Open Source Wellness is a Community and a "Behavioral Pharmacy" where four basic practices underlying physical and psychological health are facilitated.
Dr. Elizabeth Markle, Cofounder and Executive Director
As a primary care health psychologist, for years it was my job to help physicians be more effective in helping their patients. I spoke with thousands of doctors and patients about how to translate diagnoses and health information into actionable, effective steps towards health and wellbeing.
After doing this work for a number of years, I had a realization: Doctors are constantly making the same set of “behavioral prescriptions,” like “Exercise more,” or “Eat healthier,” or “Reduce your stress.” Unfortunately, they give these instructions, and then say something like, “Well, good luck with that. I’ll see you in 6 months!”
Imagine a doctor saying, “You’re going to need antibiotics (or insulin). Good luck finding that! I’ll see you in 6 months!” It would be absurd to give a prescription but have no pharmacy, no delivery system. Yet this is exactly what our patients needing to make health behavior changes (like exercise, nutrition, or stress) face: a prescription that no pharmacy anywhere can fill.
Yes, there is a boutique health and wellness system, and those with privilege can shop at Whole Foods, hire health coaches, and join gyms. But for those individuals and families who need it most, who struggle with poverty, unsafe environments, and upstream drivers of chronic disease, - there is no affordable, accessible, and culturally relevant delivery system for the behavioral medicine that they need, and as an entire society we pay the price.
Ben and I designed Open Source Wellness to fill the gaping hole between a doctor’s “behavioral prescription” and the actual experiential fulfillment of that prescription. We are happy when we see people moving their bodies together, eating well together, learning together, managing stress together, - and developing the skill, power, and agency within their communities to collectively generate health and wellbeing.
Thanks for being a part of our work, and please don’t hesitate to reach out. I love connecting with patients, providers, and others in the clinical and public health fields, and believe that together we can create a system that works for everyone.
Models of Delivery
Open to the public at
221 Oak St in partnership with Prevention Institute
Operating in partnership with Satellite Affordable Housing Authority (SAHA)
Elizabeth Markle, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair,
California Institute of Integral Studies
Ferocious pursuer of dreams.
Director of Operations
Researcher, Speaker, Advocate
Takes dreams. Makes them real.
Susanna Merlo, M.A.
Master's in Integrative Health Coaching & Wellness Management
Certified in Guided Imagery
Passionate, Inquisitive, Authentic
Guide. Advocate. Creator to do goodness
Certified Integrative Wellness Coach
Completing Masters in Integrative Medicine and Health Services
Curious. Collaborative. Creative.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Masters in nutrition, Insightful, Balanced, Uplifting.
Social Media Manager
Photography. Nutrition. Animal lover
Certified Nutrition Consultant
Cultural food practices advocate
Content creator & digital marketer
Learner, listener, appreciator of beauty
Curious. Bright. Compassionate. Thoughtful.
Highly motivated through the power of connection, kindness, and understanding.