About Culex Wellness

How We’re Different

Culex’s mission is to deliver a better wellness experience. By understanding patterns of symptoms and illnesses in children, we make more accurate diagnoses and predictions of future issues, suggest more effective treatments, and provide more targeted support for pediatric patients and their families.

When different people catch the same illness, they do not experience the same symptoms. Illness tends to be distributed fairly evenly across the population, while its symptoms disproportionately affect a few. Roughly 1 in 5 patients can be considered “highly sensitive” to illness. These individuals are far more likely to have troublesome symptoms; for instance, they are twice as likely to seek medical care for a fever and 5 times as likely for respiratory symptoms. In fact, this 20% of patients account for 80% of all pediatric office visits.

These highly sensitive children often experience a difficult health journey. They may repeatedly experience symptoms for which they receive a wide variety of diagnoses – or no diagnosis at all. They may end up in urgent care or emergency rooms more frequently, resulting in fragmented care. Their complaints may be ignored, or they may be subjected to fruitless testing or referred to one specialist after another.

At Culex, we recognize the underlying patterns of symptoms and illnesses, an understanding informed by the clinical experience of Dr. Keyvan Rafei in 25 years of pediatric practice. The variance in symptoms is reflective of the intensity with which each individual’s body fights the illness through inflammation. We focus on understanding the social and environmental factors that strongly influence inflammation, as well as the individual nuances.

Understanding these patterns means that Culex delivers a better wellness experience. Our predictions drive treatment and education plans that can reduce the need for costly medical care in the short term and in the long term help avert the progression of eczema and other dermatological problems, asthma, and mental health disorders, including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and suicidality in children; conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s in later life; and compounding of the health impacts across multiple generations.


By understanding how each patient is different, we can tailor our healthcare services to suit the needs of each individual patient – with more accurate diagnoses, more effective treatments, and more targeted support for managing health issues.

We get to know each patient and family as well as their social and environmental context in order to understand the many factors that influence wellness. The variance in symptoms experienced by each individual is reflective of the intensity with which their body fights the illness through inflammation, which in turn is the result of a complex interplay of each person’s genetics, environmental exposures, and internal microbiome. We ask our patients the right questions to better understand and improve their unique health journey. For instance, if a parent has asthma, a child is likely to have asthma, too, so we are more likely to be able to diagnose asthma early on and develop an effective treatment plan.

By understanding how symptoms and illnesses correlate, we can make sense of what may seem to be unrelated symptoms, predict future issues, and help families prepare for and manage them.

We look for common patterns – how symptoms progress, which illnesses are correlated, and how particular groups or age ranges of children are affected. We are able to connect the dots, knowing that the baby with colic will later be the teenager with anxiety. We also look at the big picture, helping our patients navigate their particular health journey.

By understanding how health patterns play out over time, we can identify problems earlier, when treatment is likely to be easier and more effective, and predict problems in order to prevent them.

We also want to understand, and help improve, our patients’ health experience on a daily basis, which means knowing as soon as a sniffle starts, rather than waiting until it becomes a troublesome cough. Approaching healthcare as an ongoing conversation allows us to intervene early and treat problems more effectively. We track viral patterns and allergens to let you know when changing conditions may trigger health issues. Rather than provide reactive care that only treats problems that have already arisen, we focus on how to anticipate and prevent the next health problem.


By understanding how to provide the right interventions at the right time, we can provide more effective and convenient healthcare services.

We know that health care can be disruptive, taking time away from work and school. We also know that not all illnesses need an office visit. Respiratory issues, particularly, often happen at night, so a daytime office visit isn’t helpful for understanding the problem. If you’re looking for pediatric primary care in Columbia, Maryland, we prioritize accessibility and quality care for your children. We offer messaging and telehealth options, as well as hassle-free clinic visits with minimal wait times, to provide you with options for care that are convenient as well as effective.