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A Journey of Resilience and Hope: From Motherhood to Patient Coordinator

Rachel Harbert, blond woman, at the labor and delivery area smiling

Rachel Harbert's path to become a certified medical assistant working in women's health at University of Utah Health didn't follow the script she had imagined. Wanting to start a family, Rachel's path to pregnancy also tested her resilience. But after five years of fertility treatments, she conceived twins, a boy and a girl.

However, around 19 weeks’ gestation, Rachel’s water broke around her daughter. She was transferred to the care of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at University of Utah Health.  Despite the recommendation of termination, the care team respected Rachel’s decision to continue the pregnancy. A spontaneous delivery followed. Her son Preston was born prematurely at 27 weeks and lived for a week. While the emotional toll was immense for her, the midwives left a lasting impact.

"The desire to become a mother persists."
Rachel Harbert, U of U Health employee

A Call to Answer

While working in care navigation nursing services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rachel found her calling. Recognizing gaps in scheduling for new and expecting mothers.

“I advocated for change and this led to my transition to the role of a patient coordinator."
Rachel Harbert, U of U Health employee

This new position allowed her to address no-shows, improve scheduling efficiency, and provide essential support for breastfeeding mothers.

While her journey was filled with highs and lows, Rachel said, “I received the unwavering support of the university and its caregivers.” As a patient coordinator, she feels privileged to contribute to patient satisfaction and smooth transitions from clinic to hospital and back home.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Rachel Harbet family photo with her six children

Today, Rachel has proudly raised six healthy and happy children. Her oldest daughter aspires to follow in her mother's footsteps of becoming a midwife or labor and delivery registered nurse. While Rachel’s dream of obtaining an RN BSN is still with her.

“I am grateful for the role I play in making a difference.”
Rachel Harbert, U of U Health employee
Rachel Harbert and newborn baby

Supported by an understanding manager, she continues to share her insights, ensuring patient experiences shape the evolution of the organization. As a patient coordinator, Rachel guides others through their transitions, just as she navigated through her own journey of resilience and hope.