Dr. Mary Taylor’s first day as chair of pediatrics was unforgettable: It was Dec. 1, 2017, the same day as the groundbreaking ceremony for the Children’s of Mississippi expansion.
“I’m from Mississippi,” said the Natchez native, “and this hospital means more to me than you know. This new hospital tower will be transformational for the children of Mississippi. This is what the children of Mississippi need and what the children of Mississippi deserve.”
Taylor is the fourth chair of pediatrics in the 62-year history of the Medical Center, following founding chair Dr. Blair E. Batson, who served from 1955-89; Dr. Owen “Bev” Evans, 1989-2011; and Dr. Rick Barr, 2011-17. Taylor served as interim chair of pediatrics after Barr’s departure Sept. 30, 2017.
“Dr. Taylor has been a strong leader at UMMC for the past six years, serving as chief of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care and co-director of the Children’s Heart Center at Batson Children’s Hospital,” said Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs. “Her expertise in critical care will be vital as we build a new children’s tower that will include state-of-the-art neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit space, additional surgical suites and pediatric imaging.
“Dr. Taylor’s experience as a physician and a leader makes her uniquely qualified to take pediatric care at UMMC to new heights.”
Taylor received her undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University before earning her M.D. at UMMC in 1991. She also holds a master of science in clinical investigation from Vanderbilt.
Taylor completed residency training in pediatrics and fellowship training in cardiology and critical care at Vanderbilt and was a senior clinical fellow in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Boston Children’s Hospital before helping create the pediatric cardiac critical care unit at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. She was on the Vanderbilt faculty for a decade before moving back to Mississippi in 2011.
“We are at a pivotal point in the history of pediatrics at Children’s of Mississippi with the groundbreaking of the Children’s Hospital expansion project,” she said. “I am so honored to be named the next chair of pediatrics at this special time.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to expand on a great foundation, to make even more advances in the care that we provide for the children of Mississippi.”