Twentyeight Health announces $8.3 million in funding to make healthcare more accessible to BIPOC and underserved communities

When Amy Fan’s family immigrated to Canada from Taiwan in 1996, times were tough and jobs were hard to come by. However, they found solace in Canada’s universal health care system, which provided them with all the medical care their family needed, from routine vaccinations to urgent medical care.

After completing her undergraduate degree, three years at Bain’s Canadian headquarters, and relocating to the US in 2014 to run a skin care company, Fan recognized the vast disparities in access to healthcare. When they met Bruno Van Tuykom, who previously worked for the Gates Foundation, they founded telemedicine company Twentyeight Health in 2018. The company aims to improve access to healthcare for underprivileged communities by providing the highest quality telemedicine services that make it convenient for patients to receive care from the comfort of their own homes and enable seamless coordination of medical care.

“The decision to start Twentyeight Health and turn down the offer to return to consulting after business school was a huge risk for me. It’s a story that resonates with immigrant founders – we often carry the financial burden for our extended families. Fortunately, my family has encouraged me to follow my passion — to ensure that all women, especially BIPOC women and women from low-income backgrounds, have access to quality, dignified, and convenient sexual and reproductive healthcare,” she shares with me in an interview .

The potential of telemedicine

While telemedicine has incredible potential to improve healthcare for everyone, recent data from Rock Health and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that in the US it is primarily used by wealthier Americans living in urban areas. Twentyeight Health bucks this trend as the first women’s virtual health platform to support the full patient spectrum and focus on the integrative care of medically underserved groups, including low-income individuals and communities of color. It is notable for being one of the few telemedicine providers to accept Medicaid and work with culturally competent physicians. Additionally, their platform is available in both English and Spanish (making the platform accessible to over 40 million native Spanish speakers in the US), further supporting their commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. In the last two years, the company has expanded across the US – growing from six to 34 states and serving more than 85% of women of childbearing age.

Its most recent funding round (Pre-Series A) is $8.3 million and includes multiple mission-driven funds including RH Capital, Seae Ventures, Impact Engine, Acumen America, Stardust Equity, Gratitude Railroad, California Health Care Foundation, Penn Medicine -Wharton Fund for Health and Great Oaks Venture Capital, as well as strategic angel investors including Andrey Ostrovsky, former Chief Medical Officer of the US Medicaid program, and Elina Onitskansky, former SVP & Head of Strategy at Molina. Many of Twentyeight Health’s previous investors also participated in the round, including SteelSky Ventures, Third Prime, Town Hall Ventures, GingerBread Capital and Algaé Ventures.

To date, Fan, Van Tuykom and their team have helped over 60,000 people access women’s health services and the user base continues to grow every month. Van Tuykom shares that 55% of its users are enrolled in Medicaid, 58% identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC), and 60% live in non-urban areas. “An incredible 63% of our birth control users did not have access to birth control prescriptions before using Twentyeight Health’s services,” adds Van Tuykom.

The endorsement of Andrey Ostrovsky, a former Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Medicaid program, underscores and underscores the significant impact the company is making in the telemedicine space, particularly in providing access to healthcare to underserved communities Company’s commitment to addressing the health needs of low-income individuals and communities of color. “As a board-certified physician who is still practicing and has a lot of Medicaid experience, I love how Twentyeight Health focuses and develops on underserved communities. The focus on expanding access, improving health outcomes and reducing costs is a testament to the company’s mission to improve healthcare for all,” said Ostrovsky.

The right to contraception

Although the US House of Representatives passed legislation guaranteeing the right to contraception in July 2022, access to sexual and reproductive care in the United States is badly needed as many women face barriers to access contraception. Today in the United States, 19 million women of childbearing age are in need of publicly funded contraceptives and live in areas with limited access. Additionally, low-income women are three times more likely to have an unwanted pregnancy, and many doctors do not accept new Medicaid patients.

For uninsured women in need, the platform offers free birth control through a partnership with Bedsider’s Contraceptive Access Fund – an online birth control support network run by Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancies. “In addition, we donate 2% of our earnings to organizations like the National Institute for Reproductive Health.”

In the United States, health education is limited with only 13 states mandating sex education programs to be medically correct. Through customer interviews, Fan learned that many women turn to organizations they trust, such as B. Community-based organizations to obtain information about health care. “To further advance our mission to improve access to reproductive healthcare, we are pleased to announce our plans to expand our partnerships with like-minded nonprofit organizations that share our goal of improving access to healthcare. In addition to expanding our services and footprint, we will also aim to leverage these new tools to further improve the quality of our telemedicine services,” concludes Fan.

Twentyeight Health announces $8.3 million in funding to make healthcare more accessible to BIPOC and underserved communities

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