Karisha Providers & Collaborators
Karisha has some of the most brilliant minds and tender hearts in Austin.
From a loving, healing space, Karisha providers listen intently, then individualize health care to meet the goals and health needs of their patients; the preferred modality to receive care is customized with the patient while maintaining cultural competency. We care for acute and chronic illnesses, while also supplementing the body’s innate capacity to heal.
We are honored to include these providers in the Karisha family.
CEO & Founder, Integrative Family Medicine with Amina Haji, MD, FAAFM, ABIHM
Amina Haji, MD is a family physician from Austin, Texas. She practiced family medicine in a community health center in Austin for seven years and urgent care in Iowa City and Austin for the last three.Her medical and activist roots come from her family, who are physicians. They established a free medical clinic in Bryan, Texas and maintained an ethnically and economically diverse family medicine clinic there for 40 years.Amina took the less traveled road to become a family physician. After college, she worked as a union organizer, learned West African dance, and spent a year in India and East and South Africa. Amina found herself drawn to the healing aspects of medicine and went on to pursue her medical degree. She is fluent in Spanish, Gujarati, and English.
Amina has had a daily yoga practice for 15 years, and enjoys raising her son. She is Board Certified in Family Medicine and focuses on the use of integrative medicine. She is ready to implement her dream, providing high quality holistic medical services to patients of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Chinwe O. Efuribe M.D., M.P.H. – Integrative Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
Dr. Chinwe Efuribe has served as a board-certified pediatrician and adolescent health specialist for 12 years and currently delivers care at Lone Star Circle of Care. She provides acute and preventive health services to children, adolescents and young adults. Her special areas of interest include empowering young people to develop skills for healthy decision-making and to rise above adversity to reach goals. She also enjoys coaching adult caregivers to support positive development for the youth in their lives. She received her medical degree from the American University of Integrative Sciences (AUIS), completed her pediatric residency at Crozer-Chester Medical Center and her adolescent medicine fellowship at the University of Minnesota Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) program. While in Minnesota, she also obtained a Master in Public Health degree with a focus on community health promotion.
Prior to moving to Austin in 2016, Chinwe has worked as a hospitalist and in various clinical settings including urgent care, private practice, and community health centers. In addition, her experience living in 5 countries and various cities taught her to honor diverse perspectives when addressing complex issues. Her favorite routines are to laugh before bedtime (watching comedy or playing with her toddlers) and to have quiet reflective time every morning. Her favorite quote is “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive” by Maya Angelou. Chinwe cherishes family time spent with her husband and two children. Her hobbies include working with church youth, traveling, cooking, and community-building.
Integrative Urgent Care and Wellness Coaching with Adam Smith, DO
Dr. Smith is a physician, educator, certified coach and patient advocate living in Austin, Texas. Working at the intersection of medicine and mindfulness, Dr. Smith applies the principles of coaching psychology to both his clinical and professional development coaching practice.
Dr. Smith received his medical degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed residency at the Yale University Primary Care Internal Medicine Program. Dr. Smith is board certified in internal medicine and received his coaching certification from Wellcoaches School of Coaching.
Dr. Smith is co-founder of Dakini Meditative, an Austin-based company created with the aim of making the concepts and practice of mindfulness accessible to everyone through community, courses and custom-crafted meditation cushions.
Dr. Smith is an active member of the Texas Medical Association’s Committee for Physician Health and Wellness and an invited speaker at heath care organizations, businesses and academic programs on the topics of professionalism, communication, coaching psychology and mindfulness.
Ruby Rose, MD – Integrative Urgent Care
Dr. Ruby Rose is a board certified Emergency Medicine physician practicing in Austin, Texas for the past 5 years after moving here from Boston, MA with her husband and three children. Dr. Rose attended medical school at Tufts University in Boston, which became her home for the next 12 years. At UMass Memorial Medical Center, she used her experience as chief resident to continue teaching residents and medical students as an Assistant Professor in EM. After moving to Austin, TX in 2012, she became the Quality Director at a busy stroke center and enjoyed contributing to safety improvements for patients and staff while working with the Quality Committee of St. David’s Medical Center.
During her almost 15 years in practicing medicine, Dr. Rose has realized that the one thing that attracted her to medicine, the human connection, is becoming increasingly more difficult to enjoy. She decided to explore the practice of Integrative Medicine and is currently a fellow at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. She has appreciated more than ever that the care we give ourselves resonates and impacts the guidance we give our patients. She is now enjoying her life as an independent contractor and a medical director at an employee wellness clinic while enjoying her time with family and friends. She continues her practice of taekwondo along with her son and enjoys equestrian sports while watching her daughters fall in love with horses like she did. She looks forward to joining and learning from the diverse and talented group of Karisha providers.
Naturopathic Medicine with Paulina Caban, ND
Dr. Paulina has long had a deep appreciation for nature, science and the human body. Naturopathic medicine brings these things together in order to improve primary medical concerns while enhancing a person’s overall health and well-being.She completed her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2005 after receiving her Bachelors in Biology from Texas Tech University.
Dr. Paulina spent the last several years working in Berkeley, CA with community health centers which allowed her to bring naturopathic medicine to an under-served population.
Herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, hydrotherapy, and diet and lifestyle education are a few of the modalities she uses to assist each person in taking an active role to meet their wellness goals.
Dr. Paulina truly enjoys learning traditional and modern medicine and seeing where these subjects intertwine. She has had the opportunity to enhance my education by studying with Ayurvedic doctors in India and community healers in Central America.
