BHHC Overview

 

Introduction

Balanced Heart™ Healing Center (BHHC) is a visionary approach to the delivery and funding of healthcare services.  As an outgrowth of its founder’s holistic psychology practice, it represents a vision of sustainable community development that balances personal profit and community benefit for all stakeholders (clients, providers, and donors) at all levels…financially, socially, and environmentally.  At its heart is a unique, financially sustainable business model that has sustained its founder’s psychology practice for a dozen years.  By leveraging donated services and partnerships with businesses, we support those who are not yet able to support themselves and thereby reduce the burden on government to fund healthcare and social services.  Our core values are healthy and balanced relationships, responsible self-support, and education towards sustainability for all. Since our inception, Balanced Heart Healing Center’s most faithful supporters have been young people in the 20-something demographic, and middle-aged women undergoing some kind of transition.

In partnership with donors, providers, and clients, Balanced Heart Healing Center’s mission is to heal clients in mind, body, and spirit, educate to achieve optimal health and well-being, and demonstrate an inclusive model of healthcare delivery that is affordable and sustainable for all participants. 10 Principles represent our shared value base, and guide the way we provide service:

1. Open your heart and trust
2. Give and receive without attachment to the outcome
3. Create safety for yourself and others
4. Welcome everything as a blessing, especially when it doesn’t look like one
5. See only goodness (aka Love)
6. DREAM BIG!!!
7. Take responsibility for everything…NO exceptions
8. Let go of what no longer serves you
9. Have no judgments, so truth can be revealed
10. Be the miracle you want to create
©2002, Katharine C. McCorkle

 

BHHC Overview

Balanced Heart™ Healing Center (BHHC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise that aims to heal a broken healthcare system by demonstrating the viability of a visionary approach to health and funding healthcare services… first locally, and then on a larger scale.  Beginning with the power of the mind to create both health and illness, and utilizing a unique financially sustainable business model, applying existing resources differently will allow BHHC to provide comprehensive healthcare for all who seek service.  By including both traditional and complementary/alternative modalities, our innovations expand access to healthcare services for both insured and uninsured people, and hold the potential to lower healthcare costs significantly.  Serving adults, children and families, we emphasize wellness and prevention, health education, and personal responsibility.

BHHC is based on a belief in sustainable self-support, that citizens themselves can provide healthcare for themselves and others.  We need not wait for the government to enforce universal healthcare. Because stress related symptoms represent the reason for approximately 80% of all visits to primary care physicians, we intend to transform the existing reactive diagnosis-treatment pattern by addressing stress, emotional and behavioral issues proactively as primary causes of physical symptoms.

Sadly, many insurance plans do not include mental health care, or cover it only in a limited way.  In Pennsylvania, the legislature passed a law several years ago that requires all group health insurance plans to include mental health care.  However, individually underwritten plans are exempt from this law.

One way that financially marginalized people have attempted to cope with their worsening economic situation in the past 10 years is to cut back on health care. The New York Times reported in 2009 that one-third of Americans could no longer afford to comply with their prescriptions and that there had been a sizable drop in the use of medical care. Others have given up their health insurance.  One young supporter in the 20-something demographic recently told me that he knew “literally hundreds” of young people who had opted-out of the health insurance system because they don’t like the way it works, and what it doesn’t cover.

In Pennsylvania, the demise of the Adult Basic program for low-income uninsured adults in February 2011 created a situation where some of the most stressed and vulnerable people in our state were unable to access mental health support or physical health care.  Undoubtedly, this increased the cost for their physical health care for stress-related illnesses. The program, designed to provide basic healthcare coverage for the working poor, was so under-funded that for every person in the program, there were more than 6 people on a two to three year waiting list.

Currently, our entire healthcare system is vulnerable because it is not financially sustainable, does not include everyone, and because it is founded upon a belief that professionals, rather than individuals themselves, are primarily responsible for the nation’s health.  Reducing the cost of care and demand for the most expensive (hospital-based) services requires that individuals take more responsibility to maintain and improve their health, and to utilize lower cost healthcare options whenever possible.  It also requires unlimited access to highly effective services for healing the mental, emotional, behavioral, physical and spiritual effects of all forms of trauma.

The traditional reactive approach to healthcare discourages clients from taking responsibility for their own health, and has led to out-of-control illness care costs.  The Balanced Heart model offers both uninsured and insured people affordable access to primary mental and physical healthcare services, health education, and complementary and alternative care.

BHHC is uniquely qualified to undertake this project.  Our founder and CEO developed BHHC’s innovative business model, which also has sustained her psychology and coaching practice since 2000.  BHHC takes a proactive approach toward health and education.  It was founded to offer affordable client access to a broader range of health and wellness services than insurance companies currently cover.  We support integrative healthcare providers who offer empowering therapies and support clients’ growth as proactive and informed consumers of healthcare resources.

