Episode 127: The Quest to Connect BIPOC Women to Medical Professionals
Finding the right doctor can be difficult and finding one with a similar background or who looks like you can be even harder when you’re a part of an underserved community. This issue, which often impacts women of color, was exactly what Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright set out to solve.
Enter Health in Her Hue, a digital platform that connects Black women and women of color to culturally competent and sensitive healthcare providers and offers health information and content that centers on their lived experience. Founded by Ashlee and Eddwina, Health in Her Hue helps Black women navigate the healthcare system and find doctors who address their unique concerns.
In today’s episode, Ashlee and Eddwina discuss the importance of advocacy, representation, and support when it comes to infertility in the Black community.
Guest: Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright, Health in Her Hue
Host: Dan Bulger
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Here are some highlights from this episode:
The Creation of Health and Her Hue
02:00 – 02:55
Ashlee Wisdom: Health in Her Hue started back in 2018, when, quite frankly, I got frustrated with seeing all the data and headlines about Black women’s poor health outcomes, the disparities in health care and not really seeing any innovative solutions that were addressing the unique needs of women of color. The platform primarily started as a content platform to make health information more culturally relevant to Black women while engaging and empowering them to navigate the healthcare system. That got a lot of traction and our content really resonated with Black women. We brought it to them where they were on social media, and we built a strong community around that. From building that community, we were able to learn some of the additional pain points that these women were having, as they were navigating the healthcare system.
Changing the Conversation
03:28 – 04:18
Ashlee Wisdom: Maternal mortality is the number one thing that we talk about because the disparities are so disturbing. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy related complications, compared to our racial counterparts. Beyond that, we’re more likely to die from heart disease or we’re more likely to be obese and have diabetes. Across health outcomes and health indicators, Black women feel worse than our racial counterparts. I really wanted to shift the conversation around just focusing too much on maternal mortality when there are all these other health conditions that are disproportionately impacting Black women, which, at the end of the day, ties back into why our maternal outcomes are far worse than our racial peers.
Lack of Representation
08:27 – 09:19
Eddwina Bright: We hear from our users that some of the challenges around their access to health content is that they don’t see themselves reflected in these articles or videos. There’s a story that a user told us that she was going for mastectomy, and from all the photos that she saw, none of them were of Black women. She couldn’t envision what she would look like post-surgery. Our aim is to ensure that our users and members see themselves reflected in all the content that we develop. The great thing about having a community is that women share their experiences with us. They not only trust us as a platform, but also as a community platform. Women have shared with us that when they’ve gone for fertility treatments, they don’t see other women who look like them in the waiting room or that all the photos in the waiting room don’t look like them. They often feel like, “Do I belong here or is something wrong with me?”
The Future of Health in Her Hue
09:53 – 10:29
Eddwina Bright: We want to make Health in Her Hue the first touch point for women of color as they’re making any decision related to their health care. This ranges from trying to find trusted providers or trying to find trusted health content based on whatever health issue they’re concerned about. Then, we want to give them access to the community for support and navigating their healthcare. We see our platform really being a robust and dynamic platform that serves as a guide to women of color who are trying to feel empowered in finding the best care for them, as well as a community to have as support.
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.
Ashlee Wisdom is a writer, healthcare professional and challenger of the status quo. She received her BS in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Howard University, and an MPH with a concentration in Healthcare Policy & Management from NYU.
Her vision for Health in Her HUE was born out of her frustrations observing how structural racism impacts healthcare and health outcomes. Understanding the impact systemic racism and sexism have on Black women’s health, she felt compelled to empower them as they engage with a healthcare system that often fails them. Her profound concern for the health and well-being of Black women inspired her to create a space for Black women and by Black women, where they can be better informed and feel empowered when it comes to their health. In creating this platform, she endeavors to develop and curate innovative solutions for health issues that disproportionately impact Black women. She is passionate about health equity and is adamant about challenging healthcare systems to find systemic ways to address the unique needs and concerns of Black women.
She enjoys traveling the world, writing, a good brunch, and hosting epic game nights for her friends. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleeWisdom for a healthy balance of humor and insightful commentary.
Eddwina Bright began her career at Citi where she focused on process improvement, best practices and current state/future state analysis for the Global Transaction Services business. After joining the Young Leadership Board of America Needs You, she eventually joined the organization as Chief of Staff and was instrumental in crafting their first career development curriculum for first generation college students. She was also responsible for all operations functions including marketing, executive communication, organizational events, recruitment, onboarding, and management of the organization’s volunteer pool of 400+ professionals. Eddwina has previously worked at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, where she managed a career development program for high potential minority college students interested in building Corporate careers. She was responsible for initiatives related to assessing talent, providing professional development training and placing students in internships across 21 partner corporations including Goldman Sachs, American Express and IBM.
Through her dedication to academic and professional success, she graduated as Valedictorian of her class at Baltimore City Community College where she served as the Student Representative on the Board of Trustees and was a Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) fellow. Motivated to continue her advanced education; she enrolled at Morgan State University and graduated with honors, earning a bachelor’s degree in Finance. Eddwina also has an MBA from Columbia Business School. While there, she received the Student Service award from her peers, served as Academic Rep for her class and won several case competitions involving Blockchain, Diversity Hiring, Marketing and Business Development.
In her time off, Eddwina enjoys travel (she has been to 40+ countries), consulting small businesses/entrepreneurs and spending time with her husband and two daughters.