Currently Dr. Paulina serves on the board of the Amenda Liberation Project, a non-profit providing integrative mental health services, as well as Ethics Chair for the Texas Association of Naturopathic Doctors. In her spare time she enjoys hikes with her husband, toddler and canine companion.
Mental Health Consulting/Non-Profit Development: Anita Jung, LPC, FAPA
Anita Jung, is the founder of the Jung Wellness Institute, a licensed professional counselor, trainer, and international consultant.
Shie is a proponent for innovative, transformative care combining traditional and non-traditional mind-body approaches. Her work in community collaborations is extensive and also taps into the world of the arts to inspire change and sustain a healthy state of living. Her creativity spans from her work with her clients to creating and publishing musical, therapeutic CDS.
She has served as the Division Director for Counseling and Psychiatric Services at LifeWorks for twenty years. She has developed, transformed, and implemented various therapeutic programs such as psychiatric services, supervised visitation programs for families, family violence intervention groups, and combining counseling with drumming or aerial dance. One of the programs won an achievement ward by the American Psychiatric Association for “A Family-Focused Partnership to Engage High-Risk Children and Adolescents in Service.”
Anita serves on the Clinical Advisory Panel for the SIMS Foundation that provides mental health services for Austin musicians, and teaches workshops internationally. Anita is a Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association and an Approved Consultant for the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). She has served two terms on the Executive Council of ASCH, served as the Central Texas Society of Clinical Hypnosis (CTSCH) president for three years, and is currently a board appointed program development officer for CTSCH.
Acupuncture, Herbal and Planetary Medicine with Simel Bey, LAc (Licensed Acupuncturist)
Born in Denton, Texas, Simel is the oldest of three sons to Dr. Jack Osborne Jenkins and Delilah Elaine Luten Jenkins. Simel’s father, the Reverend Dr. Jack O. Jenkins, became the second African-American to receive a PHD from the University of Georgia’s Psychology Doctoral Program in 1978 and his drive and determination can be seen in everything Simel does in life.Simel attended Fort Valley State University where he majored in and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Radio, Film and Print. Upon completion of his degree, Simel traveled to Kenya and Tanzania to study the Kikuyu, Akamba and Massai cultures while documenting Serengetti and Kakemega rainforest plant specimens. Later he traveled to Central Mexico and Southern Asia to do the same.
A near fatal car accident changed Simel Bey’s life forever. A head injury and the subsequent healing process caused Simel to rely on painkillers and a host of other medications that wouldn’t allow him to think clearly much else fulfill his destiny. One day, Simel removed himself from the regimen of painkillers and began to see the world around him once again. He saw incredible visions of celestial being acupuncture meridians and what life held for him. He knew immediately what he had to do.
Right away, Simel attended The Texas College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Austin, Texas where he worked to receive his Masters of Science Degree while completing his work on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Disorders. Simel became Licensed and Board Certified as an Acupuncturist by the Texas State Medical Board of Examiners for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and now he shares his techniques to heal the mind, body and spirit of his clients. He works to free their Qi through the effective use of dietary therapy, therapeutic exercise, cupping and spiritual awareness programs for both individuals and business professionals. He has even been awarded the Best Acupuncturist of 2013 in Austin, Texas.
As the author of many well-known titles including Children Initiatic Tales: Stories of The Immortal Light and The Mysterious One of Kapera Engolo: A Story of Defiance and Triumph, Simel Bey’s interest in sharing his beliefs with those in the world around him through (The Children in Natures Workshops and The Feed Your Soul campaigns) is evidenced by his desire to touch the lives of everyone he comes in contact with.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction with Geeta Cowlagi
Geeta teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and meditation to individuals and groups in Austin and Central Texas through my practice with Joyful Living. She has also taught 8-week MBSR classes at the Heart Hospital of Austin.Geeta’s formal meditation training started in 2004 and she continues to strengthen her practice through many silent meditation and mindfulness retreats under the guidance of Insight Meditation teachers Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzburg, Kamala Masters, Rodney Smith, Steve Armstrong, Mark Coleman, Christina Feldman and Howard Cohn.
Prior to devoting herself to the practice and teaching of mindfulness, Geeta worked at the Counseling Center at the University of Texas at Austin and taught courses in the Department of Educational Psychology. Geeta has presented interactive workshops and trainings to over 50,000 individuals nationwide. The core of her work is a “heart-centered” approach that invites participants to explore life’s challenges in a safe and supportive environment.
Nutritional Cooking Instruction with Yael Gutin, Girl Meets Plants
Yael is a certified plant-based chef who specializes in health-supportive, individualized cooking. Yael is passionate about preparing nutritious & healing foods, using local & organic ingredients, and advocating for the critical connection between diet & health. Yael is professionally trained in the preparation of vegan & vegetarian cuisine, gluten-free foods, raw/living foods, plant-based baking, and Ayurvedic & Macrobiotic theory and cooking. Yael also holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Dietetics, and uses her knowledge of nutrition to help create customized menus for her clients’ specific dietary needs.
