An endowed scholarship at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Eshelman School of Pharmacy has been established in memory of Carl Taylor, the longtime pharmacy director at Piedmont Health Services in Chapel Hill, N.C. Taylor, age 76, died last Sept. 24.
The Carl Taylor Pharmacy Administration Scholarship is being announced this morning at the 340B Coalition Winter Conference in San Diego.
It will be offered to pharmacy students at UNC, Taylor’s alma matter, who plan to pursue a career in pharmacy administration, demonstrate a commitment to serving rural or underserved communities, and contribute to the social, economic, and cultural diversity of the student body.
The scholarship is being underwritten by Taylor’s family, UNC, Piedmont Health, and Apexus, the 340B prime vendor. It will cover full in-state tuition at UNC Eshelman, which is about $25,000 a year.
Taylor became Piedmont’s pharmacy director in 2001. He began his career in 1968 at Roanoke Chowan Hospital. Taylor founded Carl D. Taylor Pharmacy in 1979 and operated two independent pharmacies in Ahoskie and Gatesville, N.C., for more than 20 years.
“Carl Taylor brought to Piedmont the essence of our mission, which is a focus on taking care of patients, especially people who did not have the financial ability to get their medications,” said Brian Toomey, Piedmont’s CEO. About 53% of Piedmont’s patients—some 26,000 in total—lack health insurance. Piedmont operates eight federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) with pharmacies.
Taylor also served on the 340B prime vendor FQHC advisory board.
“Carl was a great friend of 340B and the prime vendor program,” said Apexus President Chris Hatwig. “He volunteered his time on the Apexus FQHC Council for 16 years, providing guidance and selflessly sharing his knowledge of the 340B program and pharmacy operations.”
“We are humbled to help honor him through this scholarship,” Hatwig said.
“Carl was an unparalleled leader, mentor, and advocate for pharmacy services for medically-underserved individuals,” said Colleen Meiman, a senior policy adviser to state and regional primary care associations.
“Even before the creation of 340B—when most community health centers couldn’t afford to offer pharmacy services—Carl was a tireless advocate for ensuring that nobody was denied medications due to an inability to pay,” Meiman said. “He also always found time to help anyone—from a community health clinic across the country to his national association—understand how to best utilize 340B and other pharmacy programs to support their patients.”
Toomey said Taylor had an extraordinary grasp of the 340B program and how to best leverage it. “He was one of the people who would ensure that policies are set correctly, primarily because he was ahead of everyone else,” Toomey said.
UNC Eshelman Dean Angela Kashuba said Taylor was most proud of his work with UNC’s Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC), the nation’s oldest student-run free clinic. Thanks to Taylor’s provision of space and his mentorship, SHAC pharmacy student volunteers gain practical experience serving patients at Piedmont Health Services’ Carboro Community Health Center, she said.
“Our school was changed for the better in many ways because of Carl Taylor,” Kashuba said.
In addition to serving on the UNC Eshelman faculty, Taylor also served on the UNC Board of Visitors, the General Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the advisory board of the Carolina Center for Public Service.
Taylor also served on the Hertford County School Board, the St. Thomas Episcopal Church Vestry, and the Roanoke Chowan Hospital Board. He was named North Carolina Hospital Association Trustee of the Year in 2000. He also received the Hertford County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Continue the Dream Award in 1999. It is given in recognition of individuals whose community and life activities demonstrate a continuing pursuit of a more just society.