Practitioner spotlight with Dr. Jackie Stone, MD - Maven practitioner and advisor.Read More
How did you first hear about Maven?
I had worked with HealthTap since 2012 and thus had been watching the telemedicine space. When a I saw there was a company devoted solely to the health care needs of women, I was thrilled to get a chance to participate and be a part of the Maven experience.
How do you partner with Maven?
I am a provider on the site, I see patients on the site. And I am also an advisor to Maven. This means that I help support the team, build out or conceptualize how programs might most benefit the patients we serve and understand the increasing role that telemedicine can play in improving outcomes and health care for the women we serve.
Why did you choose to work with Maven?
When I heard that Maven had a female CEO and Founder, that was a big seller for me. I think women are underrepresented as leaders in start-ups and definitely in healthcare tech. When it comes to what women need and want in healthcare, without a doubt, it’s imperative to have women at the helm.
Why did you choose to go into the OB-GYN field?
I went into ObGyn because I knew I wanted to perform surgery and I was fascinated with the pathology of the reproductive tract. I also considered vascular surgery (my father is a cardiologist). I love and am passionate about being an advocate for women, so women’s health was a natural and intuitive fit for me. I’ve since focused my role as an Ob Hospitalist. When I was in residency I felt the allure of the intersection between medicine and pregnancy and was fascinated by the many physiologic changes the body undergoes to accommodate a pregnancy.
What’s one of the most common health questions women ask you?
Most common is: what type of birth control is best. Being able to determine if and when we become pregnant is such an essential question for women. And the answer is, it’s different for every woman. It’s important to understand the myriad of variables that go into that decision and to choose the birth control that fits her best.
What is your wish for the future of women’s healthcare?
My wish is that women have the means, space and ability to speak on behalf of their wants, needs and desires for their bodies, for their fertility, for their pregnancies and their children. That they are educated about their bodies and their body’s functioning. That women have a healthcare system that listens to them—for as long as they need to talk.
My wish is that women have scientists who are researching on behalf of their medical needs, doctors who are speaking up for and advocating for their needs, and physicians and nurses and hospitals who treat them with dignity and respect no matter their age, race or gender identity. My wish is that we reject unproven therapies and marketing to women that says more about corporate greed and less about care for women. I wish for a healthcare system where women have a voice and that voice is heard and acted upon.
What’s a totally random fact about you?
Salsa is my favorite food, the hotter the better. Coffee is my very best friend, like, of all time. And, unrelated, chickens are my spirit animal. I have 10-year- old boy/girl twins and they are my light and my hope.
SAN FRANCISCO AND NEW YORK – March 14, 2018 – Digital health clinic Maven, announces a new partnership with leading health navigation platform provider, Castlight Health, that will enable Castlight customers to easily integrate Maven into their benefits platform. Castlight’s unique partner ecosystem provides a two-way integration for a unified and seamless user experience to Maven’s complete family benefits platform. Together, Maven Clinic and Castlight are helping employees navigate the complexities of healthcare, and employers to save on costs and retain talent as families’ transition into the exciting and often challenging world of parenthood.
Maven supports parents and employers at every stage of having a child: from fertility, to pregnancy, to postpartum, to when they return to work. For employees, Maven provides comprehensive support via its digital care management programs, including fertility, egg freezing, miscarriage, adoption, surrogacy, pregnancy, postpartum and return-to-work support. Maven’s concierge service matches employees with a dedicated 24/7 Care Coordinator who personally guides families through their unique benefit offerings, as well as helps bridge in-person and online care. Through Maven’s on-demand digital clinic, families can video chat or private message with a highly curated practitioner network of fertility, pregnancy and postpartum specialists, including OB-GYNs, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, maternal mental health providers, physical therapists, nutritionists, career coaches, lactation consultants and more.
For employers, Maven adds value to their bottom line by increasing employee productivity and engagement and enabling them to attract and retain key millennial talent, as well as help them reinforce a family-friendly benefits culture. As part of its return-to-work program, Maven also offers management training and manager resources on how to systematize a culture that better supports working parents.
Castlight empowers employees with the information they need to make informed healthcare decisions throughout the entire health journey—whether they are healthy, seeking medical care or chronically ill. Castlight’s health navigation platform is the first to offer a full range of total wellbeing capabilities, care guidance tools, and an engagement hub in a single platform. Castlight's partner ecosystem now has over 50 different vendors pre-integrated with its platform. For employers, this means simplified and streamlined procurement, contracting and implementation.
