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Phoebe Announces Board Changes


Albany, GA | February 2, 2022 – For the first time in more than a decade, there is new leadership atop the Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (PPMH) Board of Directors.  After serving as chair of the PPMH board for 11 years, Dr. John Culbreath is transitioning to membership on the Phoebe Putney Health System (PPHS) board.  During Wednesday’s annual meeting of the PPMH board, Marvin B. Laster was appointed the new chair.

Laster is an Albany native who currently serves as CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Albany and owner of Legacy C+C LLC, a Albany-based company started in 2020 with operations in residential waste management, trucking/hauling and construction.  Among his many community activities, Laster is a member of the Albany State University Foundation Board, the current President of the Albany Sertoma Club and a trustee for Deerfield Windsor Schools.

“Serving on the hospital board for the last five years has been an eye-opening experience.  I have a greater appreciation for the challenges community hospitals face and for the amazing dedication of our healthcare workers,” Laster said.  “I am honored to take on this leadership role, recognizing that no one can replace Dr. Culbreath who has been an outstanding board chair and remains an exemplary leader in our community.  I look forward to continuing Phoebe’s current momentum and doing all I can to help Phoebe fulfill its mission and continue to fight through the COVID pandemic,” Laster added.

Longtime PPMH board member Dr. Sally Whatley is also moving to the health system board.  Culbreath and Whatley each had long careers in education – including stints as Superintendent of the Dougherty County School System – and they served on the PPMH board for 14 and 11 years respectively.

“John and Sally brought the same concern and compassion they showed their students, to our patients.  Phoebe is a better place because of their work here.  We will miss their guidance, friendship and example of servant leadership on our hospital board, but we are happy they will remain in the Phoebe Family,” said Joe Austin, PPMH CEO.

To replace Dr. Culbreath and Dr. Whatley, the PPMH board approved two new members, Jeretha Peters and Jenny Savelle.  Peters has spent her entire professional career in the financial services industry and currently works as a branch manager for Wells Fargo Advisors.  Savelle is an industrial engineer who has served as CEO of Bishop Clean Care, Inc. for the last 12 years and was a recent board chair for the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We are excited to welcome these accomplished young business leaders to our board.  Jeretha and Jenny have unique talents, insights and perspectives that we know will help improve our organization and our service to this community,” Austin said.

Karen Iler, a business partner at Woodford Plywood, Inc. and an emergency medical technician, was appointed vice chair of the PPMH board.  Dr. Culbreath and Dr. Whatley will replace long-time PPHS board members John Temp Phillips, III and Will Sims whose terms expired.  They were awarded emeritus status for their many years of service to Phoebe.