Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the US. Many patients do not benefit from traditional disease management approaches to CVD risk reduction. Here we describe the rationale, development, and implementation of a multi-component behavioral intervention targeting patients who have persistently not met goals of CVD risk factor control. Informed by published evidence, relevant theoretical frameworks, stakeholder advice, and patient input, we developed a group-based intervention (Changing Results: Engage and Activate to Enhance Wellness; “CREATE Wellness”) to address the complex needs of patients with elevated or unmeasured CVD-related risk factors. We are testing this intervention in a randomized trial among patients with persistent (i.e > 2 years) sub-optimal risk factor control despite being enrolled in an advanced and highly successful CVD disease management program. The CREATE Wellness intervention is designed as a 3 session, group-based intervention combining proven elements of patient activation, health system engagement skills training, shared decision making, care planning, and identification of lifestyle change barriers. Our key learnings in designing the intervention included the value of multi-level stakeholder input and the importance of pragmatic skills training to address barriers to care. The CREATE Wellness intervention represents an evidence-based, patient-centered approach for patients not responding to traditional disease management. The trial is currently underway at three medical facilities within Kaiser Permanente Northern California and next steps include an evaluation of efficacy, adaptation for non-English speaking patient populations, and modification of the curriculum for web- or phone-based versions. NCT02302612.