Alison Greenberg: Reclaiming women’s healthcare
By John Kregler, StartOut
Women’s healthcare in the United States has a long and arduous narrative. Since the beginning, men have played an intrusive and often apathetic role in how women get the care they need. Even the invention of the speculum holds a dark stain on American history.
But today in 2022, women are reclaiming their healthcare, and one of their leaders in the fight is Alison Greenberg.
Alison (she/her) grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The daughter of obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Vivian Greenberg, she learned about the importance of women’s health from a young age. After a successful career in branding (and a move to New York City), Alison embarked on a mission to redefine women’s healthcare in the twenty-first century.
Today, Alison is the CEO and co-founder of Ruth Health, a revolutionary telehealth clinic that serves birthing people across the country. Through their platform, Ruth Health provides users a care hub with educational resources and the opportunity to schedule maternal health services like Lactation Support, Pelvic Training and Recovery, and C-Section Recovery — a range of pregnancy care from the prenatal to postpartum stages in the comfort of their own home.
“The goal was to create an option for those who don’t want to or can’t leave the house. Time and accessibility in today’s busy world are precious, and we try to meet people where they are. Through Ruth Health, pregnant people are able to get the care and support they need when they need it most.”
The team itself is proudly womxn, LGBTQ, and BIPOC-owned with Alison and her co-founder, Audrey Wu, leading the operation. Her mother, Dr. Greenberg, serves as Chief Medical Officer.
In addition to telehealth services, Ruth Health tackles misinformation and stigma in healthcare through an online content hub. One of their core beliefs: pregnancy isn’t just a cisgender issue.
Through carefully selected language, Ruth Health welcomes all birthing people — whether they identify as cisgender, transgender or nonbinary — into their platform.
“It’s so important to our company mission to begin with inclusive language. We don’t just say breastfeeding, we say ‘chestfeeding.’ Instead of only women and mothers, we say ‘birthing people and parents.’ Many members of the transgender and nonbinary communities see that language in our website and feel comfort when seeking help. This is in stark contrast to the traditional healthcare system. We’re proud to celebrate all gender identities because we know that the experience of birthing is a universal one, no matter how you identify.”
As a gay woman, including the LGBTQ+ community in her every day mission is critical to Alison. As a female founder, she’s intent on leveling the playing field for all women. According to a Pitchbook report released earlier this year, female founders garnered just 2% of dollars invested in VC-backed startups in the US throughout the year of 2021.
Alison’s method of increasing representation? Celebrating it.
“I’m a firm believer in celebrating being a female founder. We operate with a strong ‘for us, by us’ mentality that strengthens the mission of Ruth Health. Women’s healthcare was designed primarily by men, so the future has to be informed and led by our community.”
Alison joined StartOut earlier this year as a member of the programming board. As a queer founder who’s benefited from at-large community support, she’s determined to give back.
“I think the journey as a founder can feel really isolating. You’re constantly trying to navigate a map you’ve never read before. But every single time I reach out to another founder, we find common ground. Networks like accelerators and StartOut are critical because they give you the support to take your idea to the next level in a community of people with empathy.”