Ashlee Wisdom And Eddwina Bright Created ‘Health In Her Hue’ As A Health Care Resource For Black Women

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Health in her hue, Ashlee Wisdom, Eddwina Bright

Source: Courtesy of Health in Her Hue / Health in Her Hue

After Covid helped draw back the curtain on health disparities for Black women, many health care systems and culturally incompetent providers still turn a blind eye to the medical pain and suffering of Black women. Understanding that Black women must protect our own, Ashlee Wisdom and Eddwina Bright stepped up to build a space for Black women to access much needed information and resources.

Health in Her Hue is the product of Bright and Wisdom’s dedication in helping Black women take charge of, and have confidence in their medical care. MADAMENOIRE sat down with Wisdom and Bright to discuss health care disparity and how Health in Her Hue is changing the way Black women and Black health care providers approach the health gap. 

 

What inspired you to create Health in Her Hue?

Wisdom: During my studies in graduate school, I kept seeing the poorer health outcomes that Black women had compared to their racial counterparts–across a number of different health conditions. I also worked in an academic Medical Center where I didn’t have the best experience as a Black woman working in that setting. So, those two experiences opened my eyes to the fact Black women really needed support navigating. 

Bright: Ashley is so dynamic [and] amazing, you know? She’s a wonderful leader. So, I am diving into the fire with her to build [and] to help women of color [and] Black women. It’s been quite an amazing journey.

 

How does Health in Her Hue bridge the gap between Black women and the healthcare sphere?

Bright: One of the primary ways we’re bridging those gaps in terms of the disparities is by leveraging technology to connect Black women to the types of providers they’re more likely to trust and engage with.

 

What do you think are the important things a healthcare provider should consider when caring for Black Women and their reproductive health? 

Wisdom and Bright describe what they call “The Three Buckets,” categories they believe are integral to addressing the issues of health disparities that also inform the training provided on the Health in Her Hue platform. 

  • Bucket One

Wisdom: Structural competency. Doctors need to be equipped with understanding the different structural and societal factors that are impacting their patients. Maybe there aren’t any pharmacies in the neighborhood or maybe they can’t afford to pay for that subscription 

  • Bucket Two

We’re navigating both racism and sexism, especially if someone who is part of the LGBTQIA community. All these different intersecting things are impacting our daily lives that ultimately impact our health.

  • Bucket Three

Last thing I’ll call out is the different conditions that disproportionately impact Black women and the fact there isn’t a lot of research on things like fibroids and endometriosis. We really want to support providers–and provide a place to help them figure out what might actually be the diagnosis.

Bright: It’s also important for providers to understand their own limitations that encompass their own implicit bias. Providers need cultural humility and to be able to say “I don’t know everything.”

 

What kind of content do you have aimed at educating women so they can advocate for themselves?

Bright: We have a content library, written articles, as well as video content. This content is evidence-based—provided by clinicians and other women—and through personal essays. There’s a lot of information coming from the medical community, as well as the peer community. We invite providers and medical professionals to record videos of questions we’ve seen in the community. There’s master class level quality content and a curriculum that has been developed by a clinician. Women are  gaining medical, evidence-based information.

Black women account for less than 3 percent of all U.S. doctors, even though Black people make up 13 percent of the U.S. population. Tampax is putting forth efforts to close the racial representation gap in medicine through its Flow it Forward scholarship program which provides tuition assistance for Black women pursuing health care careers. But still, we may not be able to find a doctor who looks like us. What are some questions we should ask when looking for practitioners and some different ways that we can self-advocate very strongly for ourselves?

Bright: Know the statistics and ask potential providers, “Are you aware?” I would start there and get into the pulse of whether or not that provider is even aware of the state of affairs for Black women. 

 

What have we yet to bring to the larger discussion? 

Wisdom: I think things like autoimmune disease don’t get as much attention, and Black men are being disproportionately diagnosed with lupus and we don’t hear much about that or multiple sclerosis. I feel like our stories and experiences—when it comes to those types of conditions—I don’t really see them being talked about.

Wisdom and Bright have started the conversation surrounding Black women and the rate at which they are affected by health disparity. Health in Her Hue contains information on all aspects of health. General, mental, reproductive and oral health are just a few of the areas where information can be found to help support Black Women in living longer and healthier lives. Stay on the look-out as Bright and Wisdom are working to create a space for pre-teens and teenagers; as well as furthering the mission of providing education through an online bookstore.

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