“Riverwest is a need-based area as defined by the national health service corps,” says Dr. Robert Fox, founder of Shalem Healing. Fox has long served areas like Riverwest that are under-served when it comes to access to healthcare or have fewer healthcare facilities and providers than needed. Now he’s moved to the Harambee neighborhood.
“My perspective is, if there’s the need for what you’re doing, you go to where you’re needed,” says Fox.
Fox started Shalem Healing in 2003. As his practice has grown he found that he needed a larger space.
“The building that we were in had maybe five usable rooms for seeing patients,” he says.
The old building didn’t have an elevator, either, which Fox says meant they’d have to carry patients who couldn’t get to the second floor on their own. The building started to impede the quality of care Fox wanted to provide.
Shalem Healing is an integrative medical practice, which means not only does Fox treat diseases and health conditions with prescriptions you would find at traditional doctor’s offices but also with acupuncture, meditation, tai chi and health education.
Fox feels that it’s important to serve the areas that are in need. “My perspective is if it is the best care and it should be available to everybody no matter if they can pay for it or not,” he says.
Normally, if not for Covid-19, Fox would focus on preventable diseases and conditions like diabetes or heart disease. He’d offer group therapy classes to treat overeating or other mental health concerns.
But at the moment Fox says Shalem’s focus has been on treating Covid cases.
“Initially, with the testing for Covid, we were on the forefront of providing community testing to anybody; they didn’t have to have an appointment,” says Fox. “With the vaccination, we’re trying to ramp that up for the people that want it.”
In the meantime, Fox wants people to take care of themselves by washing their hands and socially distancing while also considering their mental health during the pandemic.
“We have to remember that people have mental health as well, not only physical health,” he says. “Mental health is health as well that you can’t forget about.”
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