Former Prisma Health Vice President Michelle Taylor-Smith, MSN, BSN, RN, FACHE, has recently joined Clemson University School of Nursing as operations officer for the Center for Research on Health Disparities.
The Center for Research on Health Disparities (CRHD) works to improve health outcomes for rural and underserved communities by developing and advancing culturally sensitive and community-based research. The Center connects faculty, students and community members to advance research on the complex causes of health disparities and strategies to eliminate these disparities, drawing upon collaboration with individual and institutional partners.
As the operations officer, Taylor-Smith’s primary focus will be to organize and oversee the strategic infrastructure of the Center. This includes identifying opportunities for rural and underserved communities and working closely with School of Nursing Alumni Distinguished Professor Veronica Parker, who serves as director of CRHD.
“We are excited to have her on board to promote and extend our community-based outreach and research activities involving vulnerable populations,” Parker said. “Her expertise and affiliations will be invaluable to carrying out the mission of CRHD.”
In her role, Taylor-Smith will participate in the re-branding of the Center, ensure community participation in research, and align partnerships and research projects for grants and related programs. Her next steps are to develop an Appalachia nurse practitioner network, help host a new conference sponsored by the Center in September and develop robust external advisory boards for the CRHD.
“It is an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead and participate in the Center’s mission to further enhance the work of my Clemson predecessors,” Taylor-Smith said. “The key focus and goals are to strengthen our internal and external partnerships to minimize community disparities and inequities in health and health care through enhanced research and engagement.”
The Ohio native received her undergraduate degree from the University of Toledo and master’s degree in nursing administration from the Medical College of Ohio. She holds a certificate in finance from the National Healthcare Financial Management Association and is Life Fellow in the American College of Health Executives. Taylor-Smith led three acute care medical centers to achieve magnet status for nursing, including Greenville Health System (now known as Prisma Health), and has an administrative record of clinical, fiscal, quality and customer service results that exceed national benchmarks, said School of Nursing Director and Clemson University Chief Academic Nursing Officer Kathleen Valentine.
Currently, Taylor-Smith teaches in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Furman University, serves as president of the Greenville Free Clinic Board of Directors, volunteers at the Project Host soup kitchen, as well as mentors at the Women’s Domestic Violence Center. Valentine said Taylor-Smith’s volunteerism and background in the health care system made her an ideal candidate for this role.
“Michelle Taylor-Smith has an enduring and well-earned reputation and network of colleagues that will help the center advance its mission,” Valentine said. “She is an expert in care delivery models that provide quality care experiences for vulnerable populations and aid in the mission of the Center, which is to improve the quality of life for those we serve through research, teaching and practice.”
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