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Letter From Jessica Shepherd, MD, New Chief Medical Officer of Verywell Health

Jessica Shepherd, MD

Courtesy of Jessica Shepherd, MD

Dear Verywell Health readers,

As a longtime supporter of Verywell’s work, I am honored to now serve as Chief Medical Officer of Verywell Health. 

I'm a board-certified OB-GYN. I'm also a mother. And like many of you, over the past year, I experienced a renewed need for approachable health information as we all struggled to understand COVID-19 and its impact on our lives. My role as a physician is to educate patients on how to address their overall health. This is what brought me to Verywell, where I will continue working to improve the well-being of our readers by helping them think about their health holistically.

I began my career at Drexel University's Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, where I completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology. In my work as an OB-GYN, I witnessed my patients’ need for medical guidance beyond just treatment. I realized I didn’t just serve as a physician, but as an educational guide and advocate for the people I was seeing in my daily practice. I went on to serve as the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at the University of Illinois for six years.

Wanting to share health information that would benefit a larger group of people, I began my journey as a media health expert for outlets like Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN, and The Talk. I authored studies for medical journals and contributed to publications reaching women from all walks of life (like Vogue, Essence, and Cosmopolitan), which allowed me to remain a voice in many facets of health and wellness.

Last year, I founded Sanctum Med + Wellness, a wellness concierge practice in Dallas, Texas, where, as CEO, I work with a team of therapists, yoga instructors, Ayurvedic wellness coaches, nutritionists, exercise specialists, and other health professionals dedicated to women’s health. At my practice, I have the opportunity—often not afforded in traditional medicine—to encourage lifestyle changes as a crucial component of improving overall well-being.

As Chief Medical Officer, I intend on bringing these life experiences into the fold of Verywell’s work. Many times as the only woman, and more often, the only Black person at the table, it is of the utmost importance to offer my perspective. At Verywell, our team will continue making it a priority to speak on the health disparities affecting the lives of many people who look like me. 

Verywell Health is one of the fastest-growing health sites on the internet, and I view my role here as an extension of what I believe in. We're providing accurate, science-based information while empowering—not scaring—readers. And we aim to do so by creating a strong community that does not leave anyone out.

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