On Sunday, August 13, Aspirational Health, the innovative integrated health care provider, celebrated its first anniversary of bringing high-quality healthcare to its patients by hosting a Walk for Wellness 5K at the North Park Boathouse. With the success of Aspirational Health’s first year, it’s a wonder that the attendees weren’t just walking the streets but dancing in them.
Located at 1002 Emeryville Road, Mars, Aspirational Health is not your run-of-the-mill corporate medical practice; it is a physician-owned and-operated private insurance-based health care practice.
“Our mission is to build trusting relationships with our patients and provide them with the best of care. We take our time to get to know them and coordinate their care,” said Nikhil Asher, M.D., M.B.A, Aspirational Health’s founder and medical director, who is board-certified in internal medicine and critical care medicine. Dr. Asher graduated from St. Vincent Hospital Internal Medicine and completed a fellowship in critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Joining him on staff are Kelly Lee, MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC, who is a board-certified Family Practice Nurse practitioner, Nathan Sturm, MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC, who is also certified in Family Practice, and Jessica Mosco, MA, a professional Medical Assistant with more than 15 years’ experience in the medical field.
“Primary Care Medicine involves evaluation and treatment of the most prevalent, often-silent, health conditions in adult Americans that lead to longer term adverse outcomes if undiagnosed or poorly followed,” said Dr Asher. “To be effective in managing risk factors such as excess weight, elevated blood pressure or blood cholesterol, depression and anxiety, family history of health conditions such as heart disease and cancer, our focus involves comprehensive heath assessments, regular follow ups, evidence-based, guideline-directed treatment approaches and a significant focus on lifestyle medicine, medical nutrition management and optimal mental wellbeing. Well managed preventative care ensures we provide the best long-term health outlook for our clients.
Dr. Justin Scott founded Next Level Sport Physical Therapy, Sports Chiropractic and Massage Therapy, and though he looks like the picture of health, he has a family history of heart issues. “I met Dr. Asher and he and Kelly were the first ones to listen to me and not blow me off. I’d been to four or five different primary care doctors who dismissed my concerns, saying you look fit, don’t worry about it. But Dr. Asher took the time to understand my condition, performed the required work up and referred me to a specialist physician who addressed my familial hypercholesterolemia, and now my cholesterol numbers are normal, giving me no greater risk than someone who doesn’t have predisposition to heart issues.” Dr. Scott believes so much in Aspirational Health’s approach to care that he opened an office onsite. “The two most common referrals PCs make are for mental health and physical therapy. It simply makes sense to have PT at Aspiration Health where we can offer a coordinated approach to care.”
Aspirational Health always has a team member to facilitate any same-day appointments for sick or urgent care visits. “Enabling access is important to us. Patients should feel comfortable reaching out to us for any healthcare needs. Often our first meeting with our clients is for sick urgent care visit and then they eventually establish care with our practice for long term health improvement,” said Dr. Asher.
Facilitating lifestyle approaches to manage long-term health is an important mission for Aspirational Health. At the onsite wellness studio, the wellness team offers a multitude of wellness services such as fitness lessons, yoga instruction, individualized yoga therapy, medical massage and reiki. The integrative medicine team consists of Hailey Corton, who specializes in medical massage and yoga, Julie Klasen, who specializes in yoga and yoga therapy, and Kile Reynolds, who is a reiki master.
Laura Arnold, the owner of Swanson Publishing LLC and publisher of Northern Connection magazine, became a patient at Aspirational Health when she was sick and visited its Urgent Care. “The individualized attention and care I received was unlike anywhere I have been in the past. I was so impressed that I switched to their practice shortly after,” said Arnold. “They care about their patients; I did not feel rushed, and they asked questions and listened during my appointment. I felt like they truly cared about my health and listened to what I was/am comfortable with regarding my health.”
Arnold has also enjoyed some of Aspirational Health’s wellness services. “I just started Yoga Therapy with Julie, and it is amazing. She personalizes your yoga experience, and I was so impressed, I brought my seven-year-old daughter with me so that we can both benefit.”
“Yoga Therapy is the application of the principles and practices of yoga to promote health and well-being,” said Klasen. “All yoga can be beneficial, healing, and therapeutic—and yoga therapy is the specific, personalized application to support an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.”
Hailey Corton has worked in various spas, fitness centers and even hospitals, but has found that there is a gap in health care and was enthusiastic about joining the Aspirational Health team. “We must integrate fitness, meditation, yoga, massage, etc., into healthcare for a truly well-rounded approach to wellness,” said Corton. My colleagues and I all have something special and unique to offer the community, and we work hard to provide such services. Our goals and passions overlap in integrative care practice, and we share, create, and brainstorm ways to share our individual expertise,” said Corton. “With guidance from the medical team at Aspirational Health, we can safely offer our services for weight-loss, fitness, stress-relief, and much more. The Wellness Studio, located next door to the medical practice, is a safe and welcoming space for all who seek care, and we are ready to work with you!”
“I currently offer one-hour individual private reiki sessions and soon I will be offering a reiki circle for groups,” said Reynolds. “Everyone who I’ve had sessions with has really loved reiki. They thought it was an incredibly relaxing experience and felt benefits afterwards. They usually can feel the energy and have had significant improvements in any issues they were experiencing. I’ve helped a group of people who were mourning the loss of their friend find peace in a reiki circle, and they felt like it really helped them. Aspirational Health also offers a drive-through medical center. “Our staff will check you in through the drive-through registration desk where you are provided with pre-check options, which you can complete in your car. You can wait in your car and be seen by walking through a door accessible from the parking lot directly into your exam room. That eliminates sitting in a waiting room and possibly picking up an illness from another patient,” said Ms. Lee.
All medical services are covered by insurance, and Aspirational Health is credentialed to accept all major insurances including Medicare. “If you are checking to see if your insurance participates with Aspirational Health, simply search for Asher Health and Wellness PLLC,” said Dr. Asher, who also works with those who don’t have health insurance to set up a self-pay payment plan.
If patients need specialty care, Aspirational Health will make referrals and facilitate communication between them and the specialist to provide treatment. Aspirational Health utilizes electronic medical records and can share and receive information with you and any other medical professionals that you designate to have permission to access them. Dr Asher also has hospital privileges at AHN Hospital Wexford and UPMC Shadyside/Presbyterian.
“If someone is looking for a new PCP that is interested in a whole body/wellness approach, then I would recommend Aspirational Health,” said Arnold. “They care about their patients’ well-being and want to make sure you get and stay healthy.”
For more information on Aspirational Health or to schedule an appointment, visit the website at: aspirationalhealthandwellness.com.
By Janice Lane Palko