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Sunny Lauber welcomed as newest doctor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

With several stops in Alabama and Georgia and time spent in Alaska and Florida as well, Dr. Sunny Lauber’s next stop in her health care profession will see her return to a rural setting as she begins her time at Melissa Memorial Hospital.

Coming from the much more heavily populated areas of Fort Myers, Fla., and Augusta, Ga., Lauber stated she is excited to get back to the small-town atmosphere. After a pair of visits to Holyoke, Lauber and her husband, Eric Shrum, moved to town Wednesday, May 21. She began seeing patients this week.

“We love it,” Lauber said of Holyoke. “People in small towns have a sense of community, and you know your neighbors. If you live in a large town, you might have a neighbor, but you may never talk to them—you may never even see them.”

Along with the benefits of living in a smaller community, Lauber said she is excited to once again live in a place that has all four seasons.

“I found South Florida to be odd,” Lauber explained. “It doesn’t have any seasonal change, and I found that distressing. There it was Christmas, and you couldn’t even put a sweater on.”

Lauber’s draw to the medical field began at an early age. As a young child, she watched her mother battle with and eventually overcome polio.

“I was just really impressed with what people could do for her and what a motivated patient could do as a team,” Lauber explained. “I guess that just sort of eased me in that direction.”

By the age of 16, Lauber was working as a nursing assistant in Summit, N.J. After changing her nursing major in college, Lauber decided the family practice route was the path for her.

After getting her Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from Keuka College in New York, Lauber made her way south to the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Upon graduating in 1979, she had an internship at The Medical Center in Columbus, Ga., before starting a residency at the Baptist Medical Center in Gadsden, Ala. Lauber said the small residency program enabled to her get training in a variety of areas, a benefit that those at larger programs don’t have.

After one year of working in public health, Lauber started her own practice in Gadsden. She had the practice for about nine years before moving on and working at multiple hospitals. For eight years, she also taught at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

Over two years ago, Lauber made the switch to hospice care in Florida. The move gave her a more flexible schedule to spend time with her husband who was having health troubles at the time. Wanting to get back into family medicine, Lauber was once again looking for her next adventure.

“I liked my work with hospice patients and palliative medicine, but I sort of found myself wanting to take care of all of the other problems the patients had,” Lauber said.

After many years in the medical field, she stated that it was her stubborn belief that a physician and a patient working together can make things better that keeps her in the profession.

Lauber’s decision to move to Colorado was made easier by the fact her oldest son, Cameron, lives in Dillon. Lauber noted that her son is reaching the age where he and his wife may be starting a family soon, and Lauber wanted to be close to her future grandchildren. She also has an adult son named Spencer who lives in New Jersey.

When not occupied with work, Lauber said she enjoys cooking, canning and knitting and also has an interest in learning to quilt. Lauber and her husband both enjoy the arts as well. Lauber describes Shrum as an artist, and she also enjoys working with clay and used to dance in the past.

Lauber hopes this move will be her last. After moving regularly from fourth grade throughout high school and relocating close to 10 times for her own career, she plans on making Colorado her home.

“Hopefully this is it,” Lauber said. “We won’t be going anywhere because I’m not sure I ever want to pack and move again.”


Holyoke Enterprise June 5, 2014