Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


May 24, 2014

Looking back on life

Bluefield OB/GYN reminisces on 38 years of delivering babies

BLUEFIELD — In less than a month Dr. Bruce Lasker, 68, of Bluefield, will be cleaning out his office, while reminiscing about the last 38 years. As an OB/GYN, Lasker has been delivering babies in the two Virginias since 1976. He delivered his last baby in April and will retire officially on June 30.

From triplets to premature babies, Lasker isn’t sure how many babies he has helped bring into the world.

“I have no official number but it’s somewhere between 8,500 and 9,000,” Lasker said.

Lasker, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from Vanderbilt University, University of Tennessee and completed an internship and residency in New Orleans, La.  

Lasker said he chose to be an OB/GYN because it was a fairly happy profession and he had a good experience with it in medical school.

After he finished school, Lasker was looking for a place to settle down and begin his practice.

“I had four children when I finished school and I was looking for a small community that needed an OB/GYN, and Bluefield just seemed to be the perfect fit,” Lasker said.

Lasker, who has six children and eight grandchildren, is looking forward to spending more time with his family after he retires. He isn’t sure if he will take on any new hobbies yet. Lasker will take time to adjust to his new schedule.

“I am going to miss the people I work with and the joy of delivering children, but I sure won’t miss the hours,” Lasker said. “Since Bluefield is a smaller community each doctor is responsible for all their own patients, so I am on call pretty much 24/7. It gets hard after awhile, getting up in the middle of the night, having to rush into work. I work with a really unique group here at the hospital. They are good people, they are like family to me.”

Lasker talked about different memories throughout the years and experience of delivering babies. Even when he helped another doctor deliver his last child by C-section.

“I once had to do a C-section right in the bed before we could move the woman to the operating table. The baby was fine; it was whisked away to be taken care of and we took care of the mother,” Lasker said. “There was just no time to get her to the operating room or table, we had to do it right there in the bed. There are so many memories it is hard to remember every single one, but there are certain ones that do stand out in my mind.

Another time I had to walk to the hospital in a blizzard to deliver a baby. The snow was about six feet deep and I couldn’t get my car out,” Lasker said. “I was in the biggest hurry to get to the hospital that I was in my sandals coming through the snow to get here.”

• • •

As Lasker gave a tour throughout the hospital and the nursery, he spoke about his experience delivering second and third generations of children.

“It is really amazing that years later I am delivering children of children I delivered years and years ago,” Lasker said.

Two babies were in the small hospital nursery, delivered by other doctors in the area. Lasker, picked up one baby, and cuddled her to his chest.

“I have been doing this a long time,” Lasker said.

He said the largest baby he has ever delivered was 13 pounds, 8 ounces and some of the smallest were right around the one pound range. He will always remember his last delivery as well. The mother had the same name as his daughter, Leah.

Lasker has watched things change throughout the years including technology and delivery methods.

“When I started in 1976, the woman was in the room by herself and everyone waited in the waiting room until the baby was born, and you would go out and announce what the baby was. Now virtually everyone has someone with them and some sort of support system throughout the entire labor,” Lasker said. “Even though many things have changed throughout the years, the one thing that has changed the most is the men and their sensitivity when the baby is born. A lot of men tear up, you never used to see that. But my favorite part of the whole process is when mom and dad see their baby for the first time when it’s born. Seeing the way the react always touches my heart.”

— Contact Anne Elgin at

Text Only
  • Randy Phillips 1 A heart for service

    In the film noir gangster movies, guys who did the kind of work that Randolph “Randy” Phillips did would be called, “Screw,” a name for a prison guard that comes from the shackles that bound prisoners more than a century ago. But during 32 years of service with the Virginia Department of Corrections, Phillips, now 63, and retired, worked to help the inmates under his supervision work to straighten their lives out and become productive citizens.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pam Meade Giving back to the community

    When Pam Meade retired after 26 years in the banking business, she worked in her garden, traveled, and did all the other things that a lack  of time didn’t allow. The novelty started wearing off when her second year of retirement arrived, so she started looking for more to do and found a new purpose when the Tazewell Area Chamber of Commerce needed a new executive director.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Original marriage of the Bluefields Celebrating historic union

     All prospective brides and grooms feel excited as the appointed hour for the exchange of their wedding vows moves ever closer, but for Stephanie Muncy of Nemours and Cody Woodall of Springville, Va., the excitement is almost mach one — the speed of sound.

    July 12, 2014 3 Photos

  • Richard Smith 1 From Hot Wheels to classics...

    Years ago when they were boys, Richard Smith and his brother Roger watched as the men in their families worked with muscle cars and hot rods. They had their Hot Wheels toys to play with, but then they grew up and got their own big cars. Now Richard Smith and other enthusiasts are working to share their passion for cars.

    July 5, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hankins Telescope 1 ‘I love it, it’s in my blood’

    June 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Florida Georgia Line Ready to party

    June 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_0941.JPG Jake’s Grocery: A point of stability in McDowell County

    In a world of constant change, Jake’s Grocery has been a point of stability for decades. Economic downturns and floods have challenged owner Jacob T. Potter and his wife Carol Sue, but with help from above, the small store in McDowell County has stayed open to see its 45th anniversary.

    June 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lasker  Telescope 1 Looking back on life

    In less than a month Dr. Bruce Lasker, 68, of Bluefield, will be cleaning out his office, while reminiscing about the last 38 years. As an OB/GYN, Lasker has been delivering babies in the two Virginias since 1976. He delivered his last baby in April and will retire officially on June 30.

    May 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Wikle Telescope 1 Combining two loves

    Princeton resident Stan Wikle, 60, knows and loves gospel music. He also likes planning events. So in 1995, he combined his two loves to create Stan Wikle gospel Promotions, a business that brings national Christian artists to local venues in the two Virginias.

    May 10, 2014 2 Photos

  • Weiss Telescope 1 Determined spirit

    April 26, 2014 2 Photos