NASHVILLE, Tenn. “If I wasn’t helping someone, I wasn’t living my days.”
That mantra directed Trina Taglialavore – the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance’s (MVA) new Executive Assistant – at crucial moments in her life. One moment was the birth of her daughter. Another was the death of her mother.
“I realized what was important and what wasn’t,” Taglialavore recalled. “There were a lot of things before that seemed important but weren’t.”
Prior to joining the MVA team, Taglialavore served with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Strategy & Innovation Administrative Office, the latest in a string of leadership roles with various organizations and institutions. She took the job in 2018 just after losing her mother.
“I did a complete reset,” she said.
In the past, she worked late hours, weekends, even occasional holidays. On top of that, her work often took her outdoors – like the times she was a Project Management Lead for major events like the CMA Awards or the NHL Draft – which subjected her to weather conditions.
VUMC offered a more traditional 9 to 5 job.
“I feel it’s a great home here,” she noted.
‘Making a difference in someone else’s word’
Taglialavore joins the MVA under the leadership of Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD, who became the Alliance’s Executive Director on November 1, 2020. As Executive Assistant, she will provide managerial and administrative support to Dr. Winkfield while promoting the mission of the Alliance.
“It’s community engagement and offering opportunities to other people to help them grow,” she said. “It’s making a difference in someone else’s world.”
‘A team that’s a family’
Taglialavore’s career path leading to the MVA covered a lot of ground. She began with a corporate placement agency in New York, then moved to the banking industry in order to work closer to home.
“Commuting from Manhattan was too long,” she quipped.
She then took up work in photography and design for several years, which appealed to her creativity. Then, seven years ago, she relocated to Nashville.
“I look forward to being a member of a team that’s a family,” she said.
About the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
Founded in 1999, the Alliance bridges the institutions of Meharry Medical College and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Its mission is to enrich learning and advance clinical research in three primary areas -- community engagement, interprofessional education and research -- by developing and supporting mutually beneficial partnerships between Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the communities they serve. Through community engagement, the Alliance serves a large community of stakeholders including surrounding universities and colleges, community organizations, faith-based outlets and community health centers. Its interprofessional education enhances students' interdisciplinary understanding and improves patient outcomes through integrated care. The research conducted provides access to experienced grant writers and materials supporting the grant application process and facilitates grant-writing workshops.