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UAB Peony Project: A way to show you care

UAB Peony Project.
UAB Peony Project.(Source: UAB, Amy R. Peterson)
Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 11:53 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The UAB Peony Project began in the hope of gifting a painting of a flower to one woman struggling with addiction during pregnancy, as a sign of hope and solidarity with her. Then, the program grew in a broader effort to bring awareness to the need for care and treatment of addiction in pregnancy.

A friend of local Birmingham artist Amy R. Peterson commissioned a flower painting to give to a young woman who was considering the program. In 2020, Peterson had seen firsthand the impacts of substance use disorders after losing a close family friend because of addiction.

UAB Peony Project.
UAB Peony Project.(Source: UAB, Amy R. Peterson)

“I tried putting myself in their shoes,” Peterson said. “In the shoes of someone who was not only pregnant, but also struggling with substance abuse or addiction. They had to have felt like there were many odds stacked against them.”

Peterson decided to use her talents to bring the art and medical worlds together. Instead of painting a single flower, she would paint 50 in honor of the 50 women who went through the program in its first year. The popular perennial flower is recognized around the world as a symbol of compassion, honor and rebirth.

UAB Peony Project.
UAB Peony Project.(Source: UAB, Amy R. Peterson)

“We aim to break down barriers to treatment during pregnancy and provide the much-needed support for these new mothers to succeed in their recovery,” said Brian Casey, M.D., Director of UAB’s Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. “The Peony Project is a great way to get our mission out into the public sphere.”

“I cannot begin to understand what these women are going through,” Peterson said. “I hope that this collection of flowers has captured some semblance of the beauty and courage, and the hope that has carried them through their journey to recovery.”

The project is a collaborative effort among Birmingham artist Amy R. Peterson; Andrea Clement Harbison, AIA; the Beverly McNeil Gallery; UAB Maternal-Fetal Medicine; and the UAB Department of Psychiatry.

UAB Peony Project.
UAB Peony Project.(Source: UAB, Amy R. Peterson)

To support the project or sponsor a peony painting with a tax-deductible donation in any amount in someone’s honor or memory, you may visit this website.

For more information you may contact: Beverly McNeil Gallery

605 28th Street South

Birmingham, Alabama 35233

205-328-1761

or Amy R. Peterson

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