Category: Healthcare Facilities, WellSpot Designation
Dr. Keisha Harvey, or Dr. K, is a board-certified family medicine physician, but her clinic offers more than primary care to the community.
“We’re a big part of the heart of this community,” she says. “I like to think that we are one of the staples here.”
Dr. K’s Family Medicine is located in Bogalusa, a small, rural town in Washington Parish. More than a third of the city’s 11,000 residents live in poverty, and they have high rates of chronic diseases, including obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes. The clinic is a non-profit that mainly serves patients who are on Medicaid or are uninsured, providing healthcare services for the entire family ranging from managing chronic illness to women’s health and pediatric care.
Dr. K specializes in integrative and lifestyle medicine, helping patients prevent and treat disease with lifestyle modifications. Her work also happens outside of the clinic through scholarships, speaking engagements, community health fairs and coaching.
“Community wellness is important to me because it is a real and meaningful way to develop healthy patients,” Dr. K said.
Healthcare facilities touch the lives of so many people across a broad cross-section of the local community. They are in a unique position to significantly improve healthy behaviors and Dr. K takes that mission to heart. That’s why becoming a WellSpot was an easy decision for her practice.
“If we’re going to always preach to patients that they have to be healthy, exercise, eat well and encourage moms to breastfeed, then I need to make sure I’m fostering it in my office and championing it for my staff,” she said.
With the help of Taffy Morrison, Dr. K learned about becoming a WellSpot and began implementing policies at her clinic. “Well-Ahead Louisiana helped us create the policies, especially the breastfeeding policy,” she said. “They helped me put the policies in place in order to amplify what I’m already doing.”
Every small change has made a difference both in the lives of her staff and in her patients. Her office manager has lost 25 pounds simply by participating in the team’s mindful eating and water intake challenges. By implementing the Healthy Eating policy, she’s teaching more patients how to get active and “eat the rainbow,” resulting in better health outcomes.
“I try to teach my patients that small changes—even exercising only five minutes a day—is a start to creating a healthier life.”
Dr. K encourages other healthcare providers to consider becoming a WellSpot, too. “Dive right in! It’s a lot easier than you think it is, and it’s something that you’re probably already doing or something small that you can incorporate like the Fitbit and water challenges.” Learn more about the WellSpot program and evidence-based benchmarks you can achieve in our collective mission to move Louisiana’s health forward!