The Bonds of Friendship
Friends Honor Alice Goepfert through UAB Women & Infants Center
Jennifer Overstreet Styslinger, Net Sommers Wade, Leslie Jackson Moody, and Alice Reeves Goepfert, M.D., associate professor of maternal and fetal medicine at UAB, have been best friends for most of their lives. Styslinger, Wade, and Goepfert grew up together in Selma, sat in the same classroom in kindergarten, and graduated in the same high-school class. Moody crashed their inner circle in high school even though she lived in Luverne.
In the years between, there has been plenty of laughter shared and tears shed. The friends combined the two during a special dinner earlier this year when Styslinger, Wade, and Moody told Goepfert they were raising money for the new UAB Women & Infants Center—and that they expected to generate enough funds to name one of the labor and delivery rooms for her.
“It is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me to acknowledge the importance of the work I do, the people I work with, and what the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has done for the people of Alabama,” Goepfert says. “I was just incredibly touched and honored.”
So were Styslinger, Wade, and Moody. They have relied on Goepfert through the years for guidance—medical and otherwise—and when the fund-raising opportunity came, they couldn’t wait to do it. “We’ve known each other for so long, and we know each other’s families so well,” Styslinger says. “At our age, we’ve gone through a lot together. We’ve seen Alice work hard and make sacrifices, and for her to be so successful, we just couldn’t be happier.”
Styslinger was a member of Theresa Bruno’s fund-raising team for the center, and they very quickly determined that they wanted to raise the money to honor a woman. “Theresa and I thought it was a great opportunity to honor Alice,” Styslinger says. So she recruited Wade and Moody to help. Their efforts yielded more than $75,000 in monetary gifts.
“I wanted to give a donation to honor Alice so that she is reminded that we think so much of her, her work, and her dedication, and I love the idea of women helping other women,” Moody says. “I think the new UAB Women & Infants Center is very important for advancement of women’s health in the state.”
Goepfert says the importance of the funds raised by her friends and their team goes beyond her name on labor and delivery room number 4 in the new building. The money will be used to aid the women and infants of Birmingham, the surrounding counties, and the state.
UAB obstetrics and gynecology provides comprehensive services for women throughout life. “We care for women across the spectrum—every cultural and ethnic group from any socioeconomic background—and we provide excellent care to these women and their infants regardless of who they are, where they come from, or what issue they have,” Goepfert says. “Now they will get what always has been the best level of care in the best facilities.”
Maintaining the Momentum / Winter/Spring 2010