Pioneering Autism Care

When Dr. Joy Pollard’s nephew was diagnosed with autism, the family had an extra challenge. Living in rural New Mexico, they didn’t have access to the medically necessary treatment. As a researcher with a PhD in Disability Disciplines, Pollard began developing a solution.

Pollard and Kathleen Karimi founded the Behavior Change Institute to provide behavioral health treatment options for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.

Pollard “was providing treatment for individuals with ASD at the time and felt compelled to establish access for her nephew and other families throughout rural New Mexico,” says Karimi, Behavior Change Institute’s CEO of Business Operations.

Today, the organization provides services nationwide, with major service hubs in Alaska, New Mexico, Texas and Hawaii.



TeleBehavioral health

Behavior Change Institute offers Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment, the only scientifically validated intervention for treating autism.

Applied Behavior Analysis applies the principles of learning and motivation, such as positive reinforcement, to manage behaviors and facilitate skill development.

To bring treatment to families in rural and traditionally underserved areas, Behavior Change Institute uses an approach called TeleBehavioral Health. This technique uses the a secure video-streaming platform to supervise 1:1 therapy sessions being conducted in even in the most remote locations.

This business model made Behavior Change Institute a great fit for AnswerConnect’s service, since we also deliver services to clients across the country through a distributed network.


Health care answering service

“AnswerConnect has allowed us to ensure that each caller connects with a friendly individual who can personally direct them to the most appropriate point of contact,” Karimi says. “We pride ourselves on our dedication to customer service and the answering service has enhanced our ability to execute on this.”

Having an answering service to handle calls has also allowed Behavior Change Institute to dedicate administrative resources where they matter most, Karimi says.

Behavior Change Institute chose to partner with AnswerConnect after vetting several companies. “Our number one concern is maintaining an optimal patient experience,” Karimi says, “so the friendly and professional interactions we had with AnswerConnect were key in our decision to become a customer.”