Representation matters and Shoreline-based health professional Dr. Margaret Towolawi is breaking racial barriers within her industry. According to K5, Dr. Towolawi is the woman behind the first Black-owned direct primary care clinic in the state of Washington.
Her practice—dubbed the Nurture Well Center—takes a holistic approach to providing treatment for common illnesses. The inspiration for the creation of her health care facility was derived from the desire to make a career shift amid the pandemic. While working at Swedish Health Services, she experienced burnout and decided a solution to overcome what she was facing was to pivot and lead her own practice. “As doctors we are healers, we’re always being there for our patients and we took that oath to do so, but at some point it’s like, when do you stand up for yourself?” Dr. Towolawi said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “It is the answer to burn out in my opinion, when it comes to physician well-being. Doing it in a way that feels fulfilling to my patients and me.”
Prior to creating the Nurture Well Center, she opened Skin Stat MD which helps people of color treat skin conditions. Dr. Towolawi says she wants to use her practices as a way to address disparities within the health care industry.
Black health care professionals are changing the narrative when it comes to diversity in leadership. In 2019, a group of doctors joined forces to open Chicago’s only Black-owned urgent care facility. Reuben C. Rutland, MD, Airron Richardson, MD, Michael A. McGee, MD, and former NFL player Dr. Gregory Primus opened the facility in the Hyde Park community to address the lack of access to adequate health services. The center—dubbed Premier Health Urgent Care—goes beyond providing urgent care, it offers mental health and wellness services as well.