Karisha Community: A Vision in Creation

Karisha Community: A Vision in Creation

From Karisha Community PBC

Karisha is a vision for the future. Help us design a sustainable financial model for a healing center with a healing kitchen, yoga - physical therapy studio, community space, gardens, and a medical clinic.

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Join us in taking the next step towards developing a sustainable financial model for Karisha Community: a healing center as a new ideal for health care. Karisha Community is the result of seeing a huge need in our world to shift from an ill care system to a health care system.

Once funded, we can create this vision for the future:

Karisha Community: bridging food, medicine, and health, for all with

  • a medical clinic offering acute, chronic, and urgent care
  • primary and preventive care offered by a range of           professionals from naturopathics to doctors of chiropractic to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to Ayurvedic physicians to allopathic medical doctors
  • a physical therapy, massage, and chiropractic studio
  • a healing teaching kitchen
  • a yoga and mindfulness meditation space
  • a healing arts studio
  • a community networking space with great WiFi
  • beautiful and edible gardens
  • and more

Karisha represents a new culture of health care, delivered in a nurturing environment where patients love to get care and where providers love to work. In time it will serve as a vehicle to transform health care in Central Texas and the US.

Just 4 months ago, we asked you for $25,000 and you delivered! Now, thanks to your help we’ve taken the first steps: we’ve secured our Business Strategist - Tamra Swindoll of Catalyst Consultants to ensure the financial viability of our model. We’ve secured a location! – a 1.5-acre lot in Central East Austin – and teamed up with an architect & engineering team – Bhavani Singhal of Workshop No.5. We already have a site developer who will finance the bulk of Karisha’s development in 2017. Karisha’s 1.5 AC site is green and expansive, allowing us to build a spacious healing center surrounded by nature in the heart of Austin and reach a broad range of patients. Sound like a dream come true? It is!

Bhavani Singal of Workshop No. 5 spent two months in conversation with more than 25 of the brightest minds and biggest hearts in Austin - our providers, consultants, and collaborators. Her dedicated work gives us the ability to fully envision and design our healing center from ground up.

We are excited to unveil Bhavani’s renderings of our collective vision!

Karisha Community Welcome: Entrance

Bhavani Singal, Workshop No.5, Austin, Texas 2015

Karisha Community: yoga, meditation & healing arts studio

Bhavani Singal, Workshop No.5, Austin, Texas 2015 

Your support for Karisha will allow us to design our first healing center, the prototype for many more to come. This next $50,000 we raise will go toward

  • architectural design and development of our Austin center

  • perfecting our financial model

  • developing our team of experts who will share this model and support the creation of the next Karisha Community.

With our 100% vision-driven, passionate, and dedicated team of professionals, rest assured your every dollar goes toward bringing to fruition this collective vision to transform the culture of health care, beginning in Austin, and beyond. Read on further to learn more about why and how we do this, and see the incredible team that is working to make this a reality.

After you have become inspired take a look at the giving levels, and please join us on the journey to transform the culture of health care!

Amina Haji, MD and the Karisha Providers Community


The name "Karisha" comes from my parents - Karim and Asha Haji. (Kari + sha) They taught me the art, humanity, and service of medicine. I had the privilege of watching them create an amazing economically and ethnically diverse medical practice in Bryan with a free medical clinic.  This continues to be my inspiration for what I want to do today. My late sister Priya Haji was a serial social entrepreneur who incorporated this non profit free medical clinic in Bryan, Texas when she was only 16 years old! She was named ‘our generation’s best social entrepreneur’ for creating not one but five successful companies. She is the light that shines uopn this vision. My physician grandmother marched with Gandhi for the independence of India in the 1940’s and practiced medicine in our ‘for all’ medical clinic in Mumbai. My paternal grandfather marched with Nyere in Tanzania in the 1950s as one of a handful of forward thinking Indians in East Africa to do so. It is with these social reformist and revolutionary roots that Karisha Community: Bridging Food, Medicine, and Health, for All is created, through me.

After life changing events in our family -- the loss of my dear sister Priya Haji, the gain of her two angels Zen (2) and Omi (1), and the loss of my dear cousin brother Nasiru -- I decided to depart from my urgent care position with Baylor Scott & White and bring this vision to fruition. I found a way to heal my pain by creating a transformative healing community.

I truly believe in the power of this community. It is no less than a Universal force, close to magic! I am charmed to see how this vision is coming to fruition. We have come so far in just a few months since Karisha’s inception!