Yoga Therapy & Instruction with Pamela Brewer
Pamela Brewer is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance ®, a Certified iRest® Yoga Nidra Teacher , a member of International Association of Yoga Therapists and is currently enrolled in an Advance Yoga Therapy program at YOGAYOGA Austin Texas.A Yoga Instructor in Austin Texas since 2002 she teaches in the Fit/ Well Department at The University of Texas, in corporate and private settings, as well as after school to Elementary and Middle school teachers.She co-created and taught yoga classes for a Community Wellness Program in South Austin for over 9 years. Pamela has led many workshops including `Therapeutic Yoga for Students Sitting at a Computer`.She also Co-produced a DVD `Yoga at Enchanted Rock` with Pamela Brewer.Pamela also teaches a meditation practice called iRest® Yoga Nidra. Integrative Restoration or iRest® is an evidenced based transformative practice that leads to psychological, physical, and spiritual healing and well-being. iRest provides you with tools to help relax deeply, release stress, increase resiliency, improve your interpersonal relationships and provide you with greater mastery and control in your life.
Nada Yoga with Oliver Rajamani
Nada Yoga is instrumental in bringing physical healing. Medical research has shown that music and meditation in general aids in stabalizing blood pressure, calming the nervous system which all help the heart and the mind. It also helps with enhanced mental focus(ADD), healthy joints. It has shown that it helps patients with parkinsons diseases amongst many other illnesses.Oliver Rajamani is a daily practitioner of yoga and meditation. He began his journey of yoga with a focus in music and meditation in India. As a music teacher and professional touring artist he focuses on transmitting the ancient knowledge of nada yoga to his students and audiences. Rajamani has worked with leading psychotherapists internationally and has been an invited guest to the International Hypnosis Conferences held in Germany, Arizona and a presenter at the “German/Nepalese Medical and Psychology Congress” in Nepal.Oliver has presented Nada yoga workshops in India, Germany and USA. He has taught regularly at the Music Therapy Center in Austin, Texas as well as doing drumming and leadership skill workshops with TNOYS(Texas Network For Youth Services), Gardner Betts(Juvenile Detention Center), Life Works ( Family Therapy center) and many other organizations.
Nutrition and Wellness with Maria Mendoza
Maria is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian who was born and raised in Central Texas. Shortly after getting a degree in International Business and Spanish from Trinity University, she realized this was not her calling. She took a course in nutrition and knew that was the path she needed to be on. She went on to obtain her Masters of Human Nutrition from the University of Alabama and completed her dietetic internship through Sodexo. She has since worked in various areas, which includes helping collegiate athletes maximize their performance and working with the low income population in disease management. She also had the opportunity to live and gain hands-on experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which helped her to become fluent in Spanish. She is excited to be a helping hand in the Karisha Community by sharing her nutrition knowledge with those interested in total mind and body wellness. She truly believes that food has the power to heal.
Healing Massage Therapist and Certified Infant Massage with La’arni Ayuma
La’arni Ayuma is the owner and instructor of Ayuma Healing Arts. She incorporates Intuitive Healing and Holistic Education in her work in bodywork and massage. Licensed in Massage Therapy in the State of Texas since 2005 and Certified in Infant Massage Instructor since 2011. She advocates for a more holistic approach to health care by teaching massage and making more homeopathic treatments available within the family. Her intention is to encourage self-love and self-healing and empower families through the art of massage.
She is a mother to a teen musician/artist, a free spirited toddler and a fierce and peaceful baby. She is also a proud wife to a poet/lawyer/professor who does his own healing work through social justice and the arts.
Claudia Voyles, LAc (Licensed Acupuncturist) – Community Acupuncture & NADA (detoxification + support) protocol
I started my journey in the behavioral health field. I worked for behavioral health for-profit and not-for-profit agencies with a team-based approach to care. As both clinician and administrator, I loved the collaborations and opportunities to craft programs to meet community-identified needs. In 1991, I went to the South Bronx and learned to do the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) ear acupuncture protocol to support recovery. I have continued active involvement with NADA, including serving on the board of directors. The NADA mission is deeply important to me and I plan to continue active involvement with the organization. My doctoral research project is a needs assessment towards a revision of the NADA training resource manual.
I love being an acupuncturist. The whole person model of health and healing of Chinese medicine really works for me and I hope to continue to serve in that way for many years to come. I see my role as facilitator to the patient’s own healing process. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that there is always something useful that you can do and evidence of change can be both instantaneous and sustained. I am deeply honored to partner with my patients.
I also love teaching and helping others to hone their skills and vision as practitioners, both acupuncture students and the other behavioral health clinicians that I teach to do “acudetox”.
I am on the final stretch of completing my doctoral program, with expected graduation in mid- September, a natural time to explore “what’s next?”. I have been envisioning the next iteration of my clinic/practice and contemplating versions with more modalities and more integration. Joining the Karisha team would of course, meet that need. As an acupuncturist, I have always practiced in multi-modality settings, co-locating and collaborating with psychotherapists, other acupuncturists, massage therapists, naturopaths and energy healers.
Martina Santesteban, Life Coach
Martina is a certified Life Coach. Her training is grounded in positive psychology, coaching, and neuroscience. She is devoted to working with people to develop a deeper understanding of themselves, reduce stress and improve the quality of their relationships, supporting her clients to find the motivation and tools necessary to reach their physical and emotional goals. She has collaborated with authors, health educators, holistic healers and coaches in international workshops and talks on coaching, mindfulness, the effects of stress on the body, and achieving internal peace/external balance. She brings authenticity and is best known for her ability to empathize and connect with others while providing a sacred space for her clients which allows them to return to their true essence. Martina’s clients have experienced the following outcomes: increased energy, an emotional “weightlessness”, increased optimism, ability to make mindful decisions, and physical and emotional wellbeing.
