Together for West Philadelphia Team Photo

topic area 

Food Access, Housing AccessMaternal & Infant Health, Primary Care Access, Racism & Discrimination in Healthcare; Socioeconomic Disadvantage


West Philadelphia


Together for West Philadelphia (TfWP) partners with healthcare systems, community-based organizations, academic institutions, and public and private stakeholders to achieve equitable health outcomes for West Philadelphians.


TFWP is a nonprofit coalition that launched in 2018 with the goal of improving cross-sector collaboration around the social determinants of health. Their board represents many organizations and anchor institutions of West Philadelphia. Fundamental to their work is a network of “Trusted Venues,” faith-based organizations and community schools that residents already turn to for support. From 2020-2022, TfWP piloted the Helping Hubs program. As Helping Hubs, Trusted Venues referred community residents to TfWP, and volunteer graduate students trained by TfWP partnered with residents to help them connect to existing resources that met their social needs. Today, the organization is focused on supporting community leadership to address upstream, systemic sources of health disparities. TfWP facilitates communication between stakeholders who otherwise compete or never interact, positioning them to more effectively leverage the many assets of West Philadelphia. 


Through the Helping Hubs, TfWP processed over 100 referrals, connecting residents to resources for employment, food, healthcare and insurance, utilities, transportation, housing, home repair, digital access and more. They credentialed over 40 “Community Connectors” from schools including Cheyney, PCOM, Penn, Drexel, USciences, St. Joe’s, Temple, and Jefferson. TfWP partnered with Trusted Venues to provide health education sessions, created a COVID-19 vaccine video featuring local leaders, and continues to share resources with their network.  



initiative leads

Deon Vigilance, Board President, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital
Barry Mann, Board Chair (AHE-affiliate), System Medical Director for Equity, Main Line Health
Phyllis Cater, Board Vice-Chair, former President & CEO of Spectrum Health Services
Risa Waldoks, Acting Executive Director, Together for West Philadelphia


Alain Locke School, Calvary Baptist Church, Chosen 300 Ministries, Christian Stronghold Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Quba Institute/Masjid Quba, Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Samuel Gompers School, Victory Christian Center, Main Line Health, PCOM, Drexel, St. Joe’s, Villanova, Trinity, CHOP, Cheyney, Temple, Spectrum Health, PDPH, People’s Emergency Center