From our Founder:

Leading With Heart

Stephanie Winans
Co-Founder and CEO
A woman looking the left.
Inside Iron Health
May 30, 2024

A reflection on our commitment to women's health.

I found myself getting emotional in a company meeting last week. The kind of emotion that catches you by surprise, puts a hitch in your voice, and drives a kind of uprising from within. I had a nanosecond to decide whether and how much to compose myself— the team at Iron Health knows I lead with heart, and with that comes emotionality. I am nothing if not an authentic leader, and in that moment I was moved.

We were sharing clinical outcomes data we had presented to a customer a few days prior. To give context to our behavioral health outcomes, I asked the team to put ourselves in the shoes of our patients and consider how life-changing moving from moderate depression to mild depression truly is— how much it changes your day-to-day, your relationship with yourself, and those you love. Consider:

  • Our patient that improved from severely depressed (PHQ-9 score of 21) to resolved (score of 3), an 86% improvement in less than five months.
  • Our patient that started with severe anxiety (GAD-7 score of 18) and fully resolved to 0 in five months.
  • Our postpartum patient who started with severe postpartum depression (score of 19 on the EPDS) and improved to a resolution of her symptoms (score of 2) within 3 months.

In that customer meeting a few days before, I was moved, too. Not only by our clinical outcomes but by our customer's response to it. In discussing their financial outcomes, the practice administrator shared that their practice decided not to stop behavioral health services for patients who didn't have the ability to pay their patient responsibility for services. It is so important to this practice to provide this support for their patients—the need is so deep and so unmet in their market—that they are willing to accept lower profits to meet that need. How grateful I am to work with customers who care so deeply about comprehensive women's health.  

I found myself feeling emotional again this week in a discussion with a strategic investor around access and the OB deserts that exist in the market their health system serves. Their passion for solving this for their community matched mine.

And again in a meeting today with my co-founders around the women's health crisis unfolding before us with no end in sight. "What more can we be doing?" "Why not now?" Their passion and smart approach to impact inspired me. It brought me back to every complicated women’s health experience I’ve had, and my desire to improve that for all of us. It also brought me back to every compassionate and wonderful women’s health experience I’ve had, and my desire to make that experience and that access the standard of care.

We talk a lot about the crisis of women's health. We haven't talked about what it is like to be on the inside, working tirelessly to move the needle. It is purposeful. It is hard. It is motivating AF. And yes, sometimes that's emotional.

For those of you who are with us devoting your talents, your dedication, and your capital, to this space: I see you and I’m with you. For those of you who haven’t joined us yet, we will repeat and reposition our team’s internal sentiments to you: "What more can you be doing?" "Why not now?"