The story of Melanin & Medicine has always been about health justice. Yet, we were founded because of a very real experience with health injustice.
Our founder, Dr. Omolara Uwemedimo spent over 15 years as a pediatrician, researcher, professor and activist, committed to creating health equity for diverse communities in the U.S. and abroad. However, within the span of one week in May of 2019, she found herself unable to walk. Unbeknownst to her, she was about to become a statistic. After 2 weeks, she received her diagnosis — a brain lesion indicating multiple sclerosis, a chronic, autoimmune disorder.
As she tried to understand how and why this happened, she was confronted with a chilling fact. She was not alone. She was now one of the millions of Black women who are disproportionately diagnosed with chronic autoimmune disorders, infertility, cardiovascular diseases and other life-long diseases.
This experience was the result of “weathering”— a term coined by Dr. Arline Geronimus — the early deterioration of our health due to the effects of institutionalized discrimination, medical racism, and the persistent stress we endure trying to mitigate, resist, or undo the harmful effects of structural racism on our health.
This was beyond alarming. And the implications were deadly. If Black women in healthcare aren’t able to stay healthy, they wouldn’t be able to continue their work of delivering healthcare and advocating for communities dealing with health injustice who desperately need them .
Our mission became to provide these women with the support, strategies, and systems to create a life that allowed them to pivot out of toxic & taxing work environments and create a career path for themselves that allows them to pivot into their true purpose and ultimately, saves their lives.
However, we began to realize while Black, indigenous and Women of color (BIWOC) in healthcare now had the ability to uncover their vision and idealize how they wanted to use their expertise in order to create health justice, they often had multiple roadblocks finding the resources, funding, and support to start, fund, and grow enterprises that created the health justice they wanted to see in the world.
As Melanin & Medicine grew - our mission became greater.
It has been exciting to see the most marginalized and minoritized women in healthcare boldly move into the space of transforming healthcare and re-entering those that have been neglected.
Melanin & Medicine now works to increase the reach of these innovations by ensuring health organizations are supporting health providers of color in order to transform diverse communities.
We use coaching, courses, and community, to support Black women In healthcare who want to grow in social entrepreneurship through consulting and/or launching their own healthcare practices.
We provide consulting and corporate trainings to support health organizations who are ready to build, and implement culturally-responsive programs that truly make an impact for their BIWOC employees
To do transformational work, Melanin & Medicine has grown into a transformational team. This includes experts in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Operations, Project Management, Marketing and Provider Wellness.
The health justice movement must happen now and we exist to make sure that BIWOC in healthcare are leading the way.
Dr. Omolara Thomas Uwemedimo is a business development and funding coach for women of color in healthcare and serial entrepreneur, growing 2 companies to multi-six figures in revenue in less than 18 months. During her intrapreneurial career as a pediatrician for over 15 years, researcher & professor for over a decade, she secured $2 million in grant funding and has led inter-professional teams to build and scale healthcare delivery and research programs to achieve health equity for marginalized youth and families. Her work has been defined by a passion for social justice, serving as an advocate and working as a global physician across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
In 2019, Dr. Uwemedimo co-founded Strong Children Wellness, a multi-award winning, healthcare practice network in NYC, providing integrated physical health, mental health and social services for minoritized, low-income children and families. As CEO, Dr. Uwemedimo and her co-founders have been able to sustainably grow during the COVID-19 pandemic, raising over $600k in grants, impact investment awards and contracts. Her medical practice has been featured in the New York Times, NY1 News and Crain's for their reverse integration model, embedding care within community organizations including nonprofits and foster care agencies.
Given her expertise and success as an entrepreneur, Dr. Omolara went on to found Melanin & Medicine, a premier business development & funding coaching company to help support women of color in medicine to secure capital, without incurring debt or diluting equity, to build and grow their own healthcare businesses committed to social impact. To date, Melanin & Medicine has helped over 200 women in medicine across our
workshops, courses and programs to pivot into their purpose, re-create their healthcare careers on their own terms, build social impact businesses and live more fulfilled & integrated lives. In addition, they support thousands more through their popular Melanin & Medicine weekly podcast.
Dr. Uwemedimo is an expert in purpose-led entrepreneurship, securing funding for healthcare, addressing medical racism for marginalized providers and patients and building socially-responsive healthcare spaces. Her work has been featured in several media outlets including People.com, NBC News, Medscape, Essence.com, Newsweek, Crain’s, Politico, Reuters, and NPR.
Dr. Uwemedimo lives in Long Island, NY with her husband, Ilahi, and her 2 powerhouse daughters, Idara & Tolani.
Gabrielle originates from the great city of New York and takes her personality from her nickname, Gabby. She is a self-taught jack of all trades. Her studies include social media, design, and entrepreneurship through mentorship and online courses. Professionally, she has held the title of Director of Children's Programs and Project Manager for multiple creative projects, and Social Media Coordinator for a number of organizations and small businesses. Gabby loves to find beauty in the mundane and hopes to inspire young black girls to explore the beauty of their creative sides.
Kristine brings a 15-year career of operations management to Melanin & Medicine. Hailing from California, she considers herself "The Wizard behind the curtain", and has professionally supported various Bay Area start-ups and non-profits during periods of hyper-growth as Office Manager, Operations & Culture Manager, and Administrative & Communications Coordinator. A self-taught web designer and published writer, she combined her skills to found VOJ Virtual Assistance, which offered operations management, brand building, and copywriting to high-profile coaches, entrepreneurs, and influencers. Kristine overwhelmingly believes in the entrepreneurial opportunities the internet provides and is dedicated to using her skills to help Black women bring their business visions to life.