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Why ‘Table Health’

Team meeting at the table

Table Health President, Jill Butryn, M.D.,  shares the story behind the name—a symbol of inclusivity, collaboration, and community in healthcare.


“If I’m gonna tell a real story, I’m gonna start with my name.” These words of Kendrick Lamar ring true for Table Health, which is fitting, considering that Mr. Lamar’s professional legacy encompasses not only artistic and operational excellence but also standing for justice, equality, and challenging institutional status quo.

We’re often asked about the meaning of our name.

Co-founder Christa Kiessel came up with Table Health’s name in 2017 to describe her vision of what primary care could be. In families, communities, and business, the word ‘Table’ has deep and broad meaning.

The Dining Table is where families and friends gather for nourishment of mind, body, and spirit. The Boardroom Table is where peers gather to make important decisions. The Exam Table is where the patient-doctor relationship begins.

Less literally, the word ‘Table’ describes a way of interacting, and is foundational to our culture at Table Health.

The Table is possibly the most important piece of furniture in the home, central to hospitality. At Table Health, from the warmth of the space to the smile from the receptionist to the accessibility and generous time with the doctor, we strive to ensure all of our members feel valued, seen and heard. We know there is vulnerability inherent in seeking help for your health. Your comfort with the process is very important to us, so we strive to live our cultural values of inclusion, equality, and generous support of each other and our members.

Conventional, insurance-based primary care is characterized by “top-down” decision-making. Essentially, the patients and doctors are at the mercy of “the insurance” or “the guidelines”. At Table Health, we don’t have contracts with insurance for our own fees, which means our model of primary care is delivered “horizontally”. The Member sits at the head of the Table, surrounded by caring clinical physicians and support team, and sometimes employers if they are paying the lion’s share of the cost (nobody else!). We sit at the same level, eye to eye, interacting in a personal and meaningful way, everyone an equal contributor in the conversation.

If we’re gonna tell OUR real story, we have to start with our name TABLE and how committed we are to leaning into all the meanings as a foundation of our organization’s culture. Challenging the status quo is never easy. We need each other at the Table, nourishing and supporting each other, making sure we are listening to each other, valuing each other as human beings.

There is no room for ego at Table Health. But there is room for you. Pull up a chair, join us at the Table.