We Asked 6 Ash Employees Why They’re Optimistic About LGBTQ+ Healthcare
Pride Month commemorates the 1969 Stonewall riots. As a majority queer-founded company with LGBTQ+ employees, Ash Wellness celebrates how far we’ve come in the decades since. While there is still much to be done, especially in regards to recent political attacks against transgender youth and state-specific Don’t Say Gay bills, there are also reasons to feel hopeful for the future. In our industry — healthcare tech — we see a lot of major changes that will positively impact LGBTQ+ people. With this in mind, we asked six Ash Wellness employees why they’re optimistic about LGBTQ+ healthcare.
Hershel Perlmutter, Operations Lead (He/Him)
“Digital health companies have laid the foundation to make healthcare more personalized and inclusive. Primary care, fertility, mental health maintenance, and STI testing are all more accessible thanks to investments in digital health. We’re going to start seeing more individualized specialty healthcare like chronic care management for LGBTQ+ people, as well as other marginalized communities.”
Eva Marsh, Client Success Associate (They/She)
“We’re moving toward a future where comprehensive LGBTQ+ care is understood to be a moral imperative, not just another way to submit codes to billing. Healthcare organizations and digital health companies are starting to offer accessible gender-affirming care and are adapting their language and practices to be gender inclusive. These shifts reflect real interest in queer wellbeing — and not just during PRIDE month.”
Kyle Waters, CPO (He/Him)
“Healthcare used to be a lot more heteronormative and cis-normative. LGBTQ+ people had fewer care options due to our so-called ‘risky lifestyle.’ With the circulation of PrEP and advances in ART, we have better tools to care for our community. LGBTQ+ care is becoming normative care, and that benefits everyone.”
Zofia Mita, Client Success Manager (She/Her)
“Since virtual care isn’t limited by physical resources, LGBTQ+ medical providers can actually create their own healthcare models. Through this more decentralized system, we have the opportunity to marry a community-based approach with exceptional, intentional care. For queer people, especially those in rural areas or with limited traditional resources, this means better access to healthcare and providers that they feel safe with and that embrace their unique experience. I’m excited to see how else virtual care will support specialized care and improved access to help people better live in their bodies.”
Jack Hildick-Smith, Chief of Staff (He/Him)
“Shame blocks many LGBTQ+ people from pursuing healthcare. We may not visit a doctor to get on PrEP or hormones. We may not feel comfortable with in-person mental health care from a provider in our area. The expansion of at-home care lets queer people explore healthcare options at our own pace in the safety of our homes.”
Toni Antonova, Full Stack Engineer (She/They)
“Some VC firms aren’t comfortable funding startups that serve marginalized groups – women, LGBTQ+ communities, etc. The fact that Ash Wellness is a majority queer-founded company that serves LGBTQ+ partners is cause to celebrate. What new companies will pop up as a result of our success?”
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