Karisha Community is the result of seeing a huge need in our world for shifting from an ill care system to a health care system. Our current health care system fails to address fundamental aspects of maintaining health: the food we eat, our stress levels, exercise routines, social support systems, restorative sleep, and mind-body practices. We prescribe a ‘pill to the ill’ without pausing to nuture and support our human, innate ability to heal.

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.


Karisha Communtiy is a collaborative of 4 medical doctors and 11 integrated health providers; 5 advisors, 10 consultants, and 8 community colaborators who are working to manifest our vision of a healing center for all that bridges food, medicine, and health, for All. We are a B Corporation, or a Public Benefit Corporation … it’s a hybrid of sorts between a for profit and a non profit, where mission is as high as money. We practice Conscious Capitalism, with the belief that we can do well and do good. Our philopsophy is that our more resourced patients will feel good that just by coming to Karisha for excellent patient guided integrative care, they make it possible for our under-resourced patients to receive the same incredible care. We aim to find a common place between ‘botique medicine’ and ghettoized care for the poor. It can all happen in one healing space.

Karisha Community in Austin will have a non profit entity as well to enhance services for our under-resourced patients and to receive foundational grants for research on outcomes of this new paradigm of Health care. Karisha Community is assembling an expert team to share our flexible, organic model with the next health care provider ready to start a Karisha, anywhere in the US. Our work is non proprietary, intended to be shared, and we wish for no one to reinvent the wheel!

At Karisha Community, we will accept public and private insurance and have developed an affordable membership model with varying levels of cost and service for those services not covered by health insurance. We will offer volunteer credits toward health care membership for those with more time than money.

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. From a healing kitchen, to a yoga/physical therapy studio, a networking community space, gardens, and a multi-disciplinary integrative medical clinic.

The Karisha Providers Commmunity partners 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 Community is a health and healing center which integrates traditional allopathic medicine with holistic healing practices. We integrate Eastern and Western traditions side by side under one roof, as we want our patients to achieve optimal health and healing in the way that works best for them. The spaces and facilities supported by Karisha Community will create a new culture of health care that bridges food, medicine, and health, for all.

There are successful models for this type of center and clinic. The one closest to my heart is the clinic started in Bryan, TX, which was started by my family. I had the privilege of watching the ins and outs of my parents’ economically and ethnically diverse, thriving medical practice for 40 years. My family practiced it in Mumbai, India for generations. I also spent 2 years visiting holistic healing centers in the US prior to creating Karisha Community in Austin. At Karisha, we will utilize best practices, creating a financial model where those who have resources to pay, receive great care and make it possible for those with fewer resources to get the same great care just by coming to our beautiful center.


We have a two-year launch plan. The Karisha Center will bridge food, medicine and health by bringing medical providers, quality food, and healing practitioners under one roof in a community space.

2015 – Secured Location and Architect!  Done!

2016 – Design Dvelopment, Refine Business Model, Community Building

2017 – Site Construction. We’ll begin taking memberships!

2018 – Karisha doors open to the public!


I don't know of another collaborative like this one in the country -- with this many ethical, mission driven doctors and holistic providers dedicated to providing patient centered preventive, primary and urgent care, coming together to bridge food, medicine, and health, for all. I am honored to list them here:

Karisha Providers Community 

Amina Haji, MD, FAAFM, ABIHM: Board Certified in Family Medicine, American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine; Karisha Community Integrative Family Physician, CEO and Founder.

Adam Smith, DO: Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Karisha Community Integrative Urgent Care and Life and Wellness Coach

Paulina Caban, ND: Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Integrative Naturopathic Doctor.

Darshan Shah, MD, FAAFM, ABIHM, RYT: Board Certified in Family Medicine, American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). Karisha Integrative Family Medicine Physician & Yoga Instructor.

Emily Hirsh, MD:  Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Fellow of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AZCIM). Karisha Integrative Urgent Care Physician.

John T. Emerson, DC: Doctor of Chiropractic, Lisenced and Certified Professional and Business Coach. Karisha Community Holistic Chiropractor and Coach.

Anita Jung-Rajamani, LPC, FAPA: Licensed Professional Counselor, Member - International Society of Hypnosis, Author, International Lecturer. Karisha Community Integrative Mental Health Consultant.

La’arni Ayuma: Licensed & Certified Massage Therapist, Traditional Healer. Certified Infant Massage Therapist. Karisha Community Healing Massage Therapist.