“We’re pleased to partner with Castlight to help further our mission of advancing women in the workforce and making it easier for parents to start and grow a family during a critical time in their careers,” said Katherine Ryder, CEO and founder of Maven. “Maven and Castlight’s integration provides employers and employees with a one-stop-shop that eases the stress of navigating family planning, pregnancy, parenthood, and the return to work—as well as everything in-between.”
“Through our partnership with Maven, our customers now have access to one of the best maternity and family benefits solutions on the market,” said Molly Andruszkiewicz, senior director of business development at Castlight Health. “At Castlight, we are always looking for innovative digital health solutions to meet the needs of our customers, and we are excited to add Maven to our growing ecosystem.”
My team and I started Maven three years ago as a scrappy group of healthcare outsiders with a big mission of better supporting the female patient and her family.
We saw firsthand the gaps in care that women face, particularly around access to birth control, fertility treatment, and pregnancy and postpartum care. We also saw that the “user experience” in healthcare — that is, what it feels like for an actual patient getting care — far too frequently is not the core focus of the system. As a result, patients are commonly left frustrated, dissatisfied, and deeply unheard.
These challenges still drive us. What’s changed, as Maven has grown and matured as a company, is that we have now mapped our path through the healthcare system’s tangle of bureaucracy, powerful interests, and misaligned incentives — and toward revitalizing the patient-provider relationship and putting power back with the individual.
We have also now raised over $15M, including a recent $10.8M Series A funding round. This funding has brought amazing new people to our team, advisory board, and board of directors, incredible new clients offering Maven to their employees, and has catalyzed partnerships with practitioners and medical practices strongly aligned with our mission.
Now, with our latest round of funding as fuel, we will be focusing on three main areas going forward:
First, we will build on a current point of strength in continuing to work with the best practitioners
Our vetted network of Maven Practitioners is, undeniably, the backbone of Maven. These remarkable individuals — now 1,000 of them — have dedicated their time, energy, and expertise to help us deliver exceptional healthcare. The stories of compassion from our Maven Practitioners are incredible: One pulled over to the side of a road and took a video call with a patient who desperately needed a UTI prescription; another helped a patient solve seven years of bladder issues on a 20-minute video appointment; a third took time out of her own vacation to counsel a new mom through postpartum anxiety in a series of video appointments.
These are just a tiny number of examples. We’ve served nearly 100,000 patients on our marketplace since launching the business in 2015. What keeps our patients coming back is a trust that, at Maven, you can always count on committed, caring, and personable practitioners who will go well out of their way to help you. We’re now not just able to deliver great digital care, but we’re helping patients find high quality practitioners in-person as well. For instance, we’re able to facilitate connections to patients’ local OB-GYN practices that have low C-section rates, and just as importantly, high patient satisfaction ratings on Maven. We carefully screen for excellence when we accept new practitioners (we turn away the majority of applicants). It is incredibly fulfilling to see the impact our providers have and the deep relationships they develop with their patients both on and offline.
Second, we are going big with our enterprise platform, Maven Maternity — and continuing to partner with companies to bring Maven to their employees
Before Maven even launched as a consumer platform, we started talking to employers to understand how best to help them deliver great healthcare to their employees. We heard that maternity was one of the top costs for self-insured employers — nearly 1 out of 2 babies born in the US are on corporate health plans — and that employee retention was a huge problem. To be exact, 43% of women leave their job after having a baby — yet many of these women say they would prefer to stay in their jobs but are anxious about transitioning back to work. Sub-standard postpartum care in the US and the lack of support specifically around returning to work both play a role here. There was no platform in the market to address these issues. So we built one.
In early 2016, we rolled out Maven Maternity to our first clients: a 15-month pregnancy, postpartum, and return-to-work program that top employers are now offering as a benefit to their employees. The cornerstone of this program, again, has been our network. Not only do members get on-demand access to Maven Practitioners, but our practitioner network has actively helped us shape the program to be as effective as possible. Maven OB-GYNs and Nurse Practitioners helped create our C-Section reduction protocols and high-risk case management. One of our fertility doctors, from the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM), helped craft our new fertility program. And Maven’s back-to-work coaches directly designed the manager workshops we now offer clients to make their work environments better for new parents.
Third, we will continue to listen to our patients and evolve with and for them
Women’s health is an area where everyone seems to have an opinion. Unfortunately, this dynamic has often led to inertia in creating systems that fail to deliver the most effective care to women — particularly when it comes to reproductive and mental health.
Ninety percent of new moms on our platform have reported separation anxiety when they return to work. Thousands of college women turn to Maven for birth control prescriptions, reporting that they’re too afraid to go to their impersonal campus health centers. One of our patients recently told us that more than anything, Maven “validated” her while she was pregnant, because she didn’t want to seem too high-maintenance in her needs, but at the same time, she wasn’t able to be effective at work or at home without more support.
