Changing the Culture of Health Care
Karisha Community is a public benefit corporation which is forging a new model of health care. Health begins at home. It’s our food, our family, our jobs, our lifestyle, our communities. At Karisha, our work begins with how we care for ourselves as providers and for each other as service employees. From a loving healing space, we welcome patients of all health states, ages, ethnicities, gender and sexual orientations, and economic backgrounds. This is Karisha, a new culture of health care.
It’s Simple: Food, Medicine, and Health for All
Karisha Community integrates food, medicine, and wellness, in a warm, welcoming space where people enjoy coming for care and where providers love to work.
Karisha Community unites medicine, food, and well-being with a healing kitchen, a yoga/physical therapy studio, a networking community space, and a multi-disciplinary integrative medical clinic.
Karisha is the result of seeing a huge need in our world for accurately addressing medical intervention and prevention. Our current health care system fails to address fundamental contributors of our health: the food we eat, our stress levels, exercise routines, social support systems, restorative sleep, and mind-body practices. We live in busy times, with packed schedules, high stress, and little time to prepare food. Self care and preventative practices of healthful living are not facilitated by our current health care system, culture, or food industry. For those who struggle to pay bills, these aspects of healthy living are even harder to come by.
At Karisha Community, we frame self-care as the basis of preventative health. We offer services to nurture self care, which translates to prosperity for our families, children, community, and world.
The phrase Health for All is taken from the legacy of Amina’s family, who started Health for All, a free clinic in her hometown Bryan, Texas in 1985. It serves approximately 5000 patients today and is now affiliated with the Texas A&M Health Science Center Medical School so that doctors in training receive experience in providing underserved care.
The Karisha providers partner with the communities we serve and, where applicable, offer services in locations convenient to patients, like neighborhoods, schools, churches, community centers, and public parks. This is a proven technique to more effectively support communities and develop long term relationships.
Karisha Integrative Health is a health and healing center which integrates traditional western medicine with Eastern and holistic healing practices. We want our patients to achieve optimal health and healing in the way that works best for them. We will offer pediatric, internal medicine, gynecological, obstetric (prenatal), and acute care services. Karisha will employ licensed and board certified primary care physicians, an acupuncturist, nutritionist, psychotherapist, physical therapist, and therapeutic massage practitioner. We will be located inside Karisha Community, a non-profit organization, which bridges food, medicine and health with a teaching kitchen, sample pantries, a networking space, mind-body practices like yoga and meditation, and dance and drum classes. We refer to a network of integrated providers who amplify our offerings as well as to Western medicine specialists as indicated.
Karisha Community activities include:
- Healthful, practical cooking classes in our teaching kitchen, stocked with sample pantries for a range of dietary needs
- Fresh organic vegetable delivery from local farms
- Affordable mind and body practices like yoga, tai chi, meditation classes, walking groups, dance and movement classes
- Mental health and stress support services including life coaching, counseling, spiritual guidance for those inclined, and social services for those in need
- Services that reach subsidized housing populations to reduce stress and foster family time
- Professional services including nutrition, massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy upon referral from medical providers at Karisha Health or the community
- Infant massage and parenting support groups for parents
Karisha Health, our multi-disciplinary integrative medical clinic will house two integrative medicine physicians and two integrative urgent care physicians. These physicians work closely with the integrated professionals and service providers at Karisha Community. They partner with patients and provide the tools needed to restore health and maintain well being.
Karisha Health will offer:
- Same day appointments and smart phone scheduling
- Check in kiosks to register and enter medical history
- A user friendly electronic medical record which enhances patient and provider experience
- Group medical visits for chronic conditions, pre-natal and well-child care
- Doulas for labor support
- A health library with resources available for check out
- Personalized preventive care
- Acute and chronic medical care
Karisha Community supports the capital costs of creating an integrative healing space that is not traditionally part of a health clinic. It also supports work life balance for employees. Warm, creative, well designed spaces set the stage for a loving health care partnerships with our patients.
In the conventional allopathic medical model, health care providers may be required to work intensely for long hours in a hierarchical culture where self care is a low priority. This can lead to resentment toward our sick patients and eventual burn out. We do not want to risk this, and so we are putting intentional practices in place to hold our patients and practitioners in equal regard.
At Karisha, self care and stress management are foundational to our success. We treat and manage chronic disease while also working toward optimal health utilizing the body’s capacity to heal. The spaces and facilities supported by Karisha Community will create a new culture of health care, for all.
- Holistic health and ancillary care providers practicing with medical doctors under one roof, in an integrated practice with joint case management when applicable. Usage of a ‘warm hand-off’, meaning the ability to transition from one modality of care to another will be utilized as appropriate (e.g. from physician to physical therapy or massage for back pain; from acupuncture to physician when a patient has a bacterial infection)
- Part time positions and flexible schedules which allow work-life balance for employees
- Augmented services for indigent patients, e.g. mental health care, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, nutrition therapy for diagnoses traditionally not covered by private or public insurance
- Cultivated physical spaces: indoor / outdoor waiting room, community garden, meditation garden, yoga / physical therapy space, staff and patient health library
- Cooking kitchen for staff to prepare healthy meals and for patients to learn from cooking classes
- A stocked pantry for staff to utilize and for patient teaching and guidance
- On site daycare for clinic staff
- Comfortable healing spaces: dimmable rather than fluorescent lighting, soft, soothing music in rooms, healing garden, cloth gowns and sheets with linen service
Because this is a community effort, we welcome all feedback and ideas.
If you have a suggestion, please email us at email@example.com.
We’d love to hear from you as we create Karisha.
Images designed by: Bhavani Singal, Workshop No.5, Austin, Texas 2015