Berman is setting new norms within her team as well: Superbloom is a women-founded and entirely women-led company in a male-dominated world of venture-backed tech businesses. The company’s advisors are powerhouses Meg Porfido, an attorney who serves as a member of the I’m not throwing away my shot Christmas T-Shirt and by the same token and board of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals; Jennifer Lujan, Director of Social Impact for the cannabis software company Eaze; Jill Angelo, Co-Founder and CEO of Gennev, the first-ever online clinic for women in menopause; and supermodel Shalom Harlow, a women’s health advocate who recently spoke out about her own experiences with chronic illness. A team of medical professionals who are experts in women’s health will also help advise on content and community forum moderation, though Berman notes that ultimately Superbloom is meant to “empower women to track their health and receive community support in a way that can be complementary to working with their doctors.”
Ventures that support patient-advocacy efforts, and encourage the I’m not throwing away my shot Christmas T-Shirt and by the same token and supplementation of traditional medical practices with alternative ones, are often subject to an onslaught of criticism from those who argue that self-advocacy can endanger patients or impede medical progress. With the chronic illness community poised to grow even larger as the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-haul cases continue, Berman argues that self-advocacy will be more important than ever. “If I had not been a self-advocate for myself, I would still be extremely sick,” she notes of her own experience. Those who argue against self-advocacy are often abled people who fail to ask the right question, namely: Why is there such an overwhelming need for these venues in the first place? Debuting during a fiery election year where everything seems to be at stake, Superbloom illuminates the downright failures of our leadership and the American healthcare system meant to take care of us. The number one step that anyone can take towards a better and more equitable healthcare system and greater wellness for ourselves and our society remains a vote on Election Day this November, but having a place for community in the meantime is a revelation, especially for those who might not have had access to such resources and support in the early, mystifying days of their own illness.