As part of the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Portland Community Free Clinic, we will be honoring our volunteers throughout 2018. First up is Rachel Taylor, RN, BSN, MPH, pictured with PCFC Public Health Nurse, Bob Barrett, RN, BSN, MA.
This picture was taken on September 14, 2017. When Rachel came to the PCFC that day, she said, “This is a special day for me. This is my very last day to work as an RN, after 57 years. I am so honored that I can complete my career by volunteering at the Portland Community Free Clinic one last time.”
Rachel graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, receiving a BSN, in 1960. She noted that the name pin she was wearing—which you can see says “Miss R. Taylor” if you peer closely—was given to her on her first day as a nursing student in 1956. “Can you believe it?” she said. “I still have it after all these years.”
After graduation, Rachel took her licensing exam in the summer of 1960, passed on the first try, and went on to a long and varied career as a registered nurse, working in labor and delivery, medical/surgical, inner city (Hartford, CT) and rural public health. For many years she worked as a school nurse in the mid-coast Maine area (MSAD #40), and retired in 1998.
Retirement provided more interesting opportunities, including public health in Rarotonga, the Cook Islands, and in the south Pacific. Rachel taught nurses at the People’s Provincial Hospital in Xian, China how to develop a breast health program. She also volunteered with Partners in Health of Maine in Nicaragua and cared for babies in an orphanage in Codaesti, Romania. “I have been very blessed to have such a long career in nursing,” noted Rachel, “and to meet and care for so many wonderful people along the way.”
She began volunteering at the PCFC in 2002, adding another 15 years as an RN to her professional resume. “Even though I am not renewing my RN license,” she added, “I hope I can still work with you at the clinic, helping with projects, or whatever.” Rachel, you are welcome any day of the week!
Coincidentally, Bob is also a graduate of the UConn School of Nursing, Class of 2007. We shared this picture with UConn Professor E. Carol Polfroni, who does not know Rachel but remembers Bob very well. “This is such a great picture,” Carol said, “and a great story. I know you do wonderful things at the PCFC. I am so proud that our UConn alums contribute so much to your work!”
Volunteers and Staff like Rachel and Bob make the PCFC a very special place and an important part of healthcare delivery in Greater Portland, Maine. Please consider a $25.00 donation to the PCFC to honor Rachel and Bob and support the ongoing mission of the clinic as part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration. You may donate online securely and safely by clicking here.