Dr. Candice Nikisha Fraser is on a mission to bridge the access gap between marginalized communities and quality healthcare. One of the easiest ways to ensure medical resources reach those most in need is through technology. As Chief Medical Officer at Kiira Health Inc, an AI driven virtual clinic that connects patients with primary care physicians, Fraser hopes to make healthcare a more equitable place nationwide—starting with Harlem, New York.
“I have a front row seat to the poor outcomes women experience in healthcare due to inadequate access,” Fraser told ESSENCE.
“I have seen the difference in healthcare for those with commercial insurance and those without insurance or Medicaid. I became a physician to help make others well, and the current healthcare system seemed to be working against my efforts in some areas so I decided to practice medicine in a manner that is beneficial to my community at large.”
Frasier has been an Ob/GYN for the past 11 years and 4 years ago opened the doors to Harlem’s own Trinity Medical Care NY.
Alexis McGill Johnson, who is the CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and also serves on the Advisory Council for the SheaMoisture Coalition, said of Fraser’s work, “I’m delighted to see the talent in this Social Justice Coalition cohort. Not only are they innovative, they are bringing a fierce and unapologetic sense of serving the needs of our community in their work. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Fraser whose passion for healthcare and mental wellness could not have come at a more urgent and critical time.”
As a partner at Juno Medical, the Kiira Health physicians live in Harlem and provide care to the neighborhood hoping to instill trust in the healthcare community as a whole.
“At Kiira Health we are seeking to bring women’s healthcare to college students across the nation,” Fraser explained.
“College students have been known to have poor access to healthcare and lack the tools to continue to lead healthy lives after graduation. At Kiira, we are working to eliminate barriers to care and equip students with the tools they need.”
Fraser’s passion for this work is grounded in the altruistic values her parents instilled in her from a young age.
“It may sound cliché, but my social justice heroes are my parents,” Fraser said.
“I grew up seeing my parents generously provide food, clothing and money to anyone that they were in a position to help. They continue to be selfless and continue to inspire me to do as much as I can to help others.”
When your professional life is lived in service to others, it’s important to have a restorative self-care routine. Fraser says exercise and a consistent spiritual life keeps her rooted.
“I struggled a long time with ignoring my own health and well-being and experienced burn out,” Fraser said.
“I was forced to get plugged in with my own healthcare team and be conscious of the things I needed to remain healthy. I learned that self-care is not selfish. While I am not a pro at self-care I try to remember to pray everyday, eat healthier, stay active and stay plugged into my support system.”