Karisha Community Collaborators
Yoga Yoga was founded in Austin, Texas, in 1997 rooted in the philosophy of “Yoga is the journey. Practice is the path.” Since that time Yoga Yoga has grown from one yoga studio to four and teaches a robust collection of classes including traditional Hatha Yoga, Hatha Flow, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Kundalini Yoga, as well as Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga, Children’s Yoga and Health & Wellness classes. In honor of the founding principles Yoga Yoga has built a dynamic system of wellness that includes the Yoga Wellness Spa, Yoga Therapy Clinic and Yoga Yoga Teacher Training program.
Johnson’s Backyard Garden
Johnson’s Backyard Garden is an organic vegetable farm located in Austin, Texas. Founded in 2004, JBG now provides organic vegetables to over 1500 CSA members, local grocery stores, and restaurants. You can also find the farm’s produce at over 18 farmers’ markets in town. Johnson’s Backyard Garden strives to provide Austinintes with produce that is not only good for their bodies, but also for produce that is good for the Austin soil, economy, and food system. JBG vegetables are 100% organic, meaning no toxic compounds for you or your family. Also, because the farm is local, vegetables do not have to travel as far or go through as many hands to reach your table. This means vegetables are eaten closer to their harvest date, yielding more vitamins and nutrients (the healing power of food) within every bite.
Nutritional Cooking Classes from the Sustainable Food Center (SFC)
Karisha will offer nutritionally oriented cooking classes and more, in part, through it’s collaboration with La Cocina Alegre at the SFC, which has been providing wonderful, high quality community oriented community oriented nutrition education for more than a decade.Sustainable Food Center cultivates a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. SFC envisions a food secure community where all children and adults grow, share and prepare healthy, local food.SFC & Karisha Community offer cooking and nutrition education classes for the preparation of meals that are delicious, nutritious, seasonal and affordable, ensuring lasting dietary changes. This creates a place where people come together to learn skills and self-sufficiency in preparing healthy, economical meals, laugh, cook, and enjoy food together. SFC envisions a future where everyone engages with their food system through cooking and healthy eating.
Mama’s on Bedrest
The vision for Mamas on Bedrest & Beyond is to change the experience of high risk pregnancy. Rather than the doom and gloom, anxiety and worry often associated with high risk pregnancy, founder Darline Turner, strives to bring Mamas on Bedrest unique and boutique experiences. Her ultimate goal? To make Mamas on Bedrests’ experiences so pleasurable that they become the envy of low risk pregnant mamas! For Darline, it’s all about providing Mamas with the comfort, security and peace of mind that comes from knowing that everything on the home front is safe and secure. That way, Mama can do what she really needs to do-rest and take care of herself and her growing and developing baby(ies).
Austin Kung-Fu Academy
Austin Kung-Fu Academy specializes in Martial Arts classes tailored by age group for kids. Our adult programs range from Kung-Fu classes to Tai Chi and Cardio classes. Tai Chi is a healing art from China that incorporates slow, deliberate, low impact movements done in continuous flow.Practicing Tai Chi develops our balance, strength, and focus while integrating body and mind with spirit. It is practiced by millions in China and worldwide.Instructor Santanu Rahman is the Co-Director of Austin Kung-Fu Academy and has been practicing Tai Chi for over 25 years. We wish for you to reap the benefits of Tai Chi and apply the principles to your daily life. No matter your fitness level or experience, we have something for every body!
WeViva provides affordable and accessible fitness and nutrition programs to people in low-income communities throughout Austin. WeViva aims to remove the barriers that people (mainly women) face when making the decision to prioritize their wellness. In doing so, we not only improve women’s health but produce healthy role models for children and families. WeViva is a Hybrid of English and Spanish–We (community, friends, co-workers) and Viva (Spanish for live or life). Our name symbolizes our commitment to bringing life, wellness, and activity to the communities we serve.
Integrity Academy and Natural Learning Center at Casa de Luz
The Integrity Academy at Casa de Luz, Center for Integral Studies is a small, secular, private, year-round school serving families and children ages 3 – 103. The program uses a part-time classroom model, whereby the students attend class four days per week Monday – Thursday from 9 – 3pm. Families who need more support can enroll their children for the early program (7-9am) and/or the late program (3-6pm) for an additional charge. Friday camps and Break camps provide continuous support for families all year long. Parent, Adult and Family classes and workshops are also part of the program offering. YogaYoga (Bio & Pic Coming) Natural Epicurean (Bio & Pic Coming) Johnson’s Backyard Organic (Bio & Pic Coming)
Commons Health was established to connect and advance place-based health creation models, a new health operating system and evolve shared knowledge, experience,communication and collaborations.
We utilize a systems worldview which brings shifts in perception necessary to positively influence health far beyond health care. A systems worldview implies the vital importance of “power within,” social relationships, and connection, and embraces the interplay of psycho-social, spiritual, environmental, and other factors in the support and promotion of individual health and well-being.
Commons Health works to support and strengthen systems models of health at the individual, community and planetary level. The significance of social, environmental and economic drivers of well-being, also help us embrace the recognition that ultimately, health is local.
Gurukul Yoga Holistic Center
Gurukul’s vision is to simplify and demystify life management to eradicate disease.
