Growing Tia’s leadership team with world-class operators

Growing Tia’s leadership team with world-class operators

Chief Operating Officer Stacey Irving & General Counsel Jess Tomlinson join Tia’s Leadership Team

By Carolyn Witte
Co-Founder & CEO at Tia, She/her

7 min read

Scaling Tia’s vision with operational excellence

In 2017, Felicity and I started Tia as patients-turned-founders with a bold vision: to create a fundamentally new standard of care for women. We envisioned a full stack care delivery platform that could support a woman’s whole health, for her whole life, online and offline — the anti-point solution in women’s health

Today, Tia is no longer just an idea but a big business — now in the “scaling phase” of our journey, across many dimensions:

  • Primary care, reproductive health, mental health, and wellness services to enable “right care, from the right provider”
  • Virtual and in-person care, to enable access in the “right place, at the right time”
  • Multiple sites in multiple markets, with clinics live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Phoenix
  • Partnerships with leading health systems to extend Tia’s model beyond our four walls and improve the connection between women’s primary and specialty care

Welcoming new healthcare operators to Tia’s leadership team

Felicity and I have always known that to scale our mission-driven business excellently, and ensure we’re providing high-quality care across so many dimensions, we need to attract passionate and seasoned operators to our executive leadership team who have experience building and scaling world-class healthcare operations.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re growing the ranks of our Executive Leadership Team with the addition of Stacey Irving as Chief Operating Officer and Jess Tomlinson as General Counsel, who joined us late 2022. Both healthcare industry veterans, Stacey and Jess bring 50 years of experience in building and scaling healthcare operations in a highly competitive and regulated environment.

Stacey Irving joins Tia from Davita, where she was responsible for leading more than 70 dialysis clinics and transforming her division from the bottom quartile to #2 in the country across clinical, engagement, operational and financial metrics. She is a rare leader who combines operational excellence and people leadership and also served as Davita’s Chief Wisdom Officer, responsible for Enterprise Learning, Culture and Engagement for 60,000 employees. Stacey brings her experience scaling multi-site healthcare businesses through hypergrowth to Tia as its first Chief Operating Officer, where she’s responsible for operations, real estate, partnerships, and people.

Jess Tomlinson joins Tia from women’s health company Nurx, where she served as Associate General Counsel and built the in-house legal function from the ground up, helping complete late stage financings and a merger with Thirty Madison. A seasoned in-house legal leader with two decades of experience, Jess helps healthcare companies navigate a complex regulatory landscape and raise financing.  As Tia’s General Counsel, Jess is responsible for issues across the legal spectrum including health regulatory, data privacy, employment, corporate transactions, and building legal and compliance infrastructure.

Stacey and Jess join a leadership team with deep experience in clinical care, product development, and brand that includes me, Felicity, Tia’s Co-Founder and President, Jessica Horwitz, Tia’s Chief Clinical Officer, and Deborah Singer, Tia’s Chief Marketing Officer. Not coincidentally, we’re an all-female leadership team, which we see as a competitive advantage that underpins Tia’s authentic product and experience that’s built for and by women.

Getting to know Stacey & Jess

I asked Stacey and Jess a few questions to introduce them to our Tia community. Below are their responses.

Stacey, you joined Tia from Davita where you led more than 70 clinics specializing in dialysis. What attracted you to women’s health and Tia’s care model?

Like many people at Tia and in the industry generally, my interest started with my own experiences as a patient and woman in the world. I’ve been through the traditional healthcare system and seen how disjointed it can be for women. I’ve experienced firsthand what it feels to be treated like a body part or like a pregnancy but not a full person. I also have a teenage daughter, Libby, and I want to change women’s health for her so that she has a different experience. Women and girls deserve better healthcare, and I’m motivated to help make that a reality.

I’ve also worked in so many different parts of healthcare and seen so many different perspectives - patients, providers, payors, pharma companies. I’ve seen how disconnected the industry is, and how that impacts patients and particularly women. Tia’s care model is to integrate the fragmented parts of women’s health into one comprehensive medical home for women, and from my decades in industry, I’ve seen that’s a critical problem to solve.

Finally, I love to build organizations, and I love hard problems. Reimagining women’s health is a really big, really hard problem, and it’s a challenge I welcome as an operator.

Stacey, you had a pretty unusual title at Davita: Chief Wisdom Officer. What is a Chief Wisdom Officer and why is the experience relevant to your role as Chief Operating Officer at Tia?

I get this question a lot, and I usually answer it by saying it’s someone who takes care of people. As the Chief Wisdom Officer at Davita, I was responsible for learning and development, culture, and engagement for 60,000 employees. My team was focused on making Davita a differentiated place to work and helping people reach their potential and grow personally and professionally. At the end of the day, when people can do their best work, then patients can get their best care. It’s that simple. For example, I helped lead an initiative called Project Reignite, which supported caregivers experiencing burn out during the pandemic. I know that resonates with a lot of us, and people providing care in particular. That initiative was wildly successful, and it continues today.

I see a lot of similarities between my work as a Chief Wisdom Officer and my new role at Tia. In the context of a national clinician shortage, Tia needs to become best in the world at attracting and retaining top-notch providers, and the way we do that is by building a best-in-class experience for providers, and for all employees. I did that at Davita for 60,000 people, and I’m excited to apply some of what I learned to building and shaping the culture of excellence at Tia.

Jess, you come to Tia from another women’s health company. What made Tia’s approach to women’s health stand out for you?

It starts with personal experience. I’ve spent the last ten years in healthcare and public health, and I’ve seen firsthand the opportunity for transforming the industry with women at the center. That combined with my lived experience as an LGBTQIA+ woman makes Tia’s mission and success in creating a first-of-its-kind medical home for women deeply compelling.

I also appreciate all the ways in which Tia’s model is differentiated from others in the industry: its comprehensive (integrating primary care, mental health, reproductive health, and evidence-based wellness services), hybrid (blending in-person and virtual care), and accessible (not many digital health companies bother with insurance, and at Tia, we consider it a critical part of making care more affordable). Tia’s partnerships with health systems are also a big differentiator for me. Not only is it a smart and strategic business model but it's also a way to increase access for more women in a country with massive primary care and OB-GYN shortages.

Jess, you have experience building an in-house legal function at a healthcare company from the ground up. What’re some of the most important legal and regulatory opportunities that healthcare start-ups like Tia are navigating today?

Healthcare startups, and their legal team, often face a rapidly changing legal and regulatory landscape. For example, as we emerge from the COVID pandemic, we see a much greater acceptance of telehealth by patients, providers, and payors alongside greater scrutiny by regulatory boards and enforcement. Data privacy and security in the digital health space is also a very active area that includes both new regulatory guidance and increased enforcement activity.