Simel Bey, LAC: Acupuncture, Herbal and Planetary Medicine

Pamela Brewer, RYT: Yoga Instruction and Yoga Therapy

Geeta Cowlagi: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Edith Martinez: Community Based Nutritionally Cooking Instruction

Maria Pugliese, RD: Registered dietitian and clinical nutritionist

Oliver Rajamani: Nada Yoga Instructor

Jariatou Sibi: Nutritional Cooking Instructor, la Cocina Alegre

Learn more about our providers.

Karisha Community Advisors

Darshan Shah, MD, FAAFM, ABIHM, RYT

Dr. Shah is a Board Certified Physician in Family Medicine. Dr. Shah focuses on the use of integrative medicine in his practice. He currently serves the indigent population through his work at the Community Care Hancock Walk-In Clinic while also running his private practice, Whole Health Austin. In his approach to medicine he utilizes Ashtanga Yoga and tenets of Eastern traditions like Ayurveda. Additionally, he runs Mind-Body Skills Groups based on the model developed by the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. He has found that Ashtanga Yoga and mind-body techniques help catalyze necessary lifestyle transformations in his patients.Recognizing that food is medicine, a focus on digestive health is paramount to the way he approaches healing and wellness. In this respect, he views Karisha as a necessary and important center for health and wellness in Austin. Providing affordable and accessible integrative resources to the local community like cooking classes and yoga are large parts of what is missing in healthcare today.

Adam Smith, DO: Integrative Urgent Care and Life and Wellness Coaching

Dr. Adam Smith received his D.O. degree from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency training with the Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Program.After his training, Dr. Smith went to work for Yale Health. His work there included a number of positions including Chief of Inpatient, Transitional and Acute Care, as well as roles in Care Management and Wellness Programming at Yale.

Dr. Smith is also a Certified Health and Wellness Coach. He approaches Medicine with a strong belief in the role of patient education and continuity of care, and 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.

Scott Shannon, MD, ABIHM – Fort Collins, CO. 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.

Milad Taghehchian – Pioneer Wealth Management Group. Milad Taghehchian is a wealth management advisor at Pioneer Wealth Management Group with many years of experience advising individuals, small businesses, and corporations in various aspects of finances. Pioneer Wealth believes that all individuals deserve unbiased advice on the road to achieving and maintaining financial freedom.

Tamra Swindoll – Catalyst Consulting. Tamra Swindoll is a respected resource in the healthcare industry. She brings 18 years as Founder / Owner of Catalyst Consulting, where she helped start up over 350 health care businesses. Through Catalyst, Tamra provides operational support and management solutions to ensure clients’ profitability in a rapidly changing environment.

Karisha Community Consultants

ESLawPartners is providing legal consultation to ensure Karisha is structurally sound and ready to expand and thrive in the coming years.

Site Development by Huffman Group

Architectural Development by Bhavani Singal, Workshop No. 5

Engineering by Garrett Ihnen Engineering, Inc

Business Strategy by Tamra Swondoll, Catalyst Consultants

Virtual Assisting by Erika Friday

Creative Writing by Chet Turnbaugh

Videography by Funmi Ogunro, Fum Fum Ko Productions

Web Development by Arya Creative

Additionally we are already gratefully collaborating with some transformative organizations.

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.

Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts is devoted to consciously cooking a health-supportive, plant based diet.

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.

Sustainable food Center (SFC) works  to cultivate a healthy community by strengthening the local food system and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Karisha Community will offer nutritionally oriented cooking classes, 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.

Mama's on Bedrest is working 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, PA, strives to bring Mamas on Bedrest unique and boutique experiences.

Austin Kung-Fu Academy specializes in Martial Arts classes tailored by age group for kids. Their adult programs range from Kung-Fu classes to Tai Chi and Cardio classes.

We Viva provides affordable and accessible fitness and nutrition programs to people in low-income communities throughout Austin. We Viva aims to remove the barriers that people (mainly women) face when making the decision to prioritize their wellness.

The Integrity Academy and Natural Learning Center 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.

For this campaign, Karisha: A Vision in Creation, we hope to get the support of 1000 donors, at $10 each. We hope you can make even the smallest donation. If you can't financially support Karisha, that's ok! Perhaps you know someone who can. Forward this page to them, and let them in on all the goodness that we're cooking up.

You can use the if you want to share it on social media, too.

And if you have more time than money, write to us here, as we have more than enough volunteer opportunities - childcare, events, green space development, technical and IT expertise, management consulting, and beyond.

This is a community effort, and we appreciate all levels of investment and support.

Thanks for your time, for your interest, and for being a foundational part of transforming health care by creating Karisha Community: Bridging Food, Medicine, and Health, for All.

Many thanks,

Amina Haji, MD and the Karisha Providers Community

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