• Move. Nourish. Connect. Be.

    Open Source Wellness:

    Health Powered by Connection


  • Open Source Wellness is a Community and a "Behavioral Pharmacy" where four basic practices underlying physical and psychological health are facilitated.

    Open Source Wellness is the next generation of Behavioral Medicine, transforming health outcomes at the intersections of healthcare and the community.


    Open Source Wellness makes behavior change accessible, enjoyable, and sustainable.

  • Why Open Source Wellness?

    The current medical system is not reliably effective with many major chronic, preventable diseases: cardiac disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, and more.


    It’s not for lack of knowledge that we’re ineffective: researchers have spent decades studying the causes of (and cures for) these chronic health problems. We’re not being effective because the single most effective treatment for these diseases is behavior change. 


    The best that a doctor can do, while assessing, diagnosing, and treating any number of concerns and conditions on a tight schedule, is to make a “behavioral prescription,” and it’s usually one of these 4 things:

    1. “You need to get more exercise.”
    2. “You need to eat healthier food.”
    3. "You need to reduce your stress levels. Relax!"
    4. “You need more social support and connection in your life.”

    Unfortunately, the “behavioral prescription” approach doesn’t work with many patients, because there isn't an accessible and effective "behavioral pharmacy" where they can actually learn and practice new behaviors.


    Patients are often unable to make these vague and sweeping lifestyle changes on their own, and then experience worsening health, increased healthcare utilization and expenses, and reduced quality of life.

  • Accessible. Experiential. Sustainable

    Open Source Wellness is the Behavioral Pharmacy where patients can FILL their providers' prescriptions for health behaviors.

  • How we work

    When a primary care doctor recommends a behavior change, the patient is referred to the local Open Source Wellness, and greeted warmly. High-quality attention, the kind that makes us feel seen, understood, and cared for, is our chief technology. There are no lectures, classes, lengthy intakes: only EXPERIENTIAL practice of our four core wellness practices:


    Social, playful, varied-intensity physical activity


    Tasty, simple, family-style meals


    Powered by connection. High-quality attention, generosity, authenticity.


    Mindfulness and stress reduction, practiced in community.


    We are seeking to pilot three distinct delivery models:


    Seamless referral

    Integrated into healthcare campuses/clinics, open all day for instant referral and warm-handoff from medical providers, funded/contracted by healthcare provider/insurer organizations.


    Open access: All welcome

    Accepts referrals from a variety of healthcare providers along with self-referred individuals, receives payment from individuals on a sliding scale and from insurance companies, and open primarily in the evenings.



    Open Source Wellness programming is available in Housing Communities, Schools, Community Centers, and other community spaces. Trained individuals can host Open Source Wellness events in their homes and other neighborhood spaces.


    Is this different from existing health coaching or wellness models?


    YES. VERY. Open Source Wellness is:

    Accessible, Peer-Run, and Affordable

    Open Source Wellness centers exist within medical clinics and in communities. No referral process, no intake process, no wait-list, no inconvenient class schedules. Just immediate welcome and engagement.


    We believe that everyone has two things:

    • Room for improvement in their health and wellness
    • Something to offer someone else.

    Each Open Source Wellness Center is created, maintained, and operated largely by its members, allowing us to be nimble, flexible, and tailored to the culture of each unique community.



    Instead of talking about wellness, we DO the thing that will make a difference in health. Today. Together.




    We believe that new behaviors ‘stick’ when we make them enjoyable, rewarding, and integrated into our lives. We make wellness a fun, social, and nourishing experience that members want to return to.


    Powered by Connection

    The power in our method comes from the quality of attention that we cultivate in our coaches and our members. We make use of technology, but we’re not tech-based; we’re leveraging the power of intentionally-cultivated community to transform health.

  • Recent Media and Publications

    Reclaiming America's Health and Well-Being

    Reclaiming America's Health and Wellbeing: A Dialogue on the Power of Community and the Courage to Build a Well Nation. By Elizabeth Markle, Ph.D., and Tyler Norris, M.Div.

    Open Source Wellness in 60 Seconds!

    VIDEO: Open Source Wellness

    in 60 seconds!

    Alameda healthcare blog about Open Source Wellness

    Open Source Wellness featured on Alameda Health Alliance blog

  • We're open to the public in Oakland, CA

    Open Source Wellness has one site that welcomes drop-in visitors: come join us and experience the model!

    For Individuals and Families:

    Join us EVERY Tuesday evening for physical movement, mindfulness, a delicious healthy dinner, and nourishing connection with friends-to-be.


    The Prevention Institute: 221 Oak St. Oakland, CA 94607


    5:30pm Doors Open, snacks
    6:00pm Movement for all fitness levels!
    6:40pm Mindfulness, Welcome, Introduction to OSW
    7:00pm Family-style dinner served (vegan)


    Cost: by donation.


    For Bay-Area Medical Providers

    For Bay-Area Primary Care Providers: Wish you could PRESCRIBE support for physical activity, healthy food, stress reduction, or social support? Contact us to become a referral partner: Liz@OpenSourceWellness.org

    For Healthcare Systems, Researchers

    Open Source Wellness is actively seeking partners for expansion of current models, ongoing evaluation of impact/outcomes, and for new pilot projects. We welcome inquiries from providers, insurers, researchers, and administrators: Liz@OpenSourceWellness.org

  • Who we are


    We’re a team of energetic, skilled, and educated professionals who are dedicated to integrating the best of connection, coaching, and social psychology to make a difference in the physical, mental, and social health of our individuals, families, and communities.


    Elizabeth Markle, Ph.D.


    Executive Director


    Licensed Psychologist

    Professor and Chair of

    Community Mental Health,

    California Institute of Integral Studies

    Speaker, Consultant

    Ferocious pursuer of dreams.


    Ben Emmert-Aronson, Ph.D.


    Director of Operations


    Statistician, Researcher, Clinician

    Takes dreams. Makes them real.



    Teresa Ellis

    Movement Director



    ACE Personal Trainer

    Empowerment. Fitness. Sass.

    Nikki Stephens

    Culinary Director



    Certified Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Coach

    Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach (CHC)

    Changing the world, One chickpea at a time.

    Edomyas Solomon, MA

    Curator of Meaning, Love, and Joy



    Heart and Soul.

  • Moved to express your generosity?

    Open Source Wellness is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; all donations are tax-deductible. We are seeking philanthropic and grant funding to support our expansion, evaluation, and ongoing innovation. Let's have a conversation about your desires and our needs. Liz@OpenSourceWellness.org

  • Want to get involved?

    You can send an email to Ben@OpenSourceWellness.org. Or leave your name and email below,

    and we'll be in touch when we have news to share.