Phoebe directors hear personal side of healthcare

Nina Hancock

Phoebe Putney has announced another delay in its controversial acquisition of Palmyra Hospital. But the business side of healthcare took a backseat at today's meeting of Phoebe's Board of Directors.

Phoebe Putney released a statement on Wednesday explaining that its buyout of Palmyra Hospital will not finalized on Thursday as originally announced. No new date has been as Phoebe officials continue to work to sort out regulatory and compliance issues. But the focus of Wednesday's meeting of Phoebe's board was devoted to the personal side of the healthcare business.

Director of Phoebe Experience Lacy Lee updated board members on preparations for marking Phoebe's 100th anniversary. "On July 31st in 1911, the lights were turned on, the doors flung open, and healthcare has been provided," said Lee.

Anniversary events begin next Thursday when Phoebe's current flag is replaced with a special centennial version.

The talk of celebration quickly shifted to a story of heartbreak when Director of Maternal Services Nina Hancock read a letter sent by a grief-stricken mother to Phoebe CEO Joel Wernick. "At thirty-six weeks, she had not felt her baby move and when she got to our unit my nurses performed an ultrasound," said Hancock.

That ultrasound failed to detect a heartbeat so the baby had to be delivered stillborn.

The letter thanked Phoebe staff members â" especially its nurses â" for their compassion. "They say 'hello' to this perfect child, this child that's perfect in every way and then at the same time, they have to say 'goodbye,' " said Hancock.

The young mother of that stillborn child actually works as a nurse at Phoebe herself. She wrote that her experience will forever change the way she way she cares for her patients and their families. "She had to memorize the feel, the smell, how it felt against her chest," said Hancock. "This is the footprint of nursing. This is the footprint of what a labor and delivery nurse does."

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