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Phoebe dedicates new pavers

Brandi Holton, trauma program coordinator at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, gave a testimony regarding a brick that had been purchased in memory of someone as part of the Phoebe Paver Project. Each spring, a ceremony is held to dedicate paver bricks that have been purchased in honor or memory of someone.

Brandi Holton, trauma program coordinator at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, gave a testimony regarding a brick that had been purchased in memory of someone as part of the Phoebe Paver Project. Each spring, a ceremony is held to dedicate paver bricks that have been purchased in honor or memory of someone.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's annual paver dedication ceremony took place Thursday morning in the hospital's Wetherbee Lobby.

The ceremony, officials say, is meant to bring attention to the names honored through the Phoebe Paver Project, a brick pathway along the exterior walkway between the main hospital entrance and Medical Tower I.

The area is paved with thousands of bricks, many engraved with someone's name. Each spring, the dedication ceremony recognizes those who have purchased new bricks over the past year in the name of someone they wish to honor.

On Thursday, there were 22 bricks dedicated in honor of someone while 43 bricks were dedicated in memory of someone by individual donors.

One of the honorees was Deacon Jim Purks, who works as a chaplain at the hospital.

"I can tell you he has done great work," said Lori Eubanks, director of the Phoebe Heart and Vascular Center. "...He has been a blessing to our heart patients, and he is very attentive to the nursing staff."

Purks, who has been with Phoebe since 2001, said he hopes his name being contributed to the walkway will also honor the lives he has touched.

"It was a total surprise," he said. "A deacon is a servant, and is supposed to be out of the limelight.

"After I'm gone, people will pass by my name, and I hope they are inspired to honor others."

Brandi Holton, trauma program coordinator at Phoebe, gave a testimonial at the dedication on Jesse Parker, a child who was killed in a wreck several years ago as his family was traveling through the area.

While so doing, Holton read a letter his mother had written to Phoebe. As she was reading it, she fought to hold back tears.

"The paver we purchased in memory of Jesse says 'A ripple of love' (because of the continued impact he and his family have had)," Holton said.

There were also a number of bricks the hospital contributed in honor of Phoebe's 2012 retirees. In all, there were 50 retirees recognized -- from Martha McLeod's five years of service to Vernell Klintworth's 43 years of service.

The retirees names were read aloud at the ceremony by Phoebe CEO Joel Wernick.

The project is now in its 20th year. Donating to the paver project is among the ways the community can contribute to the hospital through the Phoebe Foundation -- which provides a way for people to come together through charitable giving to Phoebe.