The death on September 1, 2014, of Andrea Kid-Taylor, PhD, one of the most-committed lecturers at the Morgan State University School of Community Health and Policy, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, is a loss not only to public health, but for health disparities among underserved communities in United States and around the world. It is a sad day for all those who knew her and passed under her tutelage in one fashion or the other. Dr. Kidd-Taylor was a calming voice in the midst of anxiety, and tenderness in the midst of pressure and tension.
My first contact with Dr. Taylor was in 2006 at Howard University, Washington, DC. She was an environmental public health guest lecturer at the HU College of Medicine-operated public health program. In her presentation, she depicted every ounce of a true bastion of public health and environmental activism. At the end of the class, a throng of students lined up to have a chat with her—and I was one of them. For every student that came, she had the same level of mien: an engagement, and presence that was neither rushed, nor frizzled. This was late in the night. This is significant given the fact that she was in Washington, DC and would be commuting to Baltimore, Maryland the same night—a commute that was very long. She made a personal connection with each of the students that she met that night. For every student in that hall that day, Dr. Taylor left a message, don’t stop at the master’s level, go on get your doctorate; public health needs you and the minorities need to address health disparities. And I know I am just one of the students that she touched with her motivational embrace. Evidently, there are hundreds of us out there who have been touched by her light of motivation.
Dr. Kidd-Taylor, an erudite scholar and public health professional, who believed what she preached, will be sorely missed. But we are encouraged by her legacies which will live on in the field of public health. For many of us who moved on to do and continue to do great things as agents of social change around the world, Dr. Kidd-Taylor’s gentle voice will remain evergreen in our hearts. Her gentle voice will motivate us to pass that touch yet to another generation because the work of eliminating health and education disparities in our communities here in the United States and around the world is not yet done. Your comments and thoughts of Dr. Kidd-Taylor are most welcome!
Romuladus Emeka Azuine, DrPH, MPH, RN
Global Health and Education Projects, Inc.
Washington, DC, USA
September 7, 2014