Balanced Heart Healing Center provides spiritually-centered care that respects and supports a client’s own spiritual beliefs.  The spiritually-centered Balanced Heart Coaching program, developed by our founder and based upon the 10 Principles above, offers people tools and strategies to more consistently “walk the talk” of whatever they believe by faith.  Because this program is grounded in each client’s own faith beliefs, it has attracted the attention of diverse faith communities.

 

Sustainability Plan

Providing unconditional care to all who seek our services is fundamental to our mission and to the exponential social impact we seek.  Unconditional care empowers young people, and adults without means, to develop the capacity and the desire to support not only themselves but also others.

Our model for unconditional care works as follows: Healing-Donors provide unconditional care and allow BHHC to keep insurance reimbursement and self-pay revenue generated by their donated services.  Healing-Partners pay a fee for administrative services provided to them, and are guaranteed a minimum fee for serving unconditional care clients. By accepting insurance reimbursement, client self-payments, and allowing uninsured clients to make self-determined, affordable donations as full payment for our services, BHHC serves both insured and uninsured clients equally and affordably.  Insurance reimbursement, client payments, provider fees, and donations fund BHHC’s administrative costs and unconditional care to uninsured clients.

This is a promising, financially sustainable business model for providing affordable integrative healthcare for mind, body, and spirit to every child, woman and man. BHHC will demonstrate that given the organizational and technological infrastructure to match open-hearted healers willing to share their gifts freely and people with needs, it is possible to provide primary mental and physical healthcare services to all people in a way that is affordable and financially sustainable for all stakeholders.  That will define this project’s success. To this end, BHHC is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University’s graduate program in Healthcare Policy and Management, and an IT professional at GE Healthcare to develop our clinic and the technological infrastructure to support it.

We are reaching out to the broadest possible audience through the mass media with motivational inspiration and educational information about how to take personal responsibility for creating and maintaining better health.  This includes books, radio/TV/internet-based programs, educational seminars, conferences, and study groups. Our founder’s book, “A Balanced Heart: 10 Weeks to Breakthrough”, is a guided journal offering readers the experience of successfully using all the tools and strategies they need to reduce stress, create healthy relationships with themselves and others, and fulfill their dreams. Proceeds from the book benefit Balanced Heart Healing Center. The 10 Principles at the heart of BHHC structure the book’s chapters and the Balanced Heart Coaching program.  The book is a guided journal that walks readers through successful use of Balanced Heart Coaching’s tools and strategies to live the 10 Principles. By teaching people how to “walk the talk” of whatever they believe by faith in order to reduce their stress and step into “flow”, the Balanced Heart Coaching program supports people of all faith traditions and people not connected with any faith tradition equally. The book is endorsed by C. Norman Shealy, MD, Ph.D., world renowned neurosurgeon, former Harvard University professor, Founding President of both the American Holistic Medical Association and Holos Graduate Seminary, and inventor of the TENS pain management device.

We are developing partnerships with like-hearted businesses for mutual sustainability and leveraging of impact. The New Jersey Women’s Veterans Supportive Housing Program has adopted the Balanced Heart book and coaching program as a core piece of their support curriculum for veterans in transition.  Another partner developed a new TV show to teach 4-6 year old children the habits of healthy holistic living in an entertaining and engaging way, so they don’t have to unlearn bad health habits and re-learn good habits in adulthood.  In our clinic, rental income from partner businesses will help pay our own administrative expenses and the costs associated with unconditional care.  It also will help fund our growth.

We are incorporating cutting-edge, evidence-based modalities that have not yet reached full mainstream acceptance into our trauma-focused programs. Beginning in 2012, we will offer to women veterans and others a Balanced Heart Trauma-focused Peer Specialist training program so they may support their peers in healing the wounds of war and disrupted lives even as they rebuild their own lives.  In order to launch Balanced Heart Healing Center in a way that will be financially sustainable as we scale, three things are needed: 1) startup funding for the physical clinic and staff, 2) technological infrastructure for a virtual clinic, so we can serve people throughout western PA now, and throughout the country (and the world) as we grow, and 3) like-minded for-profit partners who support our mission with a portion of their profits and/or by offering access to their customers.

The purpose of this project is to prove the efficacy and viability of the Balanced Heart model in the Pittsburgh, PA region, as a model for other communities throughout the US and beyond.  Activities include:

1. Establish both a physical and virtual clinic through which clients are received and referred to Balanced Heart network providers conveniently located to them.
2. Recruit Healing-Donors and Healing-Partners into the Balanced Heart network.
3. Obtain a PA mental health clinic license.
4. Develop partnerships that enable BHHC to provide healthcare services in unconventional community locations where people live, work, play, and learn.

 

These outcomes will demonstrate the viability of the Balanced Heart model sufficiently to achieve financial sustainability within two years, and scale nationally in a term of ten years.  Next steps include expanding the range of services available through BHHC, developing our capacity to offer distance learning services, expansion of the Balanced Heart provider/trainer network, and enlarging our geographic reach.

 

For more information contact:

Katie McCorkle, Ph.D.
Founder, CEO & Chief Healing Officer
Balanced Heart Healing Center
724-776-5534
drkatie@balancedheart.org
www.balancedheart.org