CommonSpirit Health teams up with startup Tia to open women's health clinics

Women's health startup Tia launched in 2017 with a focus on creating a modern medical home for women by integrating primary care and gynecology.

The company has now signed its first major partnership with a national health system to co-launch more locations nationally.

Tia is collaborating with CommonSpirit Health, which operates 137 hospitals and more than 1,000 clinics, to launch Tia-branded women's health clinics that will provide blended virtual and in-person care. 

The initial Tia-CommonSpirit pilot will launch "virtual-first" this spring, followed by the first brick-and-mortar clinic opening in October in Phoenix with expansions in Arizona and other CommonSpirit markets over the next few years. CommonSpirit operates multiple Dignity Health medical centers in the Phoenix area.

"Tia is on a mission to change the fragmented nature of women's care with a personalized, distinctly female model that guides women at every age and stage of their physical, mental and emotional health, with an emphasis on prevention," said Carolyn Witte, co-founder and CEO of Tia, in a statement.

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"CommonSpirit was the ideal partner to help us scale our proven model nationally with geographic reach across 21 states from coast to coast, recognized clinical excellence, and an industry-leading commitment to health equity," Witte said.

The joint venture clinics will combine a multitude of services and practitioners into a one-stop-shop for women that fuses gynecological care and primary care. Tia will provide its distinctive care model, staffing and technology infrastructure, while CommonSpirit will connect Tia to patients, health plan partners, and hospital and specialty care access, according to the organizations.

Witte and Felicity Yost founded the startup and have developed a personalized healthcare model that offers a blend of primary care, gynecological care, nutrition, acupuncture and mental health services.

The company initially started as a text-based tool for women to communicate and receive advice on sexual health and wellness, according to TechCrunch. Tia launched its first physical clinic in New York in 2019 and went live with telehealth services in March during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also provides a health adviser app to members.

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Tia's services include regular primary care checkups and annual gynecological exams, while also offering mental health support, nutrition counseling and acupuncture along with other evidence-backed wellness services. Through Tia's partnership with CommonSpirit, the care continuity will extend to hospital and specialty care.

Last May, Tia closed a $24.3 million series A funding round, representing one of the largest series A rounds for a company led by a female CEO in 2020, according to the company.

With current locations in New York City and Los Angeles, Tia plans to expand to multiple other markets this year. Tia's care model, which engages women early on and focuses on integrated, preventive health, has been shown to reduce the cost of care by up to 40% as compared to a typical gynecology practice, the company said.

"The future of healthcare is personalized, and patients are seeking unique models to serve their distinct needs. Tia's approach to care is designed to make it easier for women to access health care and is directly aligned to our values to provide compassionate, unified care that is centered on excellence," said Rich Roth, CommonSpirit chief strategic innovation officer, in a statement.

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While the partnership will likely help Tia expand its clinics nationally, teaming up with a Catholic health system raises potential questions about the type of women's health services the company can offer.

As a Catholic system, CommonSpirit, and Dignity Health, abide by the Statement of Common Values (PDF), which means they don't perform “elective” abortion services or use “reproductive technology in which conception occurs outside a woman’s body,” including in vitro fertilization.

Tia, which does not currently provide abortion or fertility services, has signed the Statement of Common Values, Fast Company reported.

The CommonSpirit collaboration will not encroach on how Tia delivers care, Witte told Fast Company. “Everything is controlled by Tia and as a result of that we have total control over the practice of medicine,” she said, adding that the company at its core wants to provide women with choices.