Austin Physicians, Providers Join To Mend Healthcare, At Crossroads

85% of chronic disease is driven by lifestyle

Health care is at a crossroads: patients are dissatisfied with care. They point to long wait times and little time with their doctors, who don’t listen. Physicians are also frustrated and burned out. They report short patient visits and inability to adequately address chronic conditions, largely driven by lifestyle – high stress, poor food quality, poor social supports, lack of exercise and more. The cost cutting measures of the 1980s along with high technical advancements have not improved our health care outcomes nor satisfaction.

In order to shift this ailing health care system, a group of physicians and integrated providers in Austin, Texas is stepping up. Imagine a place where patients are intentionally supported and multidisciplinary information and skill sets work for the patient and provider.

A place where a patient sees a physician for neck pain, and leaves relaxed after a deep tissue massage. A place where a patient receives an acupuncture treatment, a bacterial skin infection is detected and they leave with a prescription after visiting with a doctor.

In Austin, TX, this place is taking form, and it’s called Karisha Community: Bridging Food, Medicine, and Health, for All. Karisha Community is a health and well being center with four physicians and eight practitioners of acupuncture, massage, yoga, physical therapy, nutrition, counseling, and more. Karisha’s facility includes a teaching kitchen, a yoga-physical therapy studio, a community networking space, a healing garden, and a medical clinic for acute and chronic care, with walk in hours.

“Karisha physicians take satisfaction in meeting patients’ needs, there, that day without having to do it all alone. Patients like having the choice and comprehensive care, where patients are central to decision making. It’s a healing project,” states Karisha Family Physician and yoga teacher, Darshan Shah, MD.

“It’s a new culture of healthcare,” states Founder and CEO, family physician Amina Haji, MD. “We assemble the elements needed to get sick patients better, to keep healthy patients well. Our financial model allows us to treat all comers. We collaborate to create win-win-win solutions for patients, providers, and the hospital systems in our community.”

Adam Smith, DO is an internal medicine physician by training and life and wellness coach, who recently moved to Austin from New Haven Connecticut, where he developed a patient navigation system at Yale during his 13 years there. “At Karisha, we remodel the patient-provider relationship. The patient is front and center. Our providers partner with our patients to make sensible care plans which become patient driven paths from fatigue and disease to health and well being.”

Karisha Community plans to move from a provider collaborative to bricks and mortar through a crowd funding campaign on Indie Go Go. The group will present the plan at Meet Karisha Launch Party, Sunday, April 19, from 4-7pm at El Sol y La Luna, 600 East 6th Street, Austin Texas 78701.

To read today’s crowd-based op-ed, news and information please visit CU, or follow us on Twitter at CU – Twitter.

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