Dr. James Taylor, one of the most recognizable figures at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC) for over four decades, has stepped down as the health center’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and will assume the role of CMO Emeritus/Senior Medical Advisor.
Taylor handed over the reins of the health center’s CMO position to Dr. Mari Bentley, who has served as deputy CMO for the past two years, earlier this month.
“Over the past 40 years I have had the wonderful blessing of getting to work with the incredibly committed and dedicated staff of the health center,” said Dr. Taylor. “And I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Bentley as she assumes this important leadership role in a time of challenge and rapid change. She truly embodies the values and vision of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and brings the energy and leadership skills that will take us to ever-better accomplishments over the next 40 years. Dr. Bentley has demonstrated her commitment to redesign of care in ways that improve quality, safety, and the patient experience. We could not have a better person in this role at this time.”
Along with President and Chief Executive Officer of EBNHC Jack Cradock, Taylor has been the driving force behind making the health center the largest and busiest clinics in the state.
Cradock and Dr. Taylor forged an unparalleled partnership dating back to 1978 that has been revered throughout the community health care system in the state and country.
“It’s difficult to put into words what it has meant to me, working with Jim all these years,” said Cradock. “The health center wouldn’t be what it is today were it not for his tireless, unwavering commitment. I’m excited about the next phase in our history, but this is a bittersweet transition. After working together as intensely as we have—for as long as we have—it couldn’t be anything different. I raise my hat to Jim.”
These sentiments were echoed by Rita Sorrento, chair of the EBNHC board of directors.
“Dr. Taylor is beloved at the health center,” said Sorrento. “On behalf of our patients and the Board of Directors, I want to thank Dr. Taylor and express our gratitude that he will continue to serve the health center, as he always has, with his vision and presence as we launch our new Maverick Square facility and meet new challenges and opportunities. With Dr. Taylor’s guidance, and our talented Dr. Bentley at the CMO helm, the health center—and our community—have a very bright future.”
Dr. Taylor has devoted his career to meeting the health care needs of the community by caring for individual patients, planning public health interventions to reduce disease, and nurturing clinicians and staff. He is a role model for responding creatively to the challenges of health care delivery and helping others maximize their potential by treating them with dignity.
With his trademark perseverance, Dr. Taylor has had tremendous impact on the health of Eastie and surrounding communities. As a physician and leader, Dr. Taylor set and inspired high expectations for professionalism among colleagues and created a supportive work environment. As a result, he attracted clinicians and staff who devoted their careers to EBNHC.
Dr. Bentley, the new CMO, is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In 2001 she completed her residency at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, a teaching affiliate of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
In 2003 she joined EBNHC has a physician in the Family Medicine Department. Four years later, she was promoted Medical Director of Family Medicine. In 2009 she began working closely with Dr. Taylor as Deputy CMO.
“For the past two years, I have had the privilege of working alongside Dr. Taylor, and it has been amazing to see such a great man in action,” said Dr. Bentley. “Dr. Taylor has led the health center through 41 years of change and growth, as a healer, researcher, teacher, and friend. Now that he is becoming our CMO Emeritus and Senior Medical Advisor, we look for ways to express our gratitude for all that he has given us.”
Dr. Bentley added that the best way to show thanks to Dr. Taylor is to take the baton and carry on his vision.
“I am honored to accept the role of Chief Medical Officer and to work to address the changing needs of our community,” she said. “Together we will be flexible, creative, and strong. We will meet the challenges that lie ahead and remain true to the mission that Dr. Taylor has set for the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.”