PCC's August Primary Care Champion

Tawandaa Austin, MHS, CCHW

About the Champion

Tawandaa Austin, MHS, CCHW is the Lead Community Health Worker and Product Specialist at IMPaCT at the Penn Center for Community Health Workers. She is also the Founder and CEO of Moms Like Me, a nonprofit aimed at supporting and empowering working-class mothers and their families. You can view her full bio here.


1.    Why are you passionate about primary care? 

I am passionate about primary care because I know what it is like to be a patient. Understanding the barriers that I have faced makes it understandable when patients are faced with them, too. The experiences and challenges make it easier for me to be empathetic, understanding, and supportive. Primary care is the ultimate way for patients to remain healthy. Focusing on establishing a rapport with providers is key to decreasing chronic health, especially for those in marginalized communities.  

2.    If you had a magic wand that you could wave to change one thing (such as a policy or inequity) in primary care, what would it be?

I would focus on health equity amongst women in marginalized communities. The wand would clear all barriers such as childcare expenses, caregiver burden, depression, domestic violence, and more.


3.    What one thing about your work do you want people working outside primary care to know or understand?

One thing about my work is that I get to use my creativity and active listening skills to make my work even more effective while providing a valuable service to all of my patients regardless of their circumstances. I let love rule me! 


4.    Looking back on your career, what’s the most significant contribution to primary care that you or your team have made?

One of my significant contributions to primary care is co-facilitating a walking tour for new resident doctors at Penn Family Care (PFC). The purpose of the tour is to show the new resident doctors the community that they are servicing with hopes that the insight would allow them to become more empathetic towards patients that they are servicing in marginalized communities. 

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