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December 13, 2021

Meet two from the Momentum in Medicine at UAB program

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MMNTM ExecutiveLeadership LogoThis fall, the Heersink School of Medicine kicked off the Momentum Executive Leadership pilot program on UAB’s campus called Momentum in Medicine at UAB.

The competitive, nine month program helps leaders who are women identify their unique strengths, while helping them grow in leadership traits and skill sets. Momentum connects women leaders across Alabama and offers networking opportunities and tools for ongoing development.

To celebrate, Heersink is spotlighting each of the women selected for this year’s program and hosting one-on-one interviews to learn their stories. In December, the Heersink communications team sat down with Amanda Chambers and Laura Hurst.

Meet Amanda Chambers

Amanda Chambers, MSN, RN, NE-BC, is the senior director of Nursing Services in Neuroscience and in the Palliative Care and Comfort Care unit.

head shot amanda chambers resizeQ: What does it mean to you to be a part of the UAB pilot of Momentum’s Executive Leadership Program?

Amanda: It is a tremendous honor to be able to learn and grow professionally with this group of women.

Q: How do you stay motivated to continue personal and professional growth?

Amanda: We are all lifetime learners and the more we grow professionally and personally the more we can give back to UAB and our staff and patients. UAB supports their leaders and invest back into us to foster growth throughout our organization.

Q: Momentum trains extraordinary women leaders. Who has been an extraordinary woman leader in your life?

Amanda: I have had many extraordinary women leaders that have mentored me and lead me to professional and personal growth. I have been blessed with so many leaders it is hard to select just one. I believe my development began with my mother and her professional growth, personal and professional balance, and her dedication to doing the right thing in all situations. This foundation has allowed me to listen and learn from all of the female executives I have had contact with.

Q: How do you hope to be empowered by Momentum?

Amanda: To learn how I can use my strengths to mentor and lead others for the betterment of UAB Medicine. Along with mentorship, I hope to gain further knowledge regarding honing leadership skills and improving upon my opportunities.

Q: What is your biggest takeaway so far?

Amanda: Having the ability to assess my leadership strengths and weakness, and use this knowledge to improve upon my weaknesses and expand my strengths.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give women who want to become leaders in their field?

Amanda: Listen and watch the leaders around you, learn from their strengths and weaknesses; and never be afraid to ask to be part of a team, project, or initiative.

Meet Laura Hurst

Laura Hurst is the Administrator at Cooper Green Mercy Health Services.

LauraHurstheadshotQ: How do you stay motivated to continue personal and professional growth?

Laura: My motivation comes from the patients we serve and the staff who do the frontline work here at Cooper Green. We all have a responsibility to contribute to our communities. That sense of responsibility coupled with my faith, make working here at Cooper Green so much more than a job to me. The health care system in this country simply isn’t accessible to everyone for various reasons. The need to remedy that where I live is motivation enough for me to keep working to help those most in need. Plus, there is so much more to do. I find motivation simply in the breadth and depth of the work yet to be done.

Q: Momentum trains extraordinary women leaders. Who has been an extraordinary woman leader in your life?

Laura: Easy question. I was raised by her. My mother is an amazing, discerning leader. Her final position before retiring was as Superintendent of Education in Fayette County, Ala. She, at the time, was the longest serving, elected female Superintendent in the state. As a woman in what is a male-driven and populated education administration world, she had obstacles along the way, to say the least. Nevertheless she led with integrity, intelligence, and grace. I had a front row seat!

Q: How do you hope to be empowered by Momentum?

Laura: I already have more connections than I did a few months ago thanks to Momentum. It is empowering to simply have people to call and discuss issues with or to gain insight from. Knowing more about the larger organization is empowering. I’ve been blessed to have excellent leadership while here in Birmingham, so I already feel empowered in my role. Linking this network of smart, motivated, upwardly-mobile women together is even more empowering to us all.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give women who want to become leaders in their field?

Laura: Read, read, and read some more. It’s free. It’s easily accessible and you should never stop doing it. If you need recommendations, ask those you admire. I feel confident saying that if you really appreciate someone’s leadership style, there is a good chance they’ll have reading recommendations for you. Also, don’t shy away from hard stuff. Studer Group says something along the lines of “if you want to be a great leader, get comfortable doing uncomfortable things.”