City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Photo by Shelly Ruth Photography

Featured Article

Empower, Educate, Advocate

Providers Put Women First at HerMD

Article by Amy Adams

Photography by Logan Clark (Maverick Marketing)

Originally published in Carmel City Lifestyle

Somi Javaid’s mother almost died at the age of 45 because doctors told her it was stress. In fact, it took emergent quadruple bypass surgery to save her life.

“That was my 'aha' moment,” Javaid says. “My mom is alive, but she almost died because of our broken healthcare system. I call it the trend of ‘invisible patients.’ Women are misdiagnosed and have delayed diagnoses all the time or are dismissed and left to suffer in silence.”

With degrees from Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Javaid began practicing medicine in 2005. Yet even after being chosen as a Cincinnati Top Doctor in 2014 by her peers, she was feeling frustrated. 

“I didn’t have time or training to take care of certain issues,” she says. 

Javaid explains that, in a world where most OB-GYNs have been men, there has been a profound lack of education when it comes to treating women’s health concerns. For example, she says that fewer than 20 percent of OB-GYNs are trained in treating menopause. 

“There has been stigma, taboo, shame,” she says. “There’s also a lack of data because women haven’t been included in research trials, and there’s a huge disparity of research funding. Head to toe, women get only 4 percent of research dollars.”

Determined to bring change, Javaid opened her own practice in Cincinnati in 2016. 

Patients have come from 35 states and three countries, which just goes to show how much Javaid’s practice is needed.

“I wanted a place where women are truly partners in their healthcare,” Javaid says. 

As chief medical officer, Javaid founded HerMD with her sister, Komel Caruso, who is the chief operating officer and handles marketing and brand building, and Kathy Lai, who remains a consultant.

Today, HerMD has clinics in four states, including Carmel where board-certified OB-GYN Dr. Taylor Hahn and nurse practitioners Amy Kinnett, Courtney Cortez, Kendra Rininger and a full staff treat women ages 13 to end of life. While HerMD caregivers don’t deliver babies, they offer unmatched care for women, especially during menopause.

With a goal to make as many services as possible available in house, the facility has ultrasound capabilities, a surgical suite for procedures, like ablations, and offers Pro-Nox, an FDA-cleared analgesia for medical and aesthetic practices.

And they provide all of this in a setting that feels anything but clinical.

“We want women to feel comfortable and safe,” Cortez says, describing how the practitioners utilize extra touches, such as aromatherapy, to create a relaxing environment.

Kinnett says that the practitioners also plan more time into appointments to talk with patients. 

“This is a safe place to get into that hard stuff, like life stressors, weight gain and sleep issues,” Kinnett says. 

In addition, Rininger, an aesthetic injector, oversees aesthetic services, such as skin care consultations, Botox, fillers, chemical peels, microneedling, lasers and more. 

Like the practice itself, the mission at HerMD is more than just skin deep.

Javaid has become a thought leader in women’s health and an advocate for women who are past the age of child-bearing. She has been featured in magazines like Vogue and Glamour and has partnered with women like Dr. Jill Biden and actress Naomi Watts, but you are just as likely to find her speaking to high school students about anatomy and health.

HerMD values education for patients and the public. The proprietary HerMD University continues to educate HerMD providers and will soon be available to other providers, as well.

Additional HerMD clinics are expected to open later this year in New Jersey and Tennessee, and plans are to expand to Georgia and Texas.

Director of Content and Partnerships Caro Carmichael shares a core belief of the HerMD team—patients deserve to feel validated in their personal healthcare journey. 

"Find somebody who will give you the care that you need," Carmichael says.

“No one is doing what we are—insurance-based health care combined with the expertise we offer.” Somi Javaid

  • Photo by Christy Hunter
  • Photo by Shelly Ruth Photography

Businesses featured in this article