-acre engagedIN facility in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
When she isn’t saving us from scheduling nightmares, she’s traveling in search of the world’s best beaches.
“Creating in-person experiences is essential in the world of constant digital communication. My goal is to design a space for people to connect with each other and spark their innermost creativity.”
Melissa is passionately interested in the mental, physical, emotional & spiritual aspects of being human. She has a degree in Psychology, holds a Life & Health Insurance license, and is a Licensed Massage Therapist. On any day, you can find her dancing, doing yoga, cuddling animals, being outdoors, meditating, and reading anything she can get her hands on. Oh and she’s hooked on Seinfeld and Golden Girls – which probably explains her killer sense of humor.
“I love engagedIN’s attitude of iteration, compassion, egoless-ness, and resilience.”
We are fortunate to “work” – if you can call it that – on 160 acres of land in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains of California. We call our habitat CHANGE, and draw inspiration and creativity from majestic redwoods, coveys of quail, and acorn-munching deer.
We believe our land is meant to be shared with like-minded changemakers. Please join us for an on-site workshop, farm-to-table community dinner, or request a tour.