Phoebe Celebrates MLK Day

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Press Release From Phoebe

Albany, Ga. – Phoebe Putney Health System commemorated the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday with its annual Day of Service, hosting a ceremony celebrating Dr. King’s legacy and sponsoring produce giveaways in Albany and Americus Monday.

“Our annual Day of Service has become an important part of the Phoebe culture. In the last few years, the Phoebe Diversity Council has taken the lead in organizing our events on the King holiday as a very public illustration of our commitment to the ideals of service and universal freedom and equality that Dr. King dedicated his life to championing,” said Jen Williams, PhD, Phoebe’s Chief Diversity, Inclusion and Community Benefit Officer.

Dozens of members of the Phoebe Family and the community gathered in the cafeteria solarium at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Monday morning for the MLK Day ceremony. The Saints of God House of Worship Choir performed two songs that moved the audience so much, those in attendance requested that the choir share a third selection.

Marvin Laster, PPMH Board Chairman and owner of Legacy C+C, LLC, was the guest speaker, sharing a message entitled, “Keeping the Dream Alive.” “While progress has certainly been made since the days of Dr. King, we cannot deny that the journey towards true equality is far from complete,” Laster said. “As we gather here today, we must ask ourselves: ‘What can we do as individuals to honor and carry forward Dr. King’s legacy?’”

Laster suggested each of us must examine our own biases and prejudices, take responsibility for our words and actions, actively engage in promoting equality and uplifting marginalized communities, and educate ourselves on the ongoing issues that persist in our society.

Laster said, “Where there is discord, we must bring forth harmony. Where there is error, we must bring forth truth. Where there is doubt, we must bring forth hope. Where there is darkness and shadows, we must bring forth light. Where there is hurt, we must bring forth comfort. Where there is sadness, we must bring forth joy. Where there is hatred, we must promote love.”

In addition to hosting the MLK Day ceremony, Phoebe employees volunteered at two food distribution events Monday afternoon. Phoebe teamed with Flint River Fresh to hand out hundreds of produce bags in the parking lot behind Phoebe North. Volunteers from Phoebe Sumter in Americus also worked with Healthy Sumter for a produce giveaway at the Sumter County Emergency Management Agency headquarters.

“Phoebe is proud to serve the people of southwest Georgia and show our commitment to health equity and to being a leader when it comes to inclusivity in our community, not just on MLK Day, but every day,” Dr. Williams said.