Donor Gives a Flower to Each Phoebe Nurse in Albany

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Friday, May 15th, 2020

In recognition of National Nurses Week, Phoebe nurses in Albany received carnations Tuesday as a token of appreciation for their dedication to the profession and their commitment to compassionate patient care.  The flowers were donated by Rev. Larry Roberts, 83, of Lake Junaluska, NC.  “I read an article about all the work Phoebe nurses have been doing caring for coronavirus patients, and I was really moved by how they’ve put concern for their patients even over concern for their own wellbeing.  I had been looking for something to do with my federal stimulus money to help someone else.  I checked with my children and grandchildren, and they didn’t really need it, so I thought about doing something special for the nurses.  Hopefully, they’ll see this simple flower as an expression of the love and appreciation so many people feel for them,” Rev. Roberts said.

The carnations were handed out to nurses as they left work Tuesday at Phoebe’s main and north hospital campuses.  They were also delivered to other Phoebe facilities in Albany.  “Tuesday is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.  Even today, her commitment to professionalism and compassion remains a shining example that every Phoebe nurse follows.  It’s so meaningful to all of us that Rev. Roberts would want to recognize our amazing nursing staff in this way on this special day,” said Evelyn Olenick, DNP, RN, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Chief Nursing Officer.

Rev. Roberts served churches throughout the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church for 40 years before retiring and moving to North Carolina.  “Our family never lived in Albany, but I did have the pleasure of serving churches in several towns in southwest Georgia.  I visited church members hospitalized at Phoebe many times over the years, and I’m thankful for what the staff there does for folks in that part of the state,” Rev. Roberts said.

Rev. Roberts, whose son, Ben, is Phoebe’s Director of Public Relations and Communications, purchased 650 carnations to distribute to the Phoebe nursing staff.