Embracing Change: A Journey from Pharmacy to Advocacy with Dr. Stephanie Young Moss

For decades, women’s health issues like menopause have been shrouded in silence, with the experiences of women of color often left out of the narrative. Dr. Stephanie Young Moss’ journey from the structured world of corporate America to the founder of “Menopause in Color” illustrates a growing movement to change that.

Through Menopause in Color, Dr. Young Moss is pursuing her passion for educating, advocating, and building a community for women of color going through perimenopause and menopause — a transition she’s living through personally and professionally.

A Pharmacist’s Path

After graduating from Xavier University College of Pharmacy in 2000, it wasn’t long before she entered the world of corporate pharmacy, blending research with patient interaction.

“I did a stint in community pharmacy, but I was always that Fortune 500 pharmacist,” she recalls. 

Originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Dr. Young Moss moved to Indianapolis for work, and it’s where she’s been for more than 20 years, finding it a fertile ground for her growing interest in public health advocacy. 

Her career spanned insurance and pharmaceutical companies, where she delved into research, particularly in health economics and outcomes. Working on formularies and clinical questions, she sought to ensure that medications were clinically sound and economically beneficial, improving patients’ quality of life beyond treating disease.

This work made her question the true impact of medications beyond treating disease. 

“Are they actually improving quality of life, reducing costs elsewhere?” she pondered. 

Her questioning led to a broader engagement with health equity and disparities, recognizing the lack of diversity in research studies. After a 20-year tenure in the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Young Moss boldly decided to step away from what had been a successful and financially secure run. 

“A lot of why I stayed so long was golden handcuffs, I’ll admit,” she says, recounting her departure from corporate America just a year and a half ago. Despite the job security, professional resources, and 401(k), a sense of purpose was missing. “We’re taught to get the degree, get the job, get your husband…then you realize that your purpose has evolved and you’re not necessarily where you belong,” she reflects.

The Catalyst for Change

For Dr. Young Moss, the pivot point was reinforced by a personal revelation. While excelling in her field, she began experiencing perimenopausal symptoms without realizing it—a discovery that led her to deep introspection.

In the summer of 2022, she had an endometrial ablation to treat heavy cycles. Her experience became a powerful narrative for change.

“I was always heavy, but unbeknownst to me, perimenopause made it ridiculous,” she shares candidly. 

She opted for a blood test to understand her hormone levels and menopausal status and now advocates for women to know and listen to their bodies.

 “I was starting to go through perimenopause and didn’t even know,” she admits. 

This lack of awareness as a healthcare professional highlighted a gap in knowledge and conversation about women’s health—a gap she was determined to fill.

As a mother of two daughters, aged 11 and 14, Dr. Young Moss is determined to break the cycle of silence surrounding menopause. Growing up, she never discussed it, not even when witnessing her own mother’s symptoms.

“We never really talked about it,” she remembers — determined that her daughters will be more informed.

To help lay the groundwork for the menopause-supportive future she envisions, in the fall of 2022, Dr. Young Moss established Menopause in Color; it officially launched on social media in the summer of 2023.

Through Menopause in Color, she aims to empower women to speak openly about their experiences and seek support. She says it’s a platform where discussion and education about menopause, particularly for women of color, is open and accessible.

“I want to help a community of women not be afraid or ashamed to talk about menopause,” she states. “It goes beyond sharing stories; it’s about creating a supportive network where women can learn about perimenopause and menopause. It’s about helping women advocate for themselves, understanding the importance of inclusive healthcare, and challenging the stigma that menopause is an ailment of age rather than a natural stage of life.”

Learn more about how to work with Dr. Moss and become a part of the Menopause in Color Community. You can also follow along on Instagram.

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