Our mission is to create Friends of Yoga (Yoga-Mi-tra) for harmony, health and happiness; serve community with authentic Yoga and holistic services at affordable tuition, and create a livelihood for an authentic Yoga/holistic practitioner.
Food Yogini combines food and Yogini, a divine feminine form signifying female intuition. We provide holistic nutritional counseling, Ayurvedic education and an eco-conscious on line food store.
Peoples Rx, an Austin favorite for over 35 years, is an integrative, holistic, compounding pharmacy on a mission to educate and empower people to be more proactive in their healthcare. All four locations incorporate specialty health foods such as local, grass-finished beef and healing bone broth. Plus three locations have outstanding delis featuring organic, paleo, dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free options. Their highly-trained wellness team, including naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, herbalists and homeopaths provides prompt, friendly service with only high quality products.
Food for Black Thought
Food for Black Thought (FFBT) promotes food justice through action education, training, and consulting. Black experiences with food, past and present, are our lens. Initially launched as a community symposium in 2012 and 2013 in Austin, Texas, today FFBT creates educational resources in support of local food systems that are cooperative, socially-just, and community-based. Our approach to food justice “beyond food deserts” celebrates community food knowledge and holistic understandings of health. FFBT partners with organizations and classrooms in Texas and beyond. FFBT is an initiative of Get Rooted Consulting LLC, a Black- and Latinx-owned social enterprise committed to radical wellness.
Capitol Gastro is a single specialty medical group dedicated to excellence in gastroenterology.
Our Mission: Excellence in patient care.
Our Vision: Capitol Gastro is a leader in patient-centered gastroenterology care. Our team provides comprehensive and compassionate healthcare service in Central Texas utilizing conventional and functional medicine approach. We honor shared-decision making with patients and their care team. The patient is the central focus of the healing process.
Our Values: We are dedicated to Quality, Innovation, Teamwork, Individuality, and Integrity.
Contemplative Life is a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect people and communities with transformative practices. It serves as a digital hub to bring the myriads of different contemplative and mindfulness practices under one umbrella to help people easily find practices of interest and connect with others of like mind. The organization is founded on the principle that deep and sustained practice transforms people, inspiring kindness and resulting in improved health and well-being.
Karisha Community Advisors
Adam Smith, D.O. – Dakini Meditative & Wellness Coaching
Dr. Adam Smith has served as a founding advisor and provider partner since Karisha PBC’s inception. He received his DO degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Yale Primary Care Program. He worked for Yale Health in a number of positions including Chief of Inpatient, Transitional and Acute Care, and in Care Management and Wellness Programming.
Dr. Smith is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach. He approaches medicine with a belief in the importance of patient education and continuity of care. His clinical and academic work focuses on wellness and prevention, specifically as it relates to the doctor-patient relationship and engaging physicians and patients around the subject of behavioral change through the use of mindfulness and coaching psychology. Dr. Smith has practiced in Austin, Texas since 2014. He is the former Medical Director for MedSpring urgent care; a current practitioner with Emergency Services Partners at CommUnityCare; a consultant for Physician Wellness for Austin Diagnostic Clinic; and a speaker for UT Dell Medical School. He is the Founder / Owner and a meditation instructor for Dakini Meditative in Austin, Texas.
His planned advisory and clinical role for Karisha PBC medical wellness center bridges the best of his range of experience, from medical practice leadership, to wellness program design, patient navigation services, mindfulness teaching, coaching and clinical practice in internal medicine and urgent care. He is excited to ensure the integrity and cohesion of the Karisha PBC medical wellness practice.
Scott Shannon, MD, ABIHM – Wholeness Center
Scott has been involved in holistic medicine since he joined the American Holistic Medical Association in 1978 as a founding member. Scott has been instrumental in the creation of a holistic and integrative perspective in psychiatry for two decades. He published the first textbook for this field in 2001. Scott is a past president of the AHMA and the immediate past President of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He serves as the current Secretary of the new Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.Scott also teaches as an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado-Children’s Hospital in Denver. In 2010 he founded the country’s largest and most comprehensive integrative mental health clinic, Wholeness Center, in Fort Collins. Norton published his latest textbook for professionals, Mental Health for the Whole Child in 2013 and his book for parents, Parenting the Whole Child in 2014.
Milad Taghehchian – Pioneer Wealth Management Group
Milad Taghehchian has served Austin as a wealth management advisor since founding Pioneer Wealth Management Group in 2004. He brings over two decades of experience in ethical financial advising for individuals, small businesses, and corporations in all aspects of their finances from business start-up to wealth management. Pioneer Wealth believes that all individuals and companies deserve unbiased advice on the road to achieving and maintaining financial success. Milad has served as Dr Haji’s personal financial advisor since 2007. He provided the initial business development plan for her medical wellness center and has served as an advisor to the project since inception. He is an invaluable ‘co-creator’ of Karisha PBC and sees his advising role as key to ensuring financial sustainability of the medical and wellness operations.
Tamra Swindoll – Catalyst Consulting
Tamra Swindoll is the founder / owner of Catalyst Consulting. She has over 31 years of experience providing business solutions to medical practices in Austin and in the US. She started Catalyst Consulting in 1998 and has helped open over 350 plus healthcare businesses. Ms. Swindoll’s services range from business planning and execution of new practice establishment; including feasibility, site selection, and financing, to equipment procurement, IT solutions, HR, marketing, contracting and credentialing, to working with existing practices and organizations with assessing and implementing successful operational change through strategic, innovative and sustainable solutions. Tamra’s company is a national solutions partner to Henry Schein Medical and works as part of their consulting team to their clients across the nation. She has worked with both Seton and St. David’s Hospital Systems, locally, in strategy and recruiting as well as new practice startups for 50 plus physician groups in the Austin area. Her clients have ranged from single specialty physician offices to large institutional clients – Walmart and QuadMed.
