Hot Mama Chronicles - Samantha Taylor
Amelia sat down with Samantha Taylor, the Executive Director of the Bowdoin Street Health Center. Taylor spoke about her early beginnings and the work she is doing at the center to improve and impact the lives of residents who are served by the Health Center. Here are the top ten things we learn:
She grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana by a single mom, who was a social worker and community organizer. She inspired Samantha to pursue community health. Her mom was sick most of her life as she was always in search of quality community healthcare. It has been her interest ever since.
Community health desserts exist. You can go for miles and not find a health center or hospital. Access to a hospital or health center were few and far between where Taylor grew up.
Taylor talks about the power of listening especially when working through the pandemic. She has been working to listen to the residents and works to make sure that the Bowdoin Street Health Center has programming to meet the needs of the community. One thing she has done was to work with the Mass League and DPH to certify medical assistants through a grant.
Self care was new to Taylor. She is working to find balance. She used to wake up in the middle of the night to work. She is now focused on setting boundaries. She is also encouraging her team to take time and take care of themselves.
Under Taylor's leadership, the Bowdoin Street Health Center has worked to provide resources to the community during the pandemic. Whether it's a partnership with C11 to help deliver food during the holidays or seeing the residents restore the garden, which won an award from Mayor Wu, it is a testament to the passion and impact of the center on the lives of the community.
Taylor spoke about the importance of how to position herself. It's about learning and putting your best foot forward. She talks about the power of prayer and making sure that she is learning as much as she can, participate and network with the right people in her industry. She also shared about having the right sponsor that can bring you to the table.
Taylor is guided by her faith in God. She truly believes everything has happened to her for a reason. It has helped her to inspire and motivate along the way. She talks about the artwork image of her childhood home. It represents triumph, faith and death and it inspires her to know that anything is possible.
Taylor is excited about celebrating the history of the Health Center having served the community here for 50 years. She wants to expand services including establishing a LGBTQIA center, a research branch, growing gerontology and making sure our services are competitive for this market.
When serving the community, she sees herself or her mom in her patients. She shows up for them. She wants to ensure that everyone has access to quality services. She wants to also ensure that her patients are treated with dignity and care. Taylor also does this work with a lens of equity and creates a culture of understanding around that.
Samantha offers words of encouragement. Anything is possible. It may not be without its challenges. The world is at our feet and it is ours to go after. With the right level of support and ambition, you can go for it.
It was a great conversation. Until next time!