Spotlight: Samantha Taylor
Samantha Taylor, Executive Director of Bowdoin Street Health Center, believes that healing and hope are interdependent.
"Hope elicits a psychological response necessary to the healing journey," she says. "It's sustaining."
Taylor presides over the operations of a community health center that has served the Bowdoin-Geneva neighborhood in Dorchester for 50 years. Bowdoin Street recognizes the impact of social and economic factors on the health of its patients. It improves health outcomes with multidisciplinary teams, wellness activities, social support and advocacy, and other practices that foster a greater ability for their patients to co-manage their health with trusted providers. The Center also collaborates with organizations and public entities to support efforts that prevent violence, improve access to healthy food, and promote physical and mental well-being for members of its community.
Taylor takes pride in the role she plays in advocating for marginalized groups.
"The greatest challenge in my career has been and continues to be that I'm a young, Black female leading in corporate spaces where the voices of persons of color have notoriously been ignored," she says. "I have worked overtime to add value, show my worth and earn my seat at the table. I'm happy to see the effort organizations are putting into diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives."
March is Women's History Month, a time to reflect on the impact of women with the strength to uplift each other and care for others. This includes trailblazers in medicine and caregivers whose work inspires hope as it nurtures healing. When asked to talk about one woman in her life who inspired her own work as a healthcare leader and advocate, Samantha Taylor doesn't need to think twice.
"Lydia Taylor," she says. "She was a grassroots social worker for over 40 years. Her life's work was building community and providing resources to the underserved. She worked closely with the local utility company to create affordable housing and was active in increasing awareness around predatory lending practices in vulnerable populations, among many other things. Lydia also happened to be my phenomenal mother!"
Taylor has one piece of advice to offer the next generation of women in medicine:
"Don't just break the glass ceiling, shatter it. You are worthy and deserving of all the opportunities coming your way. Self-advocacy and networking are major keys to success."