Peg’s Legacy

Peg Taylor Picture

Peg Taylor

Mrs. Margaret (“Peg”) Taylor was a pioneering public health nurse who inspired the founding of the Peg Taylor Center for Adult Day Health Care. The center is one of the first adult day health care programs established in the United States. To recognize her important role, the program was named in her honor.

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A Passion for Public Health

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Peg Taylor got her start in public health nursing through the Henry Street Settlement House in New York City. Encouraged by Henry Street’s founder, Lillian Wald, Peg earned her R.N. at New York Hospital, Cornell University and a Master’s at Columbia. As one of Lillian Wald’s Visiting Nurses in 1927, Peg began caring for young mothers in New York City’s poorest neighborhoods. This halted abruptly in 1935 when she contracted TB. Amazingly, Peg nursed herself back to health and refocused her interests on the new field of rehabilitation.

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When World War II broke out, Peg recruited nurses for the Red Cross and worked with the Department of Health Services to uphold conditions in army camps. This led to serving as national nursing consultant on TB and other communicable diseases, and Peg worked in hospitals and communities all over the United States.

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Throughout the years, Peg shared all that she learned. Recruited by UCLA in 1952, she became Chair of the Public Health Department in the School of Nursing and started what was arguably the first class in the nation on wellness. In 1957, Peg transferred to the University of California at San Francisco and served as Chair of the UCSF Community Health Nursing Department for over 12 years.

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In 1969, Peg retired to Chico. Here she turned her lifelong interests into more than fulltime volunteerism. Peg shared her talents with more than 23 different community organizations, including hospice care and the Chico Library. For her efforts, in 1980 Peg was voted Chico’s Senior Woman of the Year.

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But Peg saw too many local needs that were still unmet. In 1981, at a local Senior Summit, Peg urged the community to develop an adult day health care program to help seniors and younger adults with serious health problems. Peg spearheaded this effort until March 1986, when the program successfully opened, and was named in her honor. Since that time, the Peg Taylor Center has provided over 1.3 million hours of care.

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Peg passed away in 1995. Throughout her 91, very full years of life, Peg envisioned a day when compassion and dignity would be offered to everyone. Today, Mrs. Margaret (Peg) Taylor’s compassionate vision continues to guide the care provided at the Peg Taylor Center ~ a shining example of grace in action.

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