Health In Her HUE is 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 their lived experiences.
Co-founded by Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright, Health in Her HUE started as a health app and has now transitioned from app to a full digital platform. Their mission is to reduce racial health disparities by leveraging the power of technology, media and community to improve health outcomes for Black women and women of color.
They are achieving this by bringing awareness to health and wellness issues in a relevant, engaging and accessible way while empowering women of color, and their allies, to share, learn and innovate around the health issues that disproportionately affect them.
Co-founder Ashlee Wisdom started building Health in Her Hue while she was an MPH student at New York University.
In an article with Very Well Health, she shares, “I kept reading papers for different classes and seeing across the board the poor health outcomes that exist for Black women. I remember feeling really privileged to have this heightened awareness as a Black woman about health disparities. If I wasn’t sitting in this classroom, I wasn’t sure I would really be as aware of these issues. So I wanted to take information out of the ivory tower and make it more accessible and actionable for everyday Black women.”
The other part of her story that pushed Ashlee to create Health in Her HUE were her own experiences. While working in a very toxic work environment, Ashlee began breaking out in chronic hives. She saw an allergist—who happened to be a white woman—but her doctor could not determine the cause of the hives, despite numerous tests.
“It never dawned on me to share with her like, ‘Hey, I’m working in this really racist environment and it’s toxic.’ I didn’t feel like she would be able to relate or even understand. When I left the toxic job, the hives stopped. I realized that the hives were being triggered by the stress that I was experiencing,” says Ashlee.
Reflecting on that experience, Ashlee realized she communicated differently in her interactions with her Black gynecologist compared to how she communicated with her White allergist.
“If I shared more with her about what was going on, she would have been able to get to the root cause of what was triggering the hives, as opposed to just telling me to take two Allegra every day to keep them contained.”
This feeling of miscommunication is something many women of color experience when it comes to healthcare. In a post on Instagram celebrating Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler’s birthday—the first black women physician in the US, Health in Her HUE write:
“Diversity and cultural competency in medicine matters to patients. Research shows, across all races, patients are more likely to be satisfied with their care when their doctors look like them. But only 5% of the country’s doctors are Black, compared with 13% of the U.S. population and only 36% of doctors are women of any race.
The good news is that, between 1940 and 2018, the percentage of Black women physicians has increased by 2.7 percentage points. And medical schools say the number of first year Black students in the U.S. is way up – 21%, an unprecedented spike.”
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Working to close that gap and improve the experiences of women of color is ultimately what pushed Ashlee to move forward with creating Health in Her HUE.
“I figured if no one else is building a solution to support Black women and women of color for navigating this healthcare system that really wasn’t designed for us, then I want to build something to help us.”
Today, the Health in Her HUE site provides a variety of resources—from helping women of color find culturally sensitive healthcare providers to digital content on various health issues that educates how they affect women of color.
“We get lots of messages from both patients and providers who tell us that they’re really grateful about what we built because they’ve been able to make really meaningful connections and have had improved experiences with providers,” says Ashlee. “Those are some of the life-changing connections that we’ve been able to make and want to be able to continue to do so.”
About Health in Her HUE’s Founders
Ashlee Wisdom is a public health innovator committed to achieving a more equitable healthcare ecosystem where all people can access the quality care they need and deserve. Wisdom received her BS from Howard University, and her Master of Public Health from New York University. She was named a 2021 Top 50 in digital health by Rock Health for her health equity advocacy.
Eddwina Bright is a strategic executor with a background in operations, process improvement, product development & management and finance. She is passionate about leveraging her experience to build companies from the ground-up. Eddwina received her AS from Baltimore City Community College where she graduated as Valedictorian of her class, her BS from Morgan State University, and her MBA from Columbia Business School.