During my own pregnancy, I had an amazing 24 hours in the labor & delivery ward, but a horrible 24 hours in the postpartum ward, where I checked out early, having gotten hasty — and, it turned out, incorrect — advice on basic topics like breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety. I used Maven nearly every day in the first two weeks after having my son.
One of the areas we’re building out further, at the request of our patients, is our patient communities that enable women to support each other in challenging moments. Ultimately, this ties back to our overall goals of enabling Maven patients to be their own advocates, with the support of both our practitioner network and other women like them.
If it’s possible, I am even more mission driven today than when I started. Industries like transport and retail have seen incredible innovation, and we will soon have self-driving cars and drones delivering toothpaste. And yet as a system we still haven’t figured out how to offer accessible support to a woman grieving a miscarriage.
The healthcare system requires urgent reform. Often lost in the discussion, however, is that reform will almost certainly need to come, disproportionately, from women. Women, as consumers of healthcare, drive 80% of all healthcare decisions. Women also make up 80% of all healthcare providers. And yet, amazingly, it is the female voice that is too commonly lost in this debate. At the highest level, this is what Maven intends to change.
At Maven, we believe that every woman and child deserves access to high-quality healthcare— regardless of geography, ethnicity, income, or insurance. That’s why we started the Maven Foundation, to partner with nonprofit organizations and help provide care to those who would otherwise go without.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce The Maven Foundation’s newest partnership with The Children’s Village right here in New York City.
The Children’s Village (CV) was established in 1851 to care for immigrant children roaming the streets of New York City. Today, the organization serves more than 10,000 children and families in short term residential and community programs in the New York area. In 2016, Children’s Village merged with Inwood House, which for decades was the sole organization focused on helping pregnant and parenting teens in NYC. CV’s Inwood House Division now offers community homes for teen mothers and their babies in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, transitional living spaces for homeless girls and mothers, and school-based programs focusing on sex education and pregnancy prevention.
The partnership will provide 85 CV residents personalized, continuous care and support when and where they need it through both Maven’s digital clinic and in-person visits from our practitioners at no cost to the young women. Maven will kick off the partnership by focusing on two crisis shelters for homeless young women, pregnant women and mothers.
Maven will provide both locations with the full suite of Maven services, whether it be to video chat an OB-GYN to learn about typical pregnancy symptoms and how to treat them, speak with a nurse practitioner or doctor about pediatric advice, or message with a nutritionist to ask for recommendations.
We partnered with The Children’s Village because we were impressed with the multiple services CV provides to women through its Inwood House Division, and also because of their incredibly personal, long-term dedication to each individual woman they work with.
We also wanted to work with CV because we think this could be a model partnership for similar organizations across the country. Quality healthcare is expensive and for a locally focused non-profit like CV, those services can eat up a significant amount of resources quickly. By using Maven’s services, CV doesn't have to source and provide the care themselves. Instead, Maven can provide CV’s residents with convenient, high quality care without having to go outside the organization to get it.
As the founder and CEO of Maven, what excites me most is to see the real difference we are making in women’s lives, when and where they need us most.
Better women’s health, and better access to care, are the keys to equality. When we have care, we have choices. We can protect ourselves, plan our futures, take care of our families, and get the support we need to achieve anything we want. That’s why on International Women’s Day, Maven, the digital clinic for women, is waiving fees for all appointments, giving all women instant access to high quality care.Read More
Birth control pills can be great. Often they have positive side effects, like clearing up acne or making your period shorter and lighter. And - oh yeah - they help prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, you have to be diligent about taking your pill around the same time every day. But hey, things happen, no one is perfect, and sometimes we forget. What do you do if you forget to take a birth control pill? Here are the steps to follow!Read More
Recently there has been a lot of hype and some controversy about probiotics. So what are they? According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, they are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to the host.” Microorganisms are not just yucky germs. They include some strains of bacteria that help our bodies function properly. We as humans have lots of microorganisms that live on and in our bodies.Read More
Vaginal discharge is fairly common among women—it tends to be caused by fluid and cells that are shed from your vagina. This natural process helps to protect the tissues of your vagina from infection and provide lubrication. The consistency of normal discharge varies depending on which phase of your menstrual cycle you are in. Often the discharge is whitish or clear and can be thin or sticky, all of which is normal. However, if the discharge is thin, grey, and starts to smell fishy you may have bacterial vaginosis. If it’s clumpy and white, or is accompanied by itching or pain, it may be a sign of a yeast infection. Follow these steps on how to avoid a clumpy discharge.Read More