Bio: I am a former history teacher and healthcare trial lawyer turned tech entrepreneur. I have the mind of a philosopher, heart of a poet, and spirit of a starship captain. In all that I do, curiosity is my true North Star.
Org Info: equalityMD is the match.com of telehealth. Our proprietary matching algorithm connects the LGBTQ+ community and its allies with culturally competent providers who deliver inclusive, personalized care. Our inclusive telehealth community democratizes care, cures systemic inequities, and makes patients the superheroes of their own healthcare stories. Our secure, comprehensive ecosystem prioritizes individuals’ personal identities and unique life experiences, makes the patient-provider relationship more personal, and brings humanity back into healthcare.
What motivated you to pursue your current work?
I’m a former healthcare trial lawyer turned serial entrepreneur. I have the mind of philosopher, heart of a poet, and spirit of a starship captain. DEI is deeply embedded in all that I do, and curiosity remains my true North Star.
When I was a lawyer in DC, I saw systemic inequities in America’s healthcare system. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’ve personally experienced discrimination when seeking care. The pandemic made things worse causing many LGBTQ+ people to suffer in silence.
Lawyers are called “Counselors at Law,” but we’re really “Counselors at Life.” The one question I’ve been asked more than any other is, “Where can I find a medical provider that makes me feel safe?” I’ve asked myself that question more times than I care to admit. During the pandemic, I created equalityMD to solve this generational problem.
My entrepreneurial journey started in 2009 when I lost my job as a litigator due to the Great Recession. I’ve owned a coffee shop, a bar/restaurant, LGBTQ+ marketing/media company, a LGBTQ+ consumer behavioral data analytics company, and a consulting business. I’ve helped businesses and nonprofits craft authentic marketing campaigns tailored to the $1.4 trillion LGBTQ+ consumer market. In 2021 I was named a Top 40 LGBTQ+ Leader in North America.
My prior entrepreneurial ventures succeeded because I spent time developing meaningful relationships. Those relationships—together with my knowledge of our market—are my superpowers. I’ve been building equalityMD since 2009 without realizing it simply by being my authentic self.
What distinct value does your work bring to the digital health field?
equalityMD is THE inclusive B2B telehealth solution. Our venture is founded on the sacred principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our secret sauce is trust. That trust can be divided into three key ingredients:
1. Technology: Our ML matching algorithm considers each person’s unique life experiences and intersectionality of identities when connecting them with a provider.
2. Cultural Competency: Every provider in our national network is required to participate in LGBTQ+ cultural competency training. Our partner, OutCare Health, is the nation’s premier LGBTQ+ cultural competency training organization for medical professionals. No other telehealth company mandates this standardized, evidence-based training which ensures that each patient receives inclusive, personalized care.
3. Pre-Existing Partnerships/Networks: Our existing partners and networks—which are founded on trust and have been nurtured for years—reduce our CAC, lower our churn, and allow us to grow exponentially, organically. Our Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM) utilizing only our existing partnerships is $40B! Our partners enable equalityMD to become a trusted community anchor in every market we enter as we scale across America and beyond.
Our trust within our target market ($216B LGBTQ telehealth market) is further enhanced because we’re the only healthcare company in the world that’s certified as BOTH a B-Corp AND a LGBT Business Enterprise (a National LGBT Chamber of Commerce supplier diversity certification).
Moreover, 100% of our management team are LGBTQ+ and we’re recognized experts in healthcare, marketing, startups, finance, and policy.
How does your work impact your target end-users or stakeholders?
We’ve accelerated our business model from hybrid B2C & B2B to primarily B2B. Our early B2C sales—along with our SMB B2B sales—will serve as market validation to enterprise B2B clients. We’ll build on the momentum of our direct-to-consumer business model (enabled by our existing network of partners) to create a scalable B2B SaaS telehealth and SaaS data analytics model with enterprise clients. Our B2C & B2B SaaS offerings will deliver predictable, scalable revenue that facilitates other non-recurring revenue streams (e.g. – patient visits, prescription savings program).
Our secret sauce is a vast pre-existing network of partners collectively valued at over $40B! They grant incredible access to new markets (individuals, SMBs, & corporate executives), help create enterprise pilot programs, and establish equalityMD as a trusted anchor in communities nationwide. Our partners include: National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Boston Scientific, RockHealth.org, Campus Pride, ScriptSave/WellRx, Gaingels, StartOut, OutCare Health, Rivendell Media and others.
B2C: We have a network of healthcare providers covering all 50 states. Our relationships with business, community, and nonprofit/educational institutions will keep both CAC and churn low and enable us to enter new markets quickly. Our marketing efforts—in conjunction with our local, regional, and national partners—will ensure rapid, organic growth.
B2B: Utilizing our white-label LGBTQ+ inclusive telehealth platform as part of a company’s employee benefits offering—or as optional fringe benefits—is a tremendously effective tool to create a more diverse talent pipeline (20% of Millennials & 31% of Gen Z are LGBTQ+); it will reduce employee churn, enhance brand image, and increase customer loyalty. 81% of companies are increasing their DEI budges and 72% are looking for inclusive healthcare options. Our B2B telehealth platform benefits employers, employees/patients, insurers, and healthcare providers. We’ll accelerate our growth through our direct access to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s (NGLCC) 54 regional chambers which includes 11,000+ SMBs, and 415 corporate partners – which include Fourtune 500 health, energy, and investment firms. equalityMD is a data-driven DEI, HR, and marketing solution that helps employers remain competitive.
What is one exciting update or near-term opportunity that you would like to share with the digital health community?
We’re in talks with two leading health venture innovation firms to discuss an enterprise pilot program within a national managed health care company. They view equalityMD as diverse supplier (LGBTBE & B-Corp certified) that could support their DEI objectives and provide inclusive care for their diverse employee base. A pilot with this entity would increase our visibility, value, and—in time—make equalityMD an attractive acquisition prospect for leading tech and health companies (e.g. – Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.) engaged in the current “healthtech arms race” (Fortune.com). In parallel, we’re working on similar discussions with our partner, Boston Scientific, and their insurance provider.