Medical Director for Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia Up for Health Hero Award

(Philadelphia Magazine)

Last week, we announced the 10 semifinalists for this year’s Be Well Philly Health Hero Challenge presented by Independence Blue Cross.

You can vote once per day, every day through July 29th for who you’d like to see in the final round. The winner will not only be crowned the 2024 Health Hero, but will receive a $15,000 donation to their charity of choice. The two Health Hero runners-up will each receive a $2,500 donation to their selected charities, as well.

Who: Daniel Taylor, a pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In his two-plus decades at St. Chris, he has worked on community outreach projects, including co-directing their Reach Out and Read program, his nonprofit of choice. Taylor also developed the Cap4Kids website to help link families in need with social services.

Nonprofit of choice: Reach Out and Read, a national organization that promotes early literacy and school readiness by integrating children’s books into pediatric care. At every well visit, kids receive brand-new developmentally appropriate — and culturally and situationally relevant — books. Taylor serves as co-director of the program at St. Christopher’s Hospital, which is situated in an area of Philadelphia that he tells us “has some of the highest poverty rates and one of the largest book deserts, in Pennsylvania.” Taylor explains, “This nationally recognized model has been shown to help children and families have more exposure to reading aloud, infants to have improved language skills, and gives children a vital school readiness skill as they start kindergarten.”

What motivates you to improve the lives of your community members?
“I am a life-long Philadelphian and pediatrician for two decades in a part of Philadelphia where the life expectancy of children raised in the zip codes surrounding our hospital are 20 years lower than those just a few miles away. This is a stain on the city I love, and an inequity that demands innovative health initiatives to reduce this immoral gap in life-expectancy. Every dollar raised for this program goes directly into the little hands of the children we serve, as a book, and a message that you are seen and loved.”

Read the full article at Philadelphia Magazine here.

(Image credit: Philadelphia Magazine)

Vote through July 29 — once a day, everyday — for Daniel Taylor here!