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Food & nutrition colleague makes difference in patient care

Amber Woolsey started in Orange Park Hospital's food and nutrition services department when she was 19. Now at 29, she’s grown with the kitchen, now new and expanded, as well as the hospital.

April 22, 2022
Amber Woolsey

Amber Woolsey knows firsthand the importance of food and nutrition when it comes to patient care.

When her mother underwent chemotherapy for up to 15 hours a day back in 2010, Amber made sure she received the proper nourishment to sustain the treatment regimen.

“My mom really looked forward to food,” she recalls. “But I knew it had to be the right food.  That’s when I developed my passion for nutrition.”

Now in her 10th year in the food and nutrition services department at HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital, Amber maintains the same level of dedication for patients and workers at the 365-bed hospital southwest of Jacksonville.

“Think about how important it is for a diabetic to have their meal on time or to serve that one special item for a patient struggling to eat,” says Amber, who survived kidney cancer in 2015. “We’re so much more than foodservice.”

Amber has worked at Orange Park Hospital for over ten years, and in that time, she has grown alongside the kitchen and the hospital.

“It’s been my life’s work, that’s for sure,” she says.

Ironically, HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital has been a part of Amber’s life in more ways than one.  She was born in the hospital and incredibly, at the time her mother was served meals by the same cook who works alongside Amber today.

“We all work together to keep our patients nourished,” she adds. “For me, I get attached to people. I see situations and ask, ‘what can I do to help?’”

She’s also the first to volunteer to keep the hospital cafeteria open during a hurricane.

“It’s all about taking the initiative,” she says. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

April 22, 2022
HCA Florida Orange Park Hospital