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Phoebe Memorializes Employee Who Died From COVID-19

Albany, Ga. – Environmental Services (EVS) workers at Phoebe’s main campus have a comfortable and inviting new place to gather, a place that also memorializes one of their former co-workers.  Louise Williams was a beloved member of the Phoebe EVS team, serving at the main hospital for more than 20 years.  She passed away from COVID-19 in April, the only member of the Phoebe Family to die from the virus.  “My mom was a Phoebe person.  She loved working here.  A lot of people forget about the unsung heroes, but she’s one of them, and I’m glad she’ll be remembered,” said Shabreka Dent, Williams’ daughter.

Williams was affectionately known as Weezie by her family.  This week, Phoebe opened Weezie’s Place, a brand new break room for EVS workers named in Williams’ honor.  “Our EVS teams are just as much on the frontlines as our doctors and nurses.  They work incredibly hard every day to keep our facilities clean and safe, and they have done so much to serve our patients throughout our COVID-19 fight.  This is one small way we can show our appreciation, and it’s a wonderful way to honor Louise’s legacy,” said Joe Austin, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer.

Williams had three children and eight grandchildren.  Sadly, her oldest daughter passed away in 2014, and Louise became the guardian for her daughter’s two sons, dedicating her life to providing them a loving home.  At Phoebe, she was known for her warm smile and her compassionate, helpful attitude.  “No matter what she was going through, she always came to work with a smile,” said co-worker Patricia Gatewood.

That smile is captured in a picture of Williams that will be permanently displayed on a wall in Weezie’s Place.  The room also includes refrigerators, microwaves, a large television, soothing artwork and comfortable seating areas.  “Coming into this room will brighten the day for our hardworking EVS crew and provide them a place they can relax and recharge.  Louise was such a great representative of our EVS team.  She certainly left her mark at Phoebe and will forever remain part of the Phoebe Family,” said Scott Steiner, Phoebe Putney Health System President & Chief Executive Officer.

Members of Williams’ family joined Phoebe leaders Monday for a ribbon cutting ceremony and expressed their gratitude for this recognition.  “I know she’s smiling about this.  It means so much.  It’s a sad moment, but it’s a great moment, too,” said Sabrina Jefferson, Williams’ sister.  “And to call it ‘Weezie’s Place,’ that’s what the family called her, so that means y’all are family, too.”