Spotlight on CHI Health Care
by Robin Fillmore
In 2011, David Fogel, M.D., and Ilana Bar-Levav, M.D., co-founded CHI Health Care, formerly known as the Casey Health Institute, with the mission to provide exceptional integrative health care through collaboration and innovation. Over the past eight years, CHI has become known regionally for their excellence in providing patient care that emphasizes this collaborative spirit—as physicians and practitioners meet regularly to discuss the best possible care and treatment for every patient.
The acronym CHI stands for Collaborative, Holistic, Integrative. CHI’s providers collaborate under what they call the Four Pillars of Wellness—Move More, Stress Less, Connect Deeply and Eat Well. The integrative health model reinforces the relationship between practitioner and patient, and focuses on the whole person.
Before any treatment is prescribed or illness diagnosed, the physicians, providers and nurses listen carefully, and get to know each patient or client as a person. Then a treatment plan is designed to combine primary care with integrative and complementary therapies. CHI’s physicians are trained in and practice collaboration with a range of evidence-based treatments including nutrition and lifestyle medicine. Practitioners skilled in acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga therapy, massage therapy, nutrition and other healing systems add both important skills and depth to the healing environment.
Think of CHI as a whole health team—primary care physicians, naturopathic doctors, nutritionists, integrative psychotherapists, yoga therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, health coaches, massage therapists and energy healers all under one roof, to help care for and partner with each individual to attain vibrant health and vitality. Under this model, they are pioneering a different and evolving model of team-based collaboration. It is not unusual to see a nutritionist, yoga therapist, health coach or naturopathic doctor pulled into a patient visit with the primary care physician.
Treatment also involves innovative approaches, including group workshops and programs, while they engage patients using the least invasive and least expensive treatments when possible. The goal is to continuously improve patient access and reduce the cost of care, while fulfilling the charter to treat those in the community.
Co-founder, Fogel, continues to serve as CEO and leads the clinic with Tracey Gersh, Ph.D. According to Fogel: “Our mission at CHI is to pioneer high quality, people friendly, holistic primary health care that is accessible to all. We use cutting edge modern medicine together with the highest quality, evidence based integrative treatments available. Our collaborative team of interdisciplinary health professionals is one of the most diverse in the country.”
This model of care created by Fogel puts each patient at the center of their care plan. The patients work with each provider to create an individual path to reach and/or optimize wellness. Patients and providers have the opportunity to get to know one another. Each new patient appointment can be up to one hour with time also devoted to follow-up care and meeting patient needs. To fulfill their mission, each team member at CHI commits to being accessible to as many community members as possible and accepts most health insurances, including Medicare and some Medicaid. As a nonprofit, CHI also provides care for those who cannot afford some of the services offered through a CHI Cares program.
CHI regularly launches programs for patients and the community to engage their journey to improved and optimized health. For example, they have offered group acupuncture, autumn and winter traditions classes, yoga classes, journaling for self-care, prediabetes education groups, workshops on handling holiday stress with energy medicine and the list continues.
Location: 15001 Shady Grove Rd., Rockville. CHI is open five days a week with many events happening in the evening, and is open every other Saturday for primary care services, massage, yoga and acupuncture. To learn more, visit the CHI Health Care Facebook page or their website at CHIHealthcare.org.