She has delivered more than 5,000 babies, most of those here in Baytown. To say Dr. Rosalyn Gayle has made an impact on the community is a strong understatement. That’s why we are honoring her as we recognize Black History Month.
Rosalyn is a native Texan, growing up in the Houston area. Her mom was a teacher while her father was a dump truck driver. She said, “My mom was a sharecropper as she grew up and came from a poor background. She wanted more and worked hard for an education. It helped us broaden our horizons.”
Dr. Gayle, following her mom’s education path, went to Forest Brook High School before setting her sights on college and becoming a doctor. She graduated from Rice University in 1983 and the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston in 1988. Her internships and residencies took her to Chicago, New York and Georgia. However, the Houston area is home and she felt a calling to Baytown.
Rosalyn said her work has been fulfilling but she had to have a lot of patience and persistence. She has a “Work hard, play hard” mentality and encourages everyone, including young people in our black community, to continue to seek an education. She said, “Education is important because it open your eyes to other things. It gives you a broader perspective of life and helps everyone as a whole community.”
Dr. Gayle has been an OBGYN for more than 21 years but she said it doesn’t feel like that long due to her love of our diverse community. She said, “Baytown is a small family-centered community. I work right down the street from where we live.” She added, “You really get to know your patients and be involved in the community.” Rosalyn also loves the fact she is delivering babies from women she delivered years ago and maintaining those connections.
Councilman Charles Johnson can speak on Dr. Gayle’s work in Baytown, both professionally and personally. He said, “I’ve known Dr. Gayle for 20 years. She delivered my last three kids and we were really impressed with her professionalism and how thoughtful she was during those times. She has touched a lot of lives. I would hope and pray that she continues to do so as our community grows and evolves.”
The Black History Month theme this year focuses on Black Health and Wellness. Dr. Gayle said the black community, here and in other cities, has been historically underserved. She said many patients suffer from severe illnesses because they don’t get preventative care. It’s her hope that might change with more black doctors. She said, “Patients are more comfortable with people who look like them. They are more likely to tell you what’s really going on."
When she hangs up her white coat for the day, Dr. Gayle is a proud wife and mother. Her supportive husband is Sherman Eagleton, Harris County Constable Precinct 3. Their son Jared attends the University of Oklahoma and their twin daughters are studying at Texas A&M. It’s proof that the hard work of Rosalyn’s mother is still paying off. She concluded, “If my mom didn’t fight for us and her education, things could have been different for me.”
Rosalyn also had one final message for the community, especially the young people who will be the faces of the future. She said, "Take good care of your mind, body, and spirit. Always be open to learning new things. Believe in yourself, but treat others the way you want to be treated and your possibilities in life are endless!"