Phoebe to open new museum

Lacy Lee, co-chair of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s Centennial Celebration Committee, is preparaing for the hospital’s grand opening of its new centennial museum on Sunday on the second floor of Medical Tower 1.

Lacy Lee, co-chair of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s Centennial Celebration Committee, is preparaing for the hospital’s grand opening of its new centennial museum on Sunday on the second floor of Medical Tower 1.

ALBANY — Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital will hold a grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday to unveil its centennial museum.

The museum, located on the second floor of Medical Tower I, includes original artifacts and medical instruments that narrate Phoebe’s 100-year history. It also features bronze images of employees and patients from the first days of the hospital to present day.

“We are very proud of the mission of our hospital,” said Lacy Lee, co-chair of the Phoebe Centennial Celebration Committee. “It was a remarkable mandate at the time. After 100 years, the doors have never closed and the lights have never gone out.

“It is a visual way to take a space, pull artifacts together and tell the story of how the hospital began.”

The exhibits include an iron lung donated to the hospital in 1954, a 1920s wheelchair, an exam chair from the early 20th century, a list of Phoebe “firsts,” the hospital’s first registry book, a story of Phoebe’s founding and a timeline that goes up to the acquisition of Phoebe North late last year.

The hospital officially opened on July 31, 1911. In 1910, Judge Francis Flagg Putney donated $25,000 to the Ladies Hospital Aid Society of Albany to establish a hospital. The judge’s endowment came with three stipulations: that the hospital be named for his mother, Phebe Putney, that the hospital serve all citizens of the community, regardless of race or ability to pay, and that the hospital be a brick building in order to withstand fire.

Also opening is the Distinguished Leadership Gallery on the first floor of Medical Tower I just below the museum, which recognizes the generosity and support of the donors to the Phoebe Foundation.

Reserved parking for Sunday’s program will be available on the first and second floors of Phoebe’s Car Park at Second Avenue and Hines Street. Guests can enter the building by crossing the Centennial SkyBridge.

The Phoebe Centennial Celebration Committee, which organized the museum and gallery, is hosting the event. This project was completed in collaboration with Thronateeska Heritage Center.

“We hope this will generate interest to employees and the community that, in the next 100 years, we will continue to have (a way of telling) the story,” Lee said.

The museum will be open seven days a week for viewing. Thronateeska is also opening a similar exhibit, called “Medicine Throughout History,” at 10 a.m. Thursday at its history museum.

Both exhibits feature items that were donated after the public was asked to come forward with Phoebe memorabilia. The items not on display at the hospital’s museum will be at Thronateeska since that facility has a larger exhibit space, Lee said.


ObjectiveEyes 3 years, 2 months ago

Simply one more reason to believe that they have waaaaaay too much money. A museum? In these economic times? Diverting funds that could go to improving care to a museum? It's time for this community to hold Phoebe accountable. Surely, the Judge is rolling over in his grave.


Abytaxpayer 3 years, 2 months ago

WOW weee OUR Health Dollars at work! Who else could afford to build a monument to themselves?


southwestga 3 years, 2 months ago

Phoebe Foundation donors are told that they are "bringing world-class medicine to our community" per their website. But Quail Unlimited is dedicated to the "wise use and management of America's wild quail". Curious that the Phoebe Foundation donates to QA.

Can The Herald do more than print press releases? How about an analysis of Medicare quality measures, comparing Phoebe's performance in this century, to national and regional standards?

And what's the status of the Trauma Center Wernick promised?


FlunkyMonkey 3 years, 2 months ago

One more reason to explain why I am getting four and five phone calls a day on a bill less than 100 dollars--can a not for profit hospital do this?


whattheheck 3 years, 2 months ago

Will the museum have a copy of the highest bill ever generated? (Likely not since it hasn't happened yet). Will it have historical copies of IRS Form 990s so we can see how the hospital has really grown without having to look at pictures? Will it have a list of lives wrecked in the endless pursuit of $$ to offset its claims of lives saved by good managementl? Will it give a clue to future expansion so one can see what area town will have its hospital decimated as the quest for world class medicine continues?

Instead of an iron lung exhibit, an iron fist exhibit would be more fitting. Keep an eye on your bills, this cost of this one will be hidden in there--somewhere.


Grannyx5 3 years, 2 months ago

I could think of a couple of better uses for that money. 1) Put it towards bigger rooms-one you can actually turn around in. 2) Hire at least one more person to wheel dismissed patients to the car waiting for them downstairs so they don't have to wait 30 minutes before getting a wheelchair after dismisal.


Cartman 3 years, 2 months ago

Will the "Factoids" be in the museum? The museum does need a chart depicting health costs in the past 100 years, so we can see the mission transition from "merciful community public health" to "merciless monolithic money generator".


dingleberry 3 years, 2 months ago

Boy I hope Factoids will be there! The history would never be complete without them.


justme 3 years, 2 months ago



Gogogal 3 years, 2 months ago

Thank you Phoebe and thank you Mr. Wernick for being such a wonderful employer for so many Albanians. I personally appreciate your providing the much needed job opportunities and wonderful healthcare for our area of the state. Too many lose sight of what our community would be without you and this great facility. Being a native Albanian and having been born at Phoebe I appreciate that the history has been saved and is available for us to see.


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