Paving A New Path

Sisters Dr. Somi Javaid and Komel Caruso’s Quest To Change Women’s Healthcare

True pioneers need a vision, determination, and the courage to challenge the status quo. Dr. Somi Javaid and Komel Caruso are no exception. This dynamic sister team is on a mission to change the women’s healthcare landscape.

Born and raised in Ohio, Somi and Komel did not envision that, one day, they would serve a fundamental role in the women’s healthcare revolution. Although Somi had always been interested in the field of medicine, it wasn’t until she was a pre-medical student at Northwestern University and a major family health scare solidified her decision. At the age of 45, her mother
was rushed to a hospital for emergency quadruple bypass surgery. “Despite her constant plea for help in the days leading up to her surgery, my mother was told her chest pain, left arm pain, and shortness of breath were due to anxiety and caffeine consumption. No one listened to her as she described the classic symptoms of heart disease. We lost valuable time with my mother due to the repeated delays in her diagnosis,” notes Somi. From that point, Somi made it her life’s mission to advocate for women. She became an OBGYN, and later, a specialist in menopause and sexual healthcare.

As an OBGYN, Somi worked long and grueling hours. Typically, each patient appointment was slotted for 15 minutes, not nearly enough time to listen to concerns and offer comprehensive care. Frustrated with the broken healthcare system, Somi decided it was time for a change. She wrote up a business plan for a healthcare center focused on women’s needs and the first HerMD opened in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2015.

Komel, who was working in marketing and business development at the time, began consulting for HerMD, driving patients and national brand recognition to the first location. Somi and Komel noticed that once women learned of the unique HerMD model, which includes 20 to 60-minute appointments, they were willing to drive, even from another state, for an appointment. HerMD
provides a “one-stop-shop” for patients seeking personalized care under one roof. In addition to specialized women’s healthcare, HerMD locations are equipped with phlebotomy, surgical, and imaging services. To top it off, HerMD offers medical aesthetics services, because many women who struggle with healthcare issues also struggle with aesthetic issues. HerMD prides
itself on accessibility. “We accept most major insurance plans, so it makes the care affordable,” Caruso adds.

Somi and Komel decided to bring the HerMD model to women nationwide. Kathy Lai, joined them as one of the three co-founders of HerMD and provides financial and strategic expertise to the growing business. HerMD expanded to Crescent Springs, Kentucky in 2021 and although the odds were stacked against them being women and minorities, in 2022, the co-founders were able to fundraise $10 million for additional expansion efforts. HerMD has since opened locations right here in Franklin and in Carmel, Indiana. Another location is slated to open in New Jersey this summer.

In support of its goal to educate, empower and advocate for women, HerMD offers free educational events and multimedia resources, such as the HerMD podcast, HerVoice. Routine community events also occur at each HerMD market location.
“There is a big void to be filled,” Somi says. “Only 20 percent of OBGYNs are trained in sexual health and menopause.” Komel further advises women to “find their tribe.” She encourages women to talk more about their healthcare issues and learn from one another. HerMD’s founders say they hope they can help eliminate gender disparity in healthcare, as well as the stigma surrounding women’s personal healthcare needs and topics historically considered “taboo.” HerMD.com

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