Women’s History Month: Mount Vernon woman carves path for women in health care

Judith Watson is a registered nurse and the chief executive officer of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center.

News 12 Staff

Mar 6, 2023, 10:45 PM

Updated 438 days ago

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To celebrate Women’s History Month, News 12 is highlighting the path of a Mount Vernon woman behind an integral health care center for the most vulnerable in the region.
Judith Watson moved from Jamaica to Westchester County when she was 7 years old.
Now, Watson is a registered nurse and the chief executive officer of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center.
She has devoted 30 years to the nonprofit that focuses on accessible, affordable and quality health care, especially for the underserved in Westchester and beyond.
However, the journey to success was a challenging ride.
As a first-generation American, Watson was raised in White Plains by her immigrant mother.
"I was completely lost. In fact, I was gone,” she says. “My mom was very old fashioned, so I didn't dress like the other kids, I didn't look like the other kids…I stand 6 feet tall, I'm dark-skinned."
Watson said being different made her a target.
“I was a victim of bullying, and I found comfort in the streets, skipping class, fighting when I was there...at one point I was thrown out of White Plains High School."
Watson says it was serving the country that provided her with much-needed clarity.
"After I graduated high school and was not ready for college, I joined the United States Army. No. 1, to give me some structure and discipline and also to give back to this country."
Soon enough, the Pace University grad scored her first nursing job then started the climb to the top.
"I believe that these challenges are the best part of me...It's great when younger women, Black women…can look and say, ‘You know what? Judith made it out and she's doing OK!’ They're going to be OK…I'm living proof of that.”
Watson says her mother always told her when times get tough to tap into your inner strength.
            


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