Founder & Executive Director, Cahaba Valley Health Care
Edwina Taylor is the founder and former Executive Director of Cahaba Valley Health Care. She has four years of experience as a Palliative Care Specialist and Nurse Practitioner at the Balm of Gilead Palliative Care Unit at Cooper Green Hospital, and 28 years of experience as an RN in both inpatient and outpatient areas of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Alabama hospitals and clinics.
Edwina adopted her daughter, Emilie, from Guatemala in 1979 and thus began her passion for the Hispanic culture. While working at Cooper Green, she became aware of the plight of health care for uninsured people.
In 1999, while sleeping, she had a dream about creating a clinic for Hispanics called Cahaba Valley Health Care. The dream became a reality when the board of CVHC was formed in April of 2000. Although the initial purpose was to serve Hispanics, the focus has since broadened to include all underserved people needing vision and dental care in Jefferson and Shelby counties. In 2000, Edwina appeared on the Bill Moyers special, On Our Own Terms, featuring the Balm of Gilead unit at Cooper Green.
Edwina has lived her life by the words of John Wesley’s “Rule of Life” –
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
Sight Savers America is honored to present our 2018 Hero For Sight Award to Edwina Taylor for her tireless efforts in bringing increased access to eye care in Alabama.
2018 Artist: Ricky Trione
Ricky Trione is a Fairhope, Alabama artist who enjoyed creating realistic pen & ink drawings for years. As a sighted artist, he never used color, only black and white.
He had two accidents that took away his vision, one eye at a time, in a 7-year period. His left eye was permanently damaged, while serving as a Captain in the Army in 1993, when a rock was slung though the open window of his vehicle. Seven years later, a large strip of tire tread flew from a passing truck and struck him in his other eye, causing permanent blindness.
Ricky could no longer drive a car or enjoy doing pen and ink art. He eventually learned to create art by using textures so that he could feel his way across a canvas. He works in a 3D style that includes thick texture paints and molding compounds. His greatest joy is getting to visit children of all ages in schools, art camps and special events. Ricky offers children hope and inspiration, while teaching them special art lessons, demonstrating that you can enjoy being creative and artistic, no matter what obstacles come your way. The 2018 Hero For Sight Commissioned art piece is titled “Shining the Light on Sight”.