JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of 50 HCA Florida Memorial Hospital volunteers traded in their scrubs and stethoscopes for ranch gear Monday morning.
Brand ambassadors, including the CEO and board of directors, got to work on the Seamark Ranch barn and stable, cleaning out and pressure washing stalls.
“I’m a nurse and it’s definitely different than the hands-on work that I do in the hospital, but it is good to get dirty, get sweaty,” said volunteer and Nurse Manager of Imaging at HCA Memorial Florida Hospital Lynette Huey.
It was part of the hospital group’s first Day of Service.
Seamark Ranch in Green Cove Springs helps children from families in crisis, who have experienced neglect or trauma.
“They’re going to come a certain way. We’re going to meet them where they are, but we are not going to keep them where they are,” Seamark Ranch CEO Greg Voss told News4JAX. “Seamark Ranch is really a transformational place for these kids.”
The ranch has helped more than 150 children since its first home opened in 2001.
HCA Florida Memorial Hospital’s President and CEO Brad Talbert chose to tackle Seamark Ranch’s equine area because of its impact on the children who live there.
“They have 17 horses here. The kids take care of the horses, feed the horses, ride the horses, have great relationships with the horses, so the equine program is extremely important in the development of those children,” Talbert said.
“It’s a dirty job; it’s not an easy thing to do,” Voss said. “And the fact that they’re coming out here, and their hearts for service are so big... They are really getting their hands dirty on this one.”
“It feels so good to give back,” Huey said. “Just to see what other kids go through, see what people go through and just be able to help is a sense of fulfillment.”