Beloved obstetrician Peggy Taylor retires

February 1st, 2019

Dr. Peggy Taylor with her last baby delivered.

Before entering medical school, Dr. Peggy Taylor, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital, told her father, a cardiologist, that she wanted to be an obstetrician. He warned her that it was a challenging life – with long hours and unpredictable schedules.

But Taylor was convinced she wanted a medical career that focused on health and life rather than illness. And as a young resident, in the emotional moments after she delivered her first baby, she knew she had made the right decision.

“My heart was pounding and I was scared,” she remembers. “But when I heard that baby cry and saw its first breath of life, I was overcome with emotion. I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

That first delivery was more than 30 years ago. Since then, Taylor estimates she’s delivered 8,000 to 10,000 babies – including two sets of triplets – in her memorable career as one of the Clear Lake area’s most popular obstetrician-gynecologists.

This past November, however, Taylor delivered her final baby and entered the next phase of her life, retirement.

“My dad was right about the long hours, but I have sincerely enjoyed every single day,” she says. “It’s been a wonderful experience and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

The circle of life

Over the years, many of the babies Taylor delivered grew up to have babies of their own, and Taylor was often their obstetrician as well.

“I have a special connection to so many of my patients’ families because I’ve cared for multiple generations as their gynecologist, obstetrician or both,” she says. “I had some families where I saw the grandmother, the mother and the daughter. That’s the full circle of life.”

One of those multi-generational patients is Kathie Fenn of League City, whose daughter Katie was delivered by Taylor. Katie, in turn, relied on Taylor to deliver her children. In total, Taylor delivered two of Fenn’s four children and three of her grandchildren.

“Peggy is the most positive, sweetest person I know,” says Fenn. “She has such a gentle spirit and excellent bedside manner, and even in the most challenging times, she has this amazing attitude. I am going to miss her.”

Fenn remembers running into Taylor from time to time at school events or while shopping, and she was always impressed with her down-to-earth manner.“She is more like a friend than a physician,” Fenn says.

Out of this world care

One of Taylor’s most unusual deliveries took place in 2004, when her patient Renita Fincke – wife of NASA astronaut Michael Fincke – was due with the couple’s second child.

Renita’s due date was in June, just a few months before Michael’s first space flight, scheduled for October. But a change in NASA’s plans meant that Michael’s mission commenced in April – leaving Renita alone for her delivery.

“We all knew Dr. Taylor would take great care of me, but NASA wanted to make sure I had all the support I needed, so they put together a team they called ‘Operation Summer Stork,’” recalls Renita.

With Michael orbiting the Earth – in the midst of a 187-day mission on the International Space Station – Renita went into labor before her planned inducement day and the team, led by Taylor, sprung into action.

With Michael connected via phone, Renita and a friend described the scene as baby Tarali was born, making history in the process – Michael was the first NASA astronaut to celebrate the birth of a child while in space. He later got to see his daughter for the first time on videoconference call.

“Dr. Taylor was so fantastic throughout the whole process,” says Renita. “She was with me every step of the way. She is so caring and confident; I always felt she could handle anything. I wish her all the best in her retirement.”

Spending time with family

Now that she is retired, Taylor wants to spend more time with her family, and visit her five grandchildren in Colorado and North Carolina as often as possible.

Looking back, she is thankful for her colleagues, Dr. Patricia Choy and Dr. Shree Visaria, who have been in practice with her for many years and who are taking over for many of her patients at Houston Methodist Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates in Nassau Bay.

And she is especially appreciative of her husband Ed, who shouldered so much of the family’s responsibilities during her late nights and long shifts at the hospital. “His support was instrumental,” she says.

And yes, she’s sad to leave it all behind. But she is grateful for the confidence her patients placed in her.

“My patients trusted me with their lives, and with their babies’ lives,” she says. “I have so many good memories.”

Houston Methodist Clear Lake Pledges $500,000 to expand Leader in Me program

November 1st, 2018

Joining in to celebrate the CCISD Leader In Me Houston Methodist announcement at the Clear Creek Education Foundation Kick Off Breakfast were Armand Bayou Elementary students, from left to right, 5th grader Miller Skowron, 4th grader Sophia Tamayo, 5th grader Carmen Evans, and 1st grader Violet Van Haaren; along with Port Commissioner John Kennedy, who serves on the Houston Methodist Board of Directors; CCISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith and attorney Levi Benton with Mahomes Bolden PC and on the hospital Board of Directors and CCEF Board of Directors.

Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital has committed half a million dollars to the Clear Creek Education Foundation in support of the Clear Creek School District’s planned expansion of The Leader In Me program in 14 schools over the next five years.

The announcement was made at the Clear Creek Education Foundation’s Community Kickoff Breakfast held at the CCISD Challenger Columbia Stadium Fieldhouse.

Clear Creek ISD is in its third year of progressively implementing The Leader In Me program at its schools. The Leader In Me program is a whole school transformation process that teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. This mindset leads to tangible improvements in the academic, behavioral and social wellbeing of participating students.

With funding made possible by the Clear Creek Education Foundation, Falcon Pass Elementary and Armand Bayou Elementary schools were the first two CCISD campuses to introduce The Leader In Me program into their school culture. Both campuses have seen the trajectory of their school’s academic performance rise along with student achievement and positive behaviors.

Over the next five years, the Houston Methodist Clear Lake contribution will have the power to substantially increase the footprint of The Leader In Me in CCISD and positively impact an additional 13,000 students in grades pre-k through 12 throughout the District.

“The impact of Houston Methodist’s generous commitment will be both measurable and immeasurable for years to come,” said Superintendent Dr. Greg Smith. “Our students will be even better equipped to achieve their full potential, build the skill-set necessary for success in the 21st century and access more opportunities for a better life.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a similar commitment of $60,000 over three years by Space Center Rotary Club to begin the program at Space Center Intermediate.

Based on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Leader in Me allows administrators, faculty, staff and students the opportunity to practice and celebrate the 7 Habits daily, learning how to be proactive, set goals and collaborate with others.

The Leader In Me is aligned with many national and state academic standards and the process teaches students the skills needed for academic success in any setting. These skills include critical thinking, goal setting, listening and speaking, self-directed learning, presentation making and the ability to work in groups.

“The Leader In Me cultivates the qualities and attitudes employers look for in today’s highly competitive environment,” said Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital CEO Dan Newman. “Self-management, independent thinking, problem-solving and other important skills like these empower our students with the tools they need to achieve success. I applaud CCISD’s innovation and its commitment to adopt The Leader In Me. Houston Methodist Clear Lake is proud to play a role in providing this unique opportunity to potential future leaders.”

The District plans to continue to expand the program into even more schools until every CCISD campus and student has the opportunity to experience The Leader In Me and unleash their full potential. Business, government and community organizations interested in becoming a Leader In Me underwriter and partner may contact Deborah Laine, executive director of the Clear Creek Education Foundation (a 501c3 organization) at 281.284.0031 or at dlaine@ccisd.net.