Chasm Conversations

Leaders in Women’s Healthcare with Marina Tarasova, Co-founder and COO of Paloma Health

May 22, 2024

In the third installment of our Women’s Health Month series, we spoke with Marina Tarasova, Co-founder and COO of Paloma Health, to learn her story, passions, and aspirations for transforming women’s care. After acknowledging the general lack of care for women, specifically middle-aged women, Marina set out to create an organization that would prioritize the women who have been deprioritized by health systems for their entire lives. Now, it’s all she wants to do.

If you missed the first two parts of this series, click below to get caught up:

About Marina Tarasova

Throughout her career, Marina has contributed to some of the most successful drug launches in biopharma, consulted at BCG, and was an early team member at Capsule, a venture-backed consumer pharmacy. In her current role as Co-founder and COO of Paloma Health, Marina works diligently to support women in their midlife through virtual thyroid care. Paloma Health is modernizing thyroid care from the comfort of home. 25 million people, overwhelmingly women, take a thyroid hormone and many continue to experience symptoms and are dissatisfied with the status quo care. Paloma changes this by offering highly personalizing care, focusing on the cause of the issue, and providing lifestyle and nutritional support to patients. 

What inspired you to pursue a career in women's healthcare?

My career so far has been on the business side of healthcare. It has struck me through several experiences that while large healthcare organizations are fairly proficient at optimizing their operations and margins, optimizing the patient experience is not always at the top of the priority list.

I noticed this specifically with women in their midlife who grapple with symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, hair and skin problems, brain fog, etc. These are quality-of-life issues that necessitate considerable time, nuanced attention, and counseling, yet they often don’t receive the full attention they deserve.

The fact is, addressing these concerns doesn’t rise to a top priority. They don’t visibly cost the “system” a lot of money or result in hospitalization per se. However, we don’t look at the true cost of not adequately providing this care. By not making space in the system for quality care for women in their midlife, there are significant underlying costs to our system, economy, and society. It’s this notion that drove me to create something that would provide a meaningful solution to this problem.

“By not making space in the system for quality care for women in their midlife, there are significant underlying costs to our system, economy, and society. It’s this notion that drove me to create something that would provide a meaningful solution to this problem.”

MARINA TARASOVA, CO-FOUNDER AND COO, PALOMA HEALTH

How does your organization support women's health?

Paloma Health is enhancing the standard of care and overall well-being for countless of women entering midlife. Our focus started with thyroid care because it is a huge market that was drastically unaddressed with clinical and quality-of-life implications. If you look at socioeconomic differences, the quality of care gap is even worse. Paloma has helped so many women get back to feeling like themselves — they feel less anxious, more present, and finally heard. Our clinical outcomes have been spectacular, too. Paloma patients see improvements not only in their weight but also clinically significant improvements in fatigue, anxiety, and brain fog within 12 weeks on average. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing women's healthcare today? 

Access to specialists who have the time to dedicate to the nuance of the care women require. Specifically, I'm referring to conditions such as menopause/perimenopause, PCOS, and thyroid care. While our healthcare system is quite strong in providing care for major diseases like cancer and heart disease, it's the conditions on the margin that deserve greater specialization, better access, and ultimately, more empathetic care.

Can you discuss any specific initiatives or programs you've been involved in to improve women's healthcare outcomes?

Paloma Health has forged a partnership with several outstanding digital health companies that demonstrated quality outcomes, provide value to the healthcare system, and accept insurance. This collaboration, known as the Wonder Woman Collective, enables us to deliver specialized care across a spectrum of women's health concerns, including menopause, fertility, pelvic floor health, women's mental health, migraine and sleep disorders, and thyroid care through one entity. 

Our mission within the Wonder Woman Collective extends beyond providing care; we are committed to advancing research in these areas and enhancing access to specialized healthcare services. We're thrilled to witness a surge of interest from employers and research entities seeking collaboration opportunities with us.

What do you believe are the most promising areas for innovation in women's healthcare?

There are so many exciting innovations on the horizon, particularly in diagnostics. For instance, better breast cancer screenings and testing modalities; using menstrual blood as a prevalent means for collecting biomarker data that can be used in chronic care management; and the bourgeoning innovation in the utility of microbiome analysis. So much of the innovation coming from this space will benefit women with its impact on autoimmune conditions, gut health, and brain health — I’m excited to see these innovations come to fruition.

What motivates you to continue working in women’s health?

The conversations I have with our patients are my greatest motivation. Countless women have shared with me and our team stories of being dismissed by doctors for years and how the care they received at Paloma has been transformative and the best they’ve had in their lives. This — helping people reclaim their faith in healthcare and improve how they feel  — is what I want to dedicate my life to doing.

“This — helping people reclaim their faith in healthcare and improve how they feel — is what I want to dedicate my life to doing.”

MARINA TARASOVA, CO-FOUNDER AND COO, PALOMA HEALTH

Chasm Conversations is an interview series presented by Chasm Partners featuring discussions with prominent entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders in today's healthcare industry. Access previous installments of the series here, and subscribe to receive future editions of Chasm Conversations and related content directly in your inbox.

Marina Tarasova
Co-founder and COO, Paloma Health

Marina Tarasova

Co-founder and COO, Paloma Health

Marina is driven by her passion for enhancing the patient experience throughout their care journey. Throughout her career, Marina has contributed to some of the most successful drug launches in biopharma, consulted at BCG, and was an early team member at Capsule, a venture-backed consumer pharmacy. In her current role as Co-founder and COO of Paloma Health, Marina works diligently to support women in their midlife through virtual thyroid care. Marina graduated from Wharton in 2010 with a concentration in Health Care Management and currently lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

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