News & Announcements

Phoebe Commemorates World Patient Safety Day


Albany, Ga. – Phoebe is joining healthcare organizations across the globe Thursday to celebrate World Patient Safety Day, a commemoration designated by the World Health Organization.  “Safety is fundamental.  That is our number one value.  It’s listed first because every member of the Phoebe Family must put safety first every day – the safety of our patients, our visitors, ourselves and our co-workers.  We are excited to celebrate World Patient Safety Day to highlight that fundamental commitment to safety,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President and Chief Executive Officer.

As part of that commitment, Phoebe recently made some organizational changes to bring certain aspects of safety into greater focus.  Phoebe created a system-wide organizational safety department and appointed new directors of patient safety and organizational safety.  “Patient safety has always been paramount at Phoebe.  We are simply renewing our pledge to put it front and center and ensure it is the foundation of the Phoebe culture,” said Traci Akins, RN, Phoebe Patient Safety Director.  “Our recent ‘A’ Hospital Safety Grade from the Leapfrog Group is validation of that pledge and the Phoebe Family’s dedication to continuous improvement when it comes to quality and safety.”

The theme for this year’s World Patient Safety Day is health worker safety.  “Health worker safety is more relevant than ever as we continue to battle COVID-19.  We know keeping the Phoebe Family safe is crucial to ensuring our ability to keep our patients safe,” said Steven Kitchen, MD, Phoebe Chief Medical Officer.  Phoebe also recently formed an Employee Safety Committee focused on protecting team members from COVID-19 and all other aspects of employee safety.

Another way Phoebe is working to ensure the wellbeing of all team members is through Care for the Caregiver, a peer-to-peer support program.  “Healthcare workers have difficult, stressful jobs.  They are subject to burnout, and they may suffer negative physical and emotional consequences following the loss of a patient or an unexpected outcome,” said Sara Cornwell, LCSW, Phoebe Employee Assistance Program Therapist.  “Through our Care for the Caregiver Program, employees volunteer to go through special training so they can be a listening ear and provide emotional support to their peers.  Our Employee Assistance Program also offers free counseling sessions with licensed therapists to all members of the Phoebe Family for support with any emotional needs,” Cornwell added.

Phoebe will “go orange” on Thursday.  Orange is the signature color of the World Patient Safety Day campaign, representing gratitude and respect for health workers.  Phoebe will externally light all its hospitals in orange and is encouraging Phoebe Family members to wear orange to show their solidarity and commitment to patient safety.  “We want all members of the Phoebe Family to know how much we value them, and how much we appreciate their commitment to patient safety, today and every other day throughout the year,” Steiner said.