Meet Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright, two Black women challenging the status quo.
Alongside a team of respected Black-woman professionals, Wisdom and Bright are intentionally taking up space in the tech world with ambitious efforts toward tackling healthcare’s race gap.
In 2018, Wisdom and Bright launched Health In Her HUE, a digital platform that connects Black women and women of color to culturally competent and sensitive healthcare providers. The pair focused on why Black women were plagued by disproportionately higher incidence and mortality rates for various diseases, including maternal health. The numbers call attention to the quality of care they were receiving.
Recent studies indicate several racial disparities in healthcare. While 13% of Americans identify as Black, according to the U.S. Census, there is an increasing shortage of relatable and culturally sensitive healthcare providers. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, only 5% of physicians in the United States are Black. Other studies show patients who trust their doctors are more likely to follow instructions and maintain follow-up appointments.
The app serves as a medical database that provides informational resources to educate, inform, and support Black women and other women of color.
“There’s a need for women of color specifically to have digital solutions that make it easier for us to find trusted healthcare providers,” Wisdom, founder, and chief executive officer, told Emily Cottontop.
“So that’s what we’re building with Health in Her HUE. We’re building out a database and a search and booking feature where Black women and WoC can find culturally appropriate healthcare providers.”
Inspired by their own experiences, Wisdom and Bright became eager to empower and advocate for Black women with a supportive and accessible community.
“I personally was experiencing microaggressions and working in a toxic environment as a Black woman,” she said.
“It happened to be a healthcare setting, and it impacted my health. At the same time that that was happening, I was learning about the various social factors that impact health outcomes and saw the disparities for Black women and thought to myself, how can I make this information more accessible to your everyday Black woman?”
Bright, co-founder and chief operations officer, shared her birthing experience in an interview with The Guardian.
“I felt very much coaxed into a C-section; doctors were not answering my questions, not telling my husband anything,” she said. It was just not a great experience. And so from that, I was able to take a step back and find a provider that was more culturally aligned with me.”
In looking to the future, the tech founders are planning to expand Health In Her HUE with the help of $1 million in pre-seed funding, which they received last summer. They are developing a new web platform and membership experience, which will offer personalized care support and resources.