UK HealthCare

UK HealthCare Women's History Month Q&A: Roberta Taylor

Roberta Taylor poses
For Roberta Taylor, a clinical services technician with UK HealthCare, Women's History Month is about honoring the women who came before her. Carter Skaggs | UK Photo

Women’s History Month is a nationally recognized observance that commemorates the role of women throughout American History. Though its roots as a national celebration trace back to 1981, the presidential proclamation of every March as Women’s History Month officially began in 1995. This proclamation is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to the United States and recognize specific achievements by women throughout history.  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 13, 2024) — Every week in March, we will offer perspectives on this national observance and their own life experiences from women at UK HealthCare. This week’s Q&A features Roberta Taylor, a clinical services technician with UK HealthCare and staff in the UK College of Medicine’s Department of Internal Medicine. 

Q: What Does Women’s History Month mean to you? 

Taylor: Women’s History Month empowers young girls around the nation with courage, self-esteem and willpower to walk in our ancestors’ footsteps. As a woman, mother, daughter and sister myself, Women’s History Month represents inspiration and celebration of all the many women who have gone before me and laid the pathway for the progress we have made. It also reminds me of the many wonderful, beautiful mentors that I had the pleasure of encountering my life.  

Q: Who are the women who have inspired or influenced you the most, and why? 

Taylor: My mother, Mercedes Johnson, is my inspiration. She was a very strong, hard worker for her family. She raised three children as a single mother. She didn’t graduate high school, and she always instilled in me to finish school and go on to higher education. She taught me to love, to be resilient and to treat people the way you would want to be treated. In her famous last words, she would say, “No one can ever take your education from you!” 

Harriett Tubman is another important woman to me; she was a natural born leader! She was a deliverer for others. She set her mind to do something that no other woman had done. She was on a mission to do what others may have said she couldn’t or shouldn’t do. She was a dreamer, not just for herself, but for others. She didn’t want to leave anyone behind — if I could go and get just one more. Mrs. Tubman inspires me that if I can make it, I am going to take others with me.  

Q: How you seen the roles of women change at UK in your time here? 

Taylor: I have been here at the University for 36 years. I have seen women here in more leadership roles, running several departments and making very important decisions for the growth of the University as a whole. It would be nice to one day see a woman for president here at UK. Our voices are being heard, we are being seen, and we matter here at UK. 

UK HealthCare is the hospitals and clinics of the University of Kentucky. But it is so much more. It is more than 10,000 dedicated health care professionals committed to providing advanced subspecialty care for the most critically injured and ill patients from the Commonwealth and beyond. It also is the home of the state’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for the tiniest and sickest newborns, the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and Kentucky’s top hospital ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

As an academic research institution, we are continuously pursuing the next generation of cures, treatments, protocols and policies. Our discoveries have the potential to change what’s medically possible within our lifetimes. Our educators and thought leaders are transforming the health care landscape as our six health professions colleges teach the next generation of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals, spreading the highest standards of care. UK HealthCare is the power of advanced medicine committed to creating a healthier Kentucky, now and for generations to come.