Tamra’s strong networking and negotiating skills combined with an extraordinary understanding of the logic, mechanics, and political environment of the healthcare industry provide her clients a unique advantage. Tamra is active in numerous community efforts, holds board positions for several non-profits, as well as participates in medical mission work in Central America.
She is a proud consultant to Karisha PBC and intends to help ensure its start up and success.
Jamie Harvie, P.E. – Institute for a Sustainable Future
Jamie Harvie is the Executive Director of the Duluth, MN based Institute for a Sustainable Future (ISF) and founder of the Commons Health Network. He is nationally recognized for his extensive experience at the nexus of health, community, environment and health care. He led the national health care mercury phase-out initiative, which included negotiation with the top US retailers to voluntarily eliminate the sale of mercury thermometers, and the successful coordination and passage of mercury product legislation across the United States and globally.
Jamie founded the Healthy Food in Health Care initiative, in which he directed a nationwide collaboration of NGO’s, famers, clinicians and healthcare partners to create food policy and practice change models.
Jamie initiated the Commons Health Network, which has developed a new integrative, placed-based, health creation framework.
Jamie is a founding member of the Creating Health Collaborative, a global collaborative of health care, community and clinical leadership working to create health outside of health care.
Debra Newby Watkins, CPA
Debbie Watkins has provided accounting services for individuals and businesses in Austin, Texas since 1982. She enjoys the collaborative aspects of advising a team of professionals on tax and accounting matters related to project development. She has served as Dr. Haji’s accountant for Karisha PBC since inception and enjoys her advisory role to the team to help ensure success of the project.
Anita Jung, LPC – Founder / Owner, Clinician, Jung Wellness Institute
Anita Jung, LPC has served as a founding advisor and clinical partner to Karisha PBC medical wellness center since its inception. She served for two decades as the former Division Director for Counseling and Psychiatric Services at LifeWorks youth and family center in Austin, Texas, from 1996-2016. Since her departure Anita has developed the Jung Wellness Institute as a licensed professional counselor, trainer, and international consultant on mind-body practices. She is a proponent for innovative, transformative care combining traditional and nontraditional mind-body approaches. She brings extensive community relationships and incorporates the arts to inspire change and promote healthy living. She has also produced and published three CDs in the US and in Europe which provide healing and relaxation through stories, guided meditation, and music.
As Director for Counseling and Psychiatric Services at Lifeworks in Austin, Anita developed, transformed, and implemented numerous therapeutic programs. Her program, “A Family-Focused Partnership to Engage High-Risk Children and Adolescents in Service” won achievement award by the American Psychiatric Association in 2016.
Anita has served on the Clinical Advisory Panel for the SIMS Foundation which provides mental health services for Austin musicians. Anita is a Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association and an Approved Consultant for the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH). She has served two terms on the Executive Council of ASCH, served as the Central Texas Society of Clinical Hypnosis (CTSCH) president for three years, and is currently a board appointed program development officer for CTSCH.
John Katovich – Founder and President, Cutting Edge Capitol
John has over 30 years of experience in law, markets and securities, including executive level positions with several national stock exchanges and privately held corporations. After practicing law in Chicago, he became an Assistant Specialist on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange, and was recruited by the exchange as an enforcement and regulatory attorney, then becoming their General Counsel. John joined the Boston Stock Exchange in 2007 as EVP and Chief Legal Officer, and was responsible for the merger and acquisition activity with NASDAQ OMX and sale of its options exchange ownership to the Montreal Bourse. While at NASDAQ OMX, he became CEO of its subsidiary responsible for all regulatory oversight in Boston. John also served as EVP and General Counsel for two financial technology companies before founding Cutting Edge Counsel and Cutting Edge Capital in 2001, based in Oakland, CA. In addition, he has taught capital markets courses at the Presidio Graduate School’s MBA program, UC Berkeley, and INSEAD in France. John received his B.S. from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and J.D. from The Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. John was a founding board member of Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and The Food Commons, for which he is still currently a member. He is licensed to practice law in California and Illinois, and is registered as a Series 62 Corporate Securities Representative and Series 24 General Securities Principal with FINRA.
Karisha Community Consultants
Marian Morris – PhD, MPH, RN – Project Manager, Operations Design and ACEs Integration
Marian is a native Texan and a long-time health care professional. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology, a master’s in public health with a focus on community health education, and a PhD in nursing. She studied the impact of language used by nurses while discussing ADHD in preschool-age children. Marian began clinical work for 9 years as a volunteer, medical assistant, program manager, then supervisor at Planned Parenthood in Santa Cruz, California. She counseled pregnant women, assisted with patient care, coordinated cancer and STI screening, managed primary care, family planning, and abortion and prenatal care services, oversaw lab activities, and supervised clinic staff. She served for four years as a Program Coordinator for an international reproductive health leadership development training, for community leader teams from seven different countries in Africa and Asia. She returned to her childhood home of Austin in 2005 as Assistant Director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations at the UT-Austin School of Nursing, for four years. In graduate school she worked as a teaching and research assistant; taught public health nursing at community sites in Austin and the surrounding areas; and conducted research for School of Nursing, College of Liberal Arts, and School of Social Work faculty and research scientists. Marian’s most recent interest is exploring The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, the integration of ACEs screening into clinical practice, and cultivating resilience for health care providers and our patients, clients, and guests. Marian makes sure she does good self-care so that she can do some good for and with the people with whom she interacts, which include her close and extended family all over Austin and Texas, her friends near and far, in Austin and in Santa Cruz, and also her cat, Zen.
