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Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

As a true not-for-profit health system, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is operated by a volunteer board drawn from the community it serves. They serve without pay, volunteering time and expertise. They set policy, create goals, evaluate management’s performance, and ensure Phoebe operates in the best interest of the community. Below you can learn more about our volunteer governing board members for Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.


John Culbreath, EdD | Chairman

John Culbreath, EdD served as interim dean of the College of Education at Albany State University before his retirement and served six years as superintendent of the Dougherty County School System.

He was inducted into the Albany State University Alumni Hall of Fame in 2005. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children.

Marvin Laster | Vice Chairman

Marvin Laster currently serves as CEO for Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany.

He formerly served as chair of the local school governance team and was recently inducted into the board of trustees at Deerfield-Windsor School and board of directors of the Albany/Dougherty Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the executive committee for Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Society for African-American Professionals. He has one son.

Lemuel Edwards

Lemuel Edwards retired from Water Gas & Light after 31 years.

A U.S. Air Force veteran, Lemuel has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Darton State College Foundation Board, Leadership Albany, Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia, the Base Realignment and Closure committee, and the SB&T board of directors. He and his wife, Yvonne, have three daughters.

Derek Heard, MD

Derek Heard, MD has been a part the medical community in this area for 16 years.

He currently is a primary care physician and the Phoebe Physicians Medical Director of Primary Care. He served as the Chairman of the Southwest Georgia Diabetes Coalition and was named the 2017 Phoebe Physician of the Year.

Karen Iler

Karen Iler is a business partner at Woodford Plywood, Inc. and is a former member of the SB&T Board of Directors.

She has served on Deerfield-Windsor’s board, finance committee and executive committee. She is the mother of three children.

Pamela Jackson

Pamela Jackson is the Community Plans and Liaison Officer at Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany.

Founder and CEO of The Youth Becoming Healthy Project, Inc., she is involved in many community organizations, including executive board member of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, past president of Turner Job Corps Center Community Relations Council, past Strive to Thrive board member and volunteer tutor for Lee County Minority Female Mentoring Program.

Chirag Jani, MD

Chirag Jani, MD is a Geriatrician, Hematologist and Oncologist at Phoebe Cancer Center.

His leadership roles have included: Chairman of Cancer Committee, Multidisciplinary Breast and Tumor Board, Chair of Quality Committee, Principal Investigator Pharmaceutical and Federally Funded Oncology Studies, and Chairman of Department of Medicine. He is currently Medical Director of Oncology and Hematology, co-director of Willson Hospice House and Associate Professor at Augusta University. He and his wife, Ami, have two sons, Yash and Preet.

Jay McAfee, MD

Jay McAfee, MD is a board-certified radiation oncologist and partner with Radiation Oncology Associates.

He is Medical Director of the department of radiation oncology at the Phoebe Cancer Center, where he serves as Cancer Liaison Physician for the Commission on Cancer. Jay was born at PPMH and raised in Albany.

Jay Sharpe

Jay Sharpe, is vice president of public relations for U-Save-It Pharmacy.

He is a graduate of Valdosta State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is a member of the Flint Community Bank board and a deacon at Gillionville Baptist Church. He and his wife, Heather, have three children, Landon, Owen and Harrison.

Scott Steiner

Scott Steiner joined the Phoebe family in March, 2019.

He previously served as CEO of four Tenet hospitals in Detroit, MI. He began his career in healthcare administration as Director of Physician Network & Development for a hospital in East St. Louis, IL in 1992. Scott and his wife, Tracy have two daughters. Scott is a member of the Phoebe Health System, Phoebe Hospital, Phoebe Sumter, Phoebe Worth, Phoebe Health Ventures and Phoebe Physicians Boards.

Sally Whatley

Sally Whatley is retired having served almost 33 years in education, including superintendent of the Dougherty County School System.

She is First Vice-President of Girl Scouts Historic Georgia Board of Directors, serves on the Randolph County Library Board as chairman and also serves in many capacities in the Cuthbert First Baptist Church. She and her husband, Steve, have one son.

Jimmy Webb

Jimmy Webb has been farming in Leary, Georgia since 1986, and has been involved in the southeastern as well as the national agriculture industry.

He currently serves on many agricultural boards across the country, including Flint River Water Planning and Policy Center as treasurer, Georgia Delegate to the National Cotton Council, UGA Dean’s Advisory Council, Georgia Cotton Commission and others. Currently he is Vice-Chair of the Cotton Board.

Joe West

Joe West has been employed in the agriculture industry all his life in some way.

He worked at Cargill, Inc. before joining McClesky Mills in 1997. Currently Joe is involved in various local business interests and continues to farm. He serves on the boards of the Bank of Terrell, Terrell Academy, and is also a member of the American Peanut Shellers Association. He and his wife, Michele, have two children and reside in Dawson.