Public health always piqued Ulupreneur Kiki Freedman’s interest. Her father had a chronic illness, but the fact that her family had access to great health care helped the situation. As she began learning about healthcare system inequities, she recognized it was that very privilege compelling her to create better healthcare access for others.
Kiki did her undergraduate work at Washington University in Missouri, and went on to become an early employee with Uber working in both Uganda and South Africa. But her public health interests pulled her back to school and she graduated with an MBA from Harvard. Near her college in St. Louis, there was an abortion clinic; it was the only one in the entire state of Missouri. During her undergrad years, she would see hordes of protesters when she drove by the clinic, and while she was at Harvard she learned that the clinic was in danger of shutting down, giving people there no in-state access to birth control services or abortion. She and another friend, Gaby Izarra, recognized that abortion services nationwide were in jeopardy, but they saw the rise of telemedicine and thought, “Why can’t telemedicine services be applied to abortion care?” In 2021, Kiki, Gaby, and a third co-founder, Kate Shaw, founded Hey Jane, a virtual clinic currently offering private, safe, supportive, accessible and convenient abortion care through telemedicine—now operating in eight states and serving more than 25,000 patients to date.
We spoke with Kiki about what drives her passion around access to essential healthcare services.
With the Hey Jane’s Complete Care model, its clinical care team is available (by text, phone, or video) for not just medical, but also emotional support. Patients also have access to a private peer-to-peer support forum—before, during and after their treatment. Hey Jane recently launched the Un-Whisper Network, a virtual community for people who are passionate about abortion access, providing crucial information on medication abortion so its members can be a resource to their friends, family, and loved ones. Kiki’s dream is to become one of the most trusted, accessible, and affordable brands in healthcare across the board.