She shares Karisha’s vision to transform the culture of health care, and is pleased to serve our community!
Architectural Development by Bhavani Singal and Workshop No. 5
Workshop No. 5 was begun with the purpose of researching and designing concepts which provide for their environments. From up-cycling building materials to designing smart homes which live synergistically with their occupants and self-healing buildings which strengthen over time, we are actively looking for ways to improve on the old schools of architecture.We intend to utilize our skills at home and abroad to help with infrastructure development, disaster relief, and humanitarian action in marginalized areas. To achieve this, we are procuring both our materials and talent from sustainable and innovative sources. We are dedicated to superb craftsmanship and design. We take time with the process to turn out excellent creations. At every turn, Workshop No. 5 epitomizes Sustainability, Innovation, & Craftsmanship.Bhavani Singal, the Founder of Workshop No.5, is a recipient of AIA Austin Award 2009. Her work on Ella Wooten Neighborhood Park, Met Retail, and Rackspace has been published in the Texas Architect in 2009 and 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from the University of Houston.
Arya Creative – Web Development
We are not just designers and developers – we are online and branding strategists who will create a clear procedure to communicate your call to action through design and purpose. We will help you set up systems and processes that work to save you time and money!
Manuel Escobar – Partner, McGinnis Lochridge
Manuel Escobar is a corporate and transactional attorney with over 10 years of experience counseling private companies and individuals across multiple industries, working closely on transactional matters with business owners and senior management. Manuel assists clients with business formation and ownership from entity selection to dissolution, as well in as a broad range of other transactional matters for both for-profit and nonprofit entities, including ownership structure, drafting formation and operating documents, and advising on corporate governance. Manuel has helped a variety of businesses and individuals form, wind down, and buy and sell businesses across Texas.
Manuel has engaged in pro bono work throughout his career, forming nonprofits, representing individuals in divorces and immigration matters, and serving as pro bono counsel to the board of a local health care and social services provider. Manuel believes that by empowering individuals, professionals and communities to collaborate on health and wellness of individuals and their families, Karisha can create a model that can transform the delivery of healthcare around the world.
Tuck Kamin – Owner of Potential Being.
Identify a brand’s attributes and how it serves its audience.
Consistently check-in to make sure the owners of the brand are enthusiastically engaged and in sync with the brand’s proper growth. Translate the brand into creative messaging, through writing, graphics and film.
Why I’m interested in Karisha
“I’ve helplessly watched a loved one receive inadequate healthcare. I knew it could be better. I want to help Karisha make that happen.”
Tuck’s has executed advertising and communication campaigns for Health care clients such as Medical startups, Hospitals, Physicians, and Health advocacy organizations. Other clients have included Whole Foods Markets, Southwest Airlines, Citibank, Colgate Palmolive, Mattel, Pure Austin and others.
Rebranding Aging. Design Your Age is Tuck’s effort in working with social scientists, age scientists, designers and innovators to rebrand the way we see and act on aging.
Creating new social constructs and frameworks to improve the way older adults see themselves. How society and business will again establish a new value on experience. Tuck’s book Design Your Age– What’s Best About You Never Ages, takes a serious exploration into the study of the positive aspects of aging. Tuck’s podcast in aging is “Impossible Fossil” launched on ITunes July 2017.
Scott Taylor, Tierra Concepts – Construction Project Manager
Scott Taylor is a thoughtful and skilled Development Director with comprehensive experience in all aspects of real estate development. His expertise includes land feasibility analysis and purchase negotiations; project financing; scheduling, budgeting, draws, and reporting; site planning, civil engineering, and municipal entitlements, installation of site infrastructure, improvements, and utilities; architecture, space planning, structural engineering, and MEP engineering; building construction and interior finish-out; marketing, sales, leasing, and client management. Mr. Taylor’s recent commercial developments include the American Association of Nurse Practitioners 34,000 s/f headquarters; Austin Board of Realtors 35,000 s/f headquarters; Davenport 360 34,000 s/f office building; Overlook at Spicewood Springs 12,000 s/f office building; Mandola’s Italian Kitchen 6,300 s/f restaurant; Southpark Meadows Plaza 80,000 s/f mixed-use commercial project. In addition to experience leading these and other commercial and residential development projects, Mr Taylor brings a decade of experience in banking. He graduated from University of Texas in Austin with a Bachelors in Business Administration and Finance with emphasis in Real Estate.
Alejandra Spector, Executive Assisting
Alejandra Spector is a St. David’s Bilingual Scholar at the University of Texas School of Social Work. Prior to entering graduate school she was Outreach Coordinator for Mexicanos en Exilio, an organization dedicated to assisting Mexican activists and reporters navigate the legal and political process of political asylum in the United States. As outreach coordinator she coordinated events with the public, spoke with the press, scheduled speaking tours for members and gave lectures both nationally and internationally to universities and cultural centers on the violence and political unrest in Mexico. All of this work was preceded by years of community organizing and participation in Austin and Latin America. Upon graduation she intends to earn a license in clinical social work, and provide counseling services to traditionally marginalized communities. She is excited to be a part of the Karisha team to provide person-centered holistic health care in a warm and caring environment.
