Bio: Jennifer “Jaki” Johnson is the Founder and CEO of WellMiss – a Techstars-backed company, where she is building the first trauma-informed digital clinic to provide holistic and integrative care to women healing from trauma. Developed from her own lived experience, WellMiss was created to provide a whole-person health approach in one place to care for trauma’s impact on the heart, mind, body, and soul. Jaki holds a BA from Spelman College, an MS from Columbia University, and a certification in Women’s Entrepreneurship from Cornell University. Jaki spent nearly five years in the medical industry, working in various clinical and administrative roles.
Org Info: 1 in 2 women will have at least one or multiple traumatic experiences in their lifetime, which will affect their health and well-being. When trauma goes unhealed, it can be the underlying cause of cardiovascular issues, chronic illnesses, autoimmune diseases, sleep disorders, and other wellness issues within the body. Unfortunately, the current healthcare landscape is fragmented and only sees trauma as a mental issue, leaving patients with care that doesn’t support them as a whole person. WellMiss is revolutionizing how women and their trauma have been served by providing trauma-informed, evidence-based, holistic, and integrative care with a whole-person health approach in one place.
What motivated you to pursue your current work?
WellMiss was born out of my healing grief journey after the unexpecting passing of my 15-year-old son, Christian. While on my healing grief journey, I was diagnosed with broken heart syndrome and a leaky heart valve. I was having sleep issues, panic attacks, and emotional eating. My soul was broken. I did now know that an unexpected passing was a traumatic experience and that trauma significantly impacted our entire system. I felt I needed more than mental healthcare and put together my own holistic and integrative care team. I later surveyed and interviewed women and learned we were all seeking whole-person healing from our traumatic experiences; this led to me creating WellMiss.
What distinct value does your work bring to the digital health field?
At WellMiss, we are shifting the conversation from “What’s Wrong with You” to “What Has Happened to You?” to address trauma head-on and its effects on our patients. Understanding our patients’ life experiences is essential in delivering trauma-informed care. We help women to feel seen, heard, and validated on their trauma-healing journey. Our care teams include an integrative physician, trauma-focused therapist, trauma-sensitive HeartMath practitioner, integrative/functional registered dietician, well-being coach, naturopathic provider, and trauma-informed yoga therapist. We know there is healing in community, so we support her healing journey through shared group medical appointments.
How does your work impact your target end-users or stakeholders?
Our vision is to impact the lives of women living with trauma by providing accessible, equitable, and culturally-competent care that is unique to their healing needs, improves their health outcomes, and supports them on a path to post-traumatic growth.
What is one exciting update or near-term opportunity that you would like to share with the digital health community?
We recently launched our digital clinic in Georgia and Florida, and we are seeing our first patients. Our entire team has been trained in Compassionate Inquiry, a trauma-informed somatic-based psychotherapeutic approach developed by Dr. Gabor Maté, and we have completed inclusive training with our health equity partner, Violet. We are currently in the credentialing process to be covered as a group practice and in-network with Aetna, BCBS, UHC, Kaiser, and Medicaid. This will help us to reach our goal of taking insurance in the next few months to expand our reach and impact of care.