Caroline Taylor is a person who sees problems as opportunities.
Many years ago, when she saw the way drug testing for a company was being handled, she decided she could do it better.
And she did. And she still is.
Taylor is president of Taylor Made Diagnostics, providing occupational health services to companies and municipalities throughout Hampton Roads. It’s a full-service medical practice specializing in industrial health.
“We take care of employees for employers,” she says.
Taylor Made is based in Chesapeake, but in April, it opened a 6,000-square-foot office on Diligence Drive in Oyster Point. The Newport News office has six exam rooms, three doctors, four physician assistants and five nurses.
“We opened here because our customers asked us to be here,” Taylor says.
Among the many services Taylor Made offers are industry-specific physicals, pulmonary function testing, respirator fit testing, physicals, lab and blood testing, fitness-for-duty exams, workers compensation treatment for on-the-job injuries and substance abuse testing. The company has contracts with companies and cities to provide the services to their employees, Taylor says.
The services of Taylor Made all adhere to OSHA regulations.
“Our saying is ‘protecting the health of your business,’” Taylor says. “We specialize in industrial health. We are the only ones who do just that. We don’t mix anything else. So, when patients come, they don’t have to wait behind others getting flu shots. We only do industrial health. That’s our competitive advantage.”
Taylor, 55 and the mother of four, started the company 25 years ago. A nurse at Sentara Leigh Hospital, she decided there was a true need for industrial health services when her husband worked for an electrical contractor who needed to provide drug testing for 300 employees.
“It took two days to do it,” she says. “I thought, ‘hey, I could do it right here for them. ’”
In 1995, Taylor purchased a 1979 Winnebago and had it converted to a mobile health unit. Taylor Made began as a mobile service provider, going from business to business and providing services while stationed in parking lots. Taylor Made still uses its mobile unit. Being on site, Taylor says, makes it incredibly easy for workers to get the services they need quickly, conveniently and without taking time off work to travel to a medical office.
“We can do everything we do in the office in the mobile clinic,” she says.
In 1998, Taylor Made decided to expand and opened its first office in Greenbrier.
“We were growing to the point where we were overflowing,” Taylor says. “We expanded to enhance our service model.”
The company employs a total of 45 people. Taylor takes great pride in her employees and hand picks almost all of them herself.
“We hire for attitude,” she says. “We look for core values. My employees are flexible. We all stay if we need to stay. They are great with patients. Many of our employees have been here since Day One. Everyone is happy. That makes a huge difference. They are glad to be here.”
Taylor gives back a lot to her staff, ensuring that they share in the success of the business.
“They represent me well. I want to make sure they know how much I appreciate them,” she says. “I also take care of employees in times of need because it matters. I’m just grateful. I started with nothing. If you’re not kind to others, you won’t prosper.”
A hands-on president, Taylor is present and always accessible. “I am a big listener. You have to be. A good leader is a good listener,” she says. “A good leader would not ask employees to do something they would not do themselves.”
Passionate about her company, her employees, customers and her mission, Taylor is constantly “looking for ways to do it better.” She is always accessible to patients and clients. Her cell phone number is on her business card, and she is reachable all the time if necessary.
“It’s all about determination and drive,” she says. “I’m persistent and I don’t give up.”
TO THE POINT:
Taylor Made Diagnostics
Address: 803 Diligence Dr.,
Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Caroline Taylor, president