Taylor retires after 4 decades of nursing, caring

Published 12:01 am Friday, July 17, 2015

Cynthia Taylor recently retired from Covington Pediatrics. | Josh Dutton/Star-News

Cynthia Taylor recently retired from Covington Pediatrics. | Josh Dutton/Star-News

Maya Angelou once said, “They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

For 46 years, Cynthia Taylor has been impacting the lives of children and influencing the lives of future nurses.

Taylor retired June 30 as the rural health nurse practitioner at Covington Pediatrics.

She said she spent five years working as a nurse at Mizell Memorial Hospital. She taught at MacArthur State Technical School for 20 years before taking a leave of absence to earn her nurse practitioner degree.

A pediatric rotation with Dr. Charles Eldridge would shape her life for the next two decades.

“After I got my licenses, Dr. Eldridge asked me to help with a rural health practice,” she said. “He knew I taught pediatrics at MacArthur. Because of his interest in me, I just felt like it would be a good match and it has been for many years.”

The practice began in September 1997.

“There were three of us – Dr. (Bhagwan) Bang was with us at the time,” she said. “Kim Godwin and Jeanie Brooks Sharpe, also helped Dr. Eldridge.”

Taylor said the first day they were open they served seven to nine patients, and it took off after that.

“We were seeing 30 to 42 patients each day,” she said. “I believe I cared for every child who came my way. Had it not been for Dr. Eldridge, many children would not have had a doctor’s office to call home.”

Through the rural health program, children in Covington, Coffee, Crenshaw, Butler and Conecuh counties have seen increased health.

Taylor said Sharon Grimes was the first nurse and Michelle Armstrong helped as well.

“We also have phenomenal nurses now,” she said. “They are Angie Dauphin, Allison Clark, Chrissie Hughes and Lisa Talley.”

Taylor said she loves that she’s been able to treat multiple generations of children.

“I have a lot of my first patients, who now are parents and they bring their children,” she said. “It’s good that they trust us.”

Taylor said she also enjoys that all children expect a Popsicle before leaving the office.

In her retirement, Taylor said she hopes to become more involved in Andalusia’s First Presbyterian Church through its MOPS and Love They Neighbor programs.

Additionally, she plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and children.

Son, Ben, lives in Auburn and daughter, Mary Ann, lives in Austin, Texas.

She said retirement has been a transition for her, but she’s sure she’s leaving her patients in good hands with Christyl Lawrence Hines,

“I’ve worked as a nurse since I was 17 years old,” she said. “I did feel like the time was now to retire.”

She also plans to travel with her husband Johnny, who has been retired for seven years.

“He’s been my biggest supporter,” she said. “I can’t think of anything else I would want to do. Everyone else in my family was a teacher. I felt like this was my calling.”

A retirement reception will be held today, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m., at Covington Pediatrics.

Hot dogs, ice cream and refreshments will be served.