Birkenfeld serves community as nurse
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
An only child, born in Birmingham in 1962, frequent mover, often the “new boy” at school, Tommy Birkenfeld moved to Alabaster when he was in the eighth grade. “Some of my best childhood memories are of my dad and I watching Alabama football. I am still an avid Roll Tide fan and enjoy all University of Alabama sports,” he said.
Deer, quail and turkey hunting, with turkey hunting being his favorite, are other sports Birkenfeld enjoys.
A graduate of Thompson High School in 1980, Birkenfeld who “always wanted to be a nurse” years later attended Wallace Community College in Selma where he completed nursing school.
Always willing and eager to help, Birkenfeld served as the sidelines sports medicine nurse at Thompson and other local schools from 1998 until 2005 and from 2005 until 2008 as a volunteer statistician.
To begin his career, Birkenfeld worked in the emergency room at Shelby Baptist Medical Center from 1993 until 2001.
He started as a tech and remained there as an RN after completing nursing school.
In March of 2003, Birkenfeld went to work at HeartSouth in Alabaster. Responsibilities at work include talking to people about results of tests, calling in needed prescriptions, determining acuity levels, triaging patients via phone and communicating with nurse practitioners and doctors about patient health care issues.
The Birkenfeld family attends Westwood Baptist Church.
Birkenfeld’s wife, the former Karen Jenkins, is a well-known Thompson grad and retired Alabaster teacher who is now teaching at Samford University.
Son Tyler will soon follow in his father’s footsteps as he also is pursing a nursing career and has already been hired at Baptist Health Systems Emergency Department.
Birkenfeld says, “I also am honored to host a non-denominational men’s Bible study in my home each week. My job allows me many opportunities to serve others as a Christian and a nurse. I have been able to build numerous relationships over the years and share in taking care of parents and grandparents of friends as well as many friends themselves.”
Serving his community and church, being a true family man and friend and living his dream of being a nurse – this is Tommy Birkenfeld.