Rachael Padgett – Partner, McGinnis Lochridge
Rachael has a diverse healthcare practice representing institutional and individual clients in transactions, administrative proceedings and litigation as well as counseling on operational and regulatory issues. A majority of Rachael’s time is focused on counseling clients concerning regulatory compliance with state insurance and other health related laws. Rachael serves on the President’s Council of the Seton Fund. As part of the leadership for Seton’s Future of Care Campaign, Rachael represents those dedicated to Seton’s mission and the success of Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas.
Joshua Foo – Cypress Business Consulting
Joshua Foo is a proud team member of Cypress Business Consulting. Cypress helps to support and direct business operations, from start up planning and business forecasting to directing mature corporate operations, both for profit and non-profit. Most of Josh’s proficiency derives from over 15 years of corporate finance experience. Josh provides perspective from a variety of past financial roles. Previously, he’s had roles as a Financial Controller, Finance M&A Integration Lead, as well as roles in competitive market analysis and accounting. Josh is highly experienced in a broad range of business development, project facilitation, and holistic and strategic planning across industries. We believe having a financial partner, like Cypress Business Consulting, will be a valuable asset to the financial sustainability of the Karisha community as we grow and thrive.
Kareem Hajjar, Partner – Hajjar Peters LLP
Kareem T. Hajjar is a member of Hajjar Peters LLP’s transactional group. His work thus far includes representation of over 1,000 bars, restaurants and other retail businesses located throughout the United States and includes the formation of corporate entities, real estate acquisition and leasing, zoning and other land use and municipal issues, trademark acquisitions, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission permit acquisition, employment agreements, mergers, acquisitions, and reorganizations, private offerings of debt and equity securities, venture capital transactions and contract negotiations. In addition Mr. Hajjar represents clients in complex real estate transactions, drafting purchase and sale agreements for raw land and income-producing properties, negotiating and drafting commercial lease agreements and escrow agreements, drafting restrictive covenants, condominium associations and other development documents, drafting commercial loan packages, the planning and formation of business entities, including corporations, special purpose entities, partnerships and limited liability companies, and the planning and drafting of securities offerings for real estate developments, oil and gas ventures, and bar and restaurant concepts.
Debra Newby Watkins, CPA
Debbie Watkins has provided accounting services for individuals and businesses in Austin, Texas since 1982. She enjoys the collaborative aspects of advising a team of professionals on tax and accounting matters related to project development. She has served as Dr. Haji’s accountant for Karisha PBC since inception and enjoys her advisory role to the team to help ensure success of the project.
Chris Jackson, PLA, LEED AP, Principal, TBG Partners – Landscape Architecture
A Principal based in TBG Partners’ Austin office, Chris Jackson has spent the past 10 years in Central Texas after a memorable Rust Belt upbringing and has become deeply embedded in the local community through his extensive regional involvement. His project experience with TBG has ranged from large-scale planning efforts to highly focused site design and he has a passion for urban revitalization. He applies a systemic approach to design, incorporating sociological, economic, ecological and aesthetic criteria into innovative design solutions, and his involvement with local community organizations focused on urban renewal allows him to connect strategic partners into influential alliances to address complex challenges. Chris serves on The Trail Foundation’s Board of Directors and as Design Committee Lead, on the Urban Land Institute’s Young Leaders Program, as Co-Chair of ASLA’s CodeNEXT Advisory Committee, and on the Downtown Austin Alliance’s Parks & Open Space Committee. He received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Penn State University, is a Professional Landscape Architect in Texas and a LEED Accredited Professional.
Barbra Boeta – Reliable Books
Barbra Boeta has worked with entrepreneurs and non-profits organizations for over 13 years. Barbra is currently the executive director of the Economic Growth Business Incubator (EGBI). Prior to being named the executive director of EGBI in 2017, Barbra spear-headed EGBI’s small business one-on-one consulting services, entrepreneur training programs, and programs to connect industry experts to our clients.
Barbra also owns her own bookkeeping firm, Reliable Numbers Bookkeeping Services. She has helped nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs throughout Central Texas realize their dream of opening a business in a variety of industries such as beauty shops, lawn care services, food production, restaurants, and many other areas. She is a master of QuickBooks, Salesforce, and Excel.
Barbra sits on several area boards and committees, including the FDIC’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion (AEI), the City of Austin’s Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) and Small Business Advisory Committee. Barbra chaired AEI’s inaugural Small Business Forum. She is an active member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Austin Leadership (HAL) Alumni. In 2016, in recognition of her community involvement, Barbra received the Hispanic Austin Leadership – Distinguished Alumni Award.
Prior to joining EGBI, Barbra worked for PeopleFund as a small business lender to entrepreneurs. Barbra graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
Carley Staib – Project Support
Carley Staib is a multi-talented executive assistant and entrepreneur living in Austin, Tx. She started her career as an investigator for the district attorney in Washington, DC. Since then her attention of detail and hard work have grown into thriving partnerships with a diverse group of clients. In her free time she enjoys biking, reading, cooking and doing art projects with her husband. Whether it be logistics or creative projects, Carley brings energy, care and intelligence to any task at hand.