Meet the Leader of Memorial Health Care System, Chattanooga, Tenn.
L. Clark Taylor Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Memorial Health Care System
When L. Clark Taylor took a summer job as a hospital orderly at age 15, he didn’t know that the field of health care administration existed. “It was a 50-bed hospital that was run by the chief of nursing,” he said. “The next summer, I worked in a larger hospital that had an administrator who encouraged my interest in health care.”
Today, Taylor is president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health Care System, which includes Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga and Memorial North Park Hospital in nearby Hixson. “Just two percent of the population in Chattanooga is Catholic, but the community has always appreciated Catholic health care,” said Taylor. “We still have a number of sisters working here who give so much and are wonderful models of commitment to this ministry.”
Taylor has a bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., a master’s degree in hospital administration from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and a doctorate in administration of higher education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. While he was an administrative resident at The Washington Hospital in Washington, Pa., he met his wife Judy, a medical technician. They are parents to Emily, 23, Carolyn, 21, Katy, 18, and Andrew, 10. Taylor served in administrative positions at hospitals in Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama before joining Memorial as president and chief executive officer in 1992.
Taylor is proud of Memorial’s reputation for excellence in cardiac care, cancer care and orthopedics, as well as its support of programs for seniors and other segments of the community. He counts stretching available resources to meet community needs and the limited labor pool among the biggest challenges in health care today. “It’s a demanding time and a stimulating time to be in health care,” he said. “I’m fortunate that Memorial’s employees are so dedicated to this ministry. They are a wonderful team.”