UAB Magazine Online Features
A Mother’s Journey at UAB
By Lisa C. Bailey
Liz and Mike Lorbeer with their daughter, Sarah
After only nine months of marriage, Liz Lorbeer convinced her husband, Mike, to make a “big, bold jump” and move to Birmingham from Chicago. Liz’s new job as associate director for content management at UAB’s Lister Hill Library of Health Sciences was the primary motivating factor, although both she and Mike admit that the barbecue was a really big draw. Little did they know that it would be burritos, not barbecue, that would signal an even more significant change in their lives.
“We really wanted children, but we never thought about it, we never planned it,” Liz says. “We said if it happens, it happens; if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen. So I didn’t even have a doctor here. But I did see a nurse practitioner at The Kirklin Clinic for the annual, routine gynecological checkup. And in June of 2007 I said to her, ‘Well, so is it possible to have a child? You don’t see any problems or anything?’ She answered, ‘No, you can have a baby if you want to have a baby.’ I think that was the first time I had ever asked anybody.”
One couple’s winding road to parenthood at UAB
By Lisa C. Bailey
James and Emily Copeland with their son, Matthew
To this day, Emily Copeland and her husband, James, have no idea when their son was born. They know the year, of course, and the day, and the hour. After that, it gets a little fuzzy. There were a few too many things going on that May morning in 2006 when Matthew decided he wasn’t going to wait to full-term to make his debut—much less make it to the hospital.
Emily, who has worked at UAB for five years, got up that morning expecting to visit her obstetrician, but just for a routine visit. “My pregnancy was pretty much normal up until 28 weeks,” Emily says. “But the night before I had Matthew, I started feeling a little bit of discomfort. And I thought, ‘OK, I’ve got an appointment in the morning. I’ll just tell my doctor at 8:45. I can make it until then.’” Emily was due August 1—almost three months later—“and we really thought we had our stuff together,” she says. “We were getting his nursery ready. I had no clue.”
Bringing to Life Birmingham’s Iron Age
By Charles Buchanan
For nearly 90 years, Sloss Furnaces helped fuel Birmingham’s booming growth, drawing hundreds of families to live and work in the shadow of the massive iron plant. Today Sloss curator—and UAB history instructor—Karen Utz is learning about this vanished way of life and sharing it with her students. In the process, she is shedding new light on a key, but often overlooked, era in the city’s past.
In this slideshow, Utz describes how she uses oral histories and even recipes to preserve the stories of Birmingham ironworkers.
Stories from UAB’s Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway
Bryan Combs left a career as an athletic trainer to pursue a nursing degree.
By Doug Gillett
One student was headed toward a career in hospital administration until she heard the call of nursing. Another spent several years in UAB’s research labs but decided she wanted a health-care career with more one-on-one contact. Yet another left a successful career in athletic training, working with some of the Southeast’s most prestigious college-football programs, to forge a new path in nursing.
All of these students joined the first class of the UAB School of Nursing’s Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathway for Second Degree Students. The program offers college graduates with bachelor’s degrees—even degrees unrelated to health care—a “fast track” to a master’s degree in nursing and an opportunity to sit for the nursing board exams.
From the moment they joined the program in May 2008 until they receive their master’s degrees in August 2010, this first group of students will experience some of the most in-depth training available to nurses anywhere. In this series of audiocasts, the students explain what prompted them to seek out new opportunities in nursing; they also discuss the challenges they’ve faced in the program and talk about the rewards they’ve already found in their new field.