The National Library of Medicine defines health inequity as the summation of social, economic, environmental, and structural disparities that have contributed to intergroup differences in health outcomes both within and between societies.
In layman’s terms, years of unfair societal treatment of underserved communities has funneled into poor healthcare.
Fortunately, a new crop of Black founders have taken notice, and are working to improve the way BIPOC communicate and are treated by physicians. Here’s a roundup of Black-owned companies that are empowering patients to take their health into their own hands.
Founded in 2020 with the aim to improve pediatric care and maternal health outcomes for BIPOC women, Cayaba Care says their focus is on bridging the maternal health gap for the more than 60,000 U.S. women who are affected by severe maternal morbidity. To date, they have raised more than which totals $15M from their institutional seed round funders (Digitalis Ventures, SteelSky Ventures, Flare Capital). The funding will allow them to grow its home-based multidisciplinary care team and provide holistic pregnancy care.
It can be tough to get to and from medical providers as a patient in need of constant treatment, especially if you live in an underserved community. MedHaul, a deeply discounted medical transportation company understands this and is aiming to provide a much-needed solution.
According to their website, the Memphis-based company was launched after its founder Erica Plybeah said she found it difficult to find transportation for her grandmother, who is an amputee.
“I wanted to find a way to positively impact patients and the healthcare providers who are [now] my customers,” Plybeah told Essence.
She has plans to expand the company’s reach nationwide.
Chicago-based Clinify Health works with community health centers and independent clinics in underserved communities, per NPR. The company looks at medical and social data to connect doctors with their most at-risk patients that haven’t come in to get checked in a long time.
“You can think of Clinify Health as a company that supports triage outside of the emergency room,” Pelzer told NPR.