Professionally and personally, we experienced the fall-out when no advance care plan is in place. As children of aging parents and loved ones, we became frustrated with awkward and unproductive conversations about important end-of-life realities:
How we began
“If I get too sick to fish, just drive me out to the lake and leave me there.”
“The only way I’m leaving is in the Rapture!”
“Let’s talk about it later.”
Every single day doctors see the results of fruitless end-of-life discussions.
But we also see that detailed, clinically supported conversations about EOL medical issues create high quality instructions. Without this guidance, loved ones are burdened by intimidating medical decisions, families fight and break down over treatment directions, and months are spent in court. Health care providers will be required to deliver aggressive medical intervention despite poor outcomes while health care systems sag under the overuse of resources.
The advance care discussion doesn’t have to be difficult, delayed, or disconnected.
What used to be the sole domain of pricey lawyers and the inconvenient notary process can now be simply and easily done through Koda: online and at home and with your physician’s input, if desired. No more awkward talks and unrealistic concepts of “the end”.
We created Koda to be a better guide from the beginning.
Our leadership team
Tatiana Fofanova, PhD - CEO
Dr. Fofanova earned her Doctorate in Molecular Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. In addition to her experience in clinical research, she has been a long-time educator and advocate for vulnerable communities throughout Houston. She also dedicated four years to conducting clinical research in a population with incurable diseases at Texas Children’s Hospital, which included the legally complex aspects around the issue of medical consent.
Her deeply rooted passion for equity in healthcare led Dr. Fofanova to co-found Koda in the spring of 2020.
I’ve seen too many families fight or fall apart during the terminal sickness of a loved one. I wanted to protect as many families as possible from this painful fate — including my own.
Desh Mohan, MD - CMO
Dr. Desh Mohan earned his MD at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School, and completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine. He currently practices as a board-certified Internal Medicine physician and hospitalist. Dr. Mohan has delivered culturally competent care in health systems across the U.S., working at eight hospitals in many diverse communities.
In addition to his hospital roles, Dr. Mohan has been a volunteer organizing medical relief trips to Haiti and participating in health education and public health initiatives in the US, India and Tanzania.
As a hospitalist, I have seen both ways: how confusing and traumatizing it is to everyone involved when you don’t have these conversations in advance. But when patients have carefully planned for their care there’s no anxiety, no pain. It’s beautiful, peaceful and respectful — the way care should be towards the end of someone’s life. Koda is the better way and that’s why I’m here.
Katelin Cherry - CTO
Ms. Cherry earned her Master of Bioengineering from Rice University, with a BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Arkansas.
She has many years of experience in the design and delivery of healthcare education solutions, both locally and internationally, to underserved communities in need.
As a Fulbright Scholar and college athlete, she’s never been afraid of a challenge. Getting people to see the necessity to create their advance medical care plan is certainly a big one.
My family is my foundation — I love them more than anything in the world. We have unfortunately experienced the painful aftermath when the end-of-life planning conversation is avoided. I’m working to build Koda so everyone and anyone can be fully prepared for their future.
Our mission and passion are reflected in our name and logo.
Koda is a Native American word meaning friend.
The end-of-life discussion is the “elephant in the room”—the awkward conversation that really really needs to be had. Elephants are wise and family-oriented…they take care of each other. There are two generations represented to symbolize care, responsibility and respect.
– Warren Buffett