Ohio-based healthcare provider HerMD will next month open its first Indiana location at Carmel City Center. The physician-led company specializes in gynecology, menopause, sexual health and medical aesthetics. Founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Somi Javaid said the company aims to fill a gap in the number of women’s sexual healthcare and menopause experts that work within an insurance-based system.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Javaid said there is a huge demand for these types of services.
“Nationally, less than 20% of OBGYNs are trained in this type of healthcare,” said Javaid. “You talk about women who are struggling with sexual pain or low desire or even those women who have gone through cancer and now are dealing with the lasting effects of chemotherapy or maybe early menopause, and they have nowhere to turn, and they don’t have doctors or providers that specialize in these areas.”
HerMD says menopause and sexual health are two areas of women’s health that are often overlooked, underserved and stigmatized. Javaid says patients have traveled from more than 35 states and three countries to receive care.
In addition to gynecological care, the clinic will provide on-site services such as in-office surgical procedures, minimally invasive treatment options, ultrasound imaging, and phlebotomy/lab testing.
Javaid, a board-certified OBGYN, says she wants to eliminate the barriers that many women experience when trying to access this type of care.
“There’s not enough female decision makers. We’re underrepresented in clinical research trials. There’s a profound gender bias in gynecology,” she said. “And [there are] financial barriers as well when physicians decide to go cash-only or concierge. So, women feel like they’re in this boutique, high-end practice [at HerMD], but they can access their insurance to have our services.”
Javaid says there isn’t a model like HerMD anywhere in the country.
“For me, as a provider who’s been in the thick of it for 20 years, I think it’s about time.”
HerMD currently has three locations in Cincinnati, Crescent Springs, Ky., and Nashville, Tenn. Another location in New Jersey is set to open soon, and the company also has a telehealth presence in five states.
The company has received national press from outlets such as Vogue and Forbes. Javaid says the response from patients has been “feverish.”
“We opened Nashville with a wait list of over 500 women. The Indiana list is near almost 200 women already, so it’s been amazing,” she said. “And when we meet with providers in the markets we go to, we’re met with welcome arms. They are like, ‘Thank god somebody is in town that can provide this care for my patient because we don’t know where to send them.'”
The Carmel location, set to open Jan. 19 in the Hamilton West building of Carmel City Center, will employ 10 people. The company plans to have 70 total employees once the New Jersey location opens next year.
CEO Kathy McAleer said Indiana was a prime location for the company’s fourth office.
“We’re focused on…markets that have just so little access to this type of care, and so Indiana was a great choice for us,” McAleer said. “It’s also close to our Ohio location, so we already had patients traveling to see us.”
She says the location within Carmel City Center is the perfect destination due to its proximity to other amenities in the area.
After opening in Indiana and New Jersey, HerMD is looking to expand to the West Coast and other areas across the U.S. The company is currently in fundraising mode to fuel that expansion.