Spotlight on Women in Health Ventures
  • Theia
17 episodes
Healthcare does not have a “women in healthcare” problem, but a “women in healthcare leadership” problem. Yet being a leader doesn’t just mean climbing the corporate ladder. We need more women to take ownership of their ideas and translate them into companies. On Spotlight on Women in Health Ventures, Theia co-founders Sumun Khetpal, Shabnam Eghbali, and Irene Park speak with women and allies that are challenging the status quo and changing the healthcare entrepreneurship and investing scene. Produced by Theia. Editors: Ellie Park, Pearl Zhang, Aseem Jain. Album art: Mia Kim, Sabrina Tian. Support this podcast:


Easing Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients with Dr. Jerrica Kirkley (Plume)
2021 Mar 3133m 39s
Dr. Jerrica Kirkley is co-founder and CMO of Plume, a direct-to-consumer telehealth company that provides medical consultation and gender-affirming hormone therapy for transgender patients. As a trans woman, family practice physician and educator, Dr. Kirkley and her co-founder, Dr. Matthew Wetschler, started Plume in 2019 to radically increase access to gender-affirmation services. Plume is currently operating in 33 states - and has been regarded as one of the fastest-growing trans tech companies in the nation. We discuss the origins of Plume as well as the changing landscape regarding policy and education surrounding gender-affirming care.
Designing Medical Devices for Glaucoma with Rui Jing Jiang (Avisi Technologies)
2021 Mar 1231m 10s
Avisi Technologies is a University of Pennsylvania spinout company developing a nanoscale, ocular implant called VisiPlate to stop blindness in patients with glaucoma. CEO Rui Jing Jiang co-founded Avisi while completing her undergraduate business degree at Wharton. What began as a business project turned into a full-time endeavor. We talk about how to leverage the resources at your academic institution for opportunities to commercialize intellectual property owned by the institution, mentorship and guidance from key opinion leaders, and funding. Avisi is gearing up for in-human clinical trials, so Rui Jing reflects on Avisi’s strategy for preclinical studies and conversations with the FDA.
Following the Money in Healthcare with Andrea Ippolito (SimpliFed)
2021 Mar 0434m 37s
Andrea Ippolito is the founder and CEO of Simplifed, the first independent tele-lactation consulting and nutrition support platform connecting new mothers with resources in the first weeks of becoming a parent. She is currently a Lecturer in the Engineering Management Program at Cornell University. Prior to this, she served as Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Innovators Network within the VA Innovation Center. There she led the creation of a $10.5m program that provides the tools and resources to VA employees to develop innovations that improve the experience of our Veterans. In 2012, she co-founded health IT company SmartScheduling which was sold to athenahealth in 2016. In our interview with Andrea, we learned about her journey to entrepreneurship and how her work with organizations like the VA has impacted her path within healthcare. She emphasized the importance of not just being an entrepreneur, but giving back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the process. How can we create buy-in and ensure durable change in healthcare? She says, “follow the money.”
Improving Health Literacy with Pooja Chandrashekar (COVID-19 Health Literacy Project)
2021 Feb 2033m 22s
Pooja Chandrashekar is a second year medical student at Harvard Medical School and founder of the COVID-19 Health Literacy Project, which aims to create and translate accessible COVID-19 information into different languages to help all patients know when and how to seek care. We talk about her ability to mobilize hundreds of health professional students to work towards tackling language barriers to health literacy. She shares her vision for more equitable and patient-centered healthcare delivery.
Breaking into Life Sciences Entrepreneurship and VC with Dr. Sara Nayeem (Avoro Ventures, fmr NEA)
2021 Feb 0438m 54s
Sara Nayeem is a Partner at Avoro Ventures (former Partner at NEA) where she focuses on investments in biopharmaceutical companies. We discuss with Sara what it means to “fail fast”, the importance of that “killer experiment” and other key considerations for building a biopharma company. As one of Fierce Biotech’s “Fiercest Women in Life Sciences”, she provides suggestions for how we can promote gender equity in life sciences.
Changing Healthcare Through Social Entrepreneurship and Policy with Dr. Sejal Hathi (MGH, CivicRx)
2021 Jan 2233m 22s
Dr. Sejal Hathi is a physician, public health advocate, and serial entrepreneur, who has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable communities in the United States and globally — with a special attention to women and girls. She has founded two non-profit organizations, Girls Helping Girls and girltank, that have mobilized over 30,000 young women to create sustainable social change in over 100 countries. Presently, she serves as a primary care resident at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Clinical Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She shares with us her motivation behind her social entrepreneurial pursuits, her involvement in Pete Buttigieg’s campaign, and her strategies for success as a leader and entrepreneur (hint: vogue-ish company creation is not the way to go).
Building Your Network in Healthcare with Bunny Ellerin (NYCHBL)
2021 Jan 1325m 52s
Bunny Ellerin is co-founder and president of New York City Health Business Leaders, a community of over 4,000 healthcare executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors. She’s an award-winning leader, thinker, writer, and speaker who has helped transform New York City into a thriving hub of healthcare innovation. We talk to her about effective strategies for networking and how men need to serve as allies to really help build women presence in entrepreneurship and healthcare leadership.
Harnessing Artificial Intelligence in Dermatology with Liz Asai (3Derm/Digital Diagnostics)
2020 Dec 3032m 11s
3Derm is a medical technology company offering a skin imaging system that allows users to take clinical-quality 3D skin images remotely. Dermatologists can use the uploaded images to efficiently monitor high volumes of patients' lesions while reserving in-clinic appointment times for patients whose images indicate a more alarming condition. A week after the interview in August 2020, 3Derm was acquired by autonomous AI platform Digital Diagnostics. 3Derm co-founder and CEO Liz Asai shares how she and her team gained payor buy-in for their product as well as 3Derm’s progress on autonomous and assistive AI with a particular focus on inclusivity in diagnosing skin conditions.
Building Wearable Technologies for Chronic Conditions with Ellen Su (Wellinks)
2020 Dec 1043m 4s
Wellinks is a wearable health technology company that focuses on building software and hardware to improve treatment and outcomes for patients with musculoskeletal conditions. Coming from a non-traditional background with training in product design at Yale and Design for America, co-founder Ellen Su recounts her experience channeling the motivation to help young patients with scoliosis to develop a digital health solution to track brace usage and enhance feedback between patients and physicians.