Saturday, April 20, 2024

Ten Questions with Dr. Amber Price

(Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center)

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — ‘Ten Questions with’ is a series that allows readers to get to know local business leaders, volunteers and community leaders in the Historic Triangle.

This week meet Dr. Amber Price, CEO, DNP, CNM, RN.

What is your job title and description?
Division President, Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. My job is to run the
day-to-day operations for the hospital, care for the community, and ensure that every
patient has a safe and positive experience while in our care. I take this duty very

Who do you interact/work with on a regular basis?
On a daily basis, I work with everyone on our team to ensure that all patients have the
best possible care. I engage with other leaders, including the Sentara Corporate Team,
and spend quite a lot of time in the community listening and learning.

What is something about your job most people wouldn’t know about?
I think people would be surprised to know how utterly dedicated everyone is to our
patients and our community, and how much skill, education, attention to detail, and
leadership it takes to provide care that appears effortless to our patients. It takes so
many people, resources, processes, and regulations to give outstanding care. I am proud
of our hospital every day because I know that hundreds of skilled and compassionate
people are working incredibly hard to save lives and give their all to people in need –
sometimes at their own expense – and that they do so willingly and with a deep sense of
duty to our community and with great dedication to all, 24/7 without fail. As hospital
President, I’m running a city that never sleeps, can never close, always has to be
prepared for any emergency, and that remains extremely vigilant and focused every
moment. There’s no easy day in healthcare.

How do you define success?
Last summer, I was attending a music festival in town when a gentleman and his wife
came up to me to share that he had spent weeks in our ICU with COVID, hanging on by
a thread. He beamed as he told me that he is now fully recovered — healthy, happy, and
thriving. He’s one of over 1,200 people in our community who faced the very real
possibility of an unexpected death; and yet, here they are — in the grocery store, playing
with their grandchildren, gardening, teaching, and traveling. I can’t think of a better way
to measure success. It’s why I do what I do.

What is your most successful accomplishment to date?
It’s hard to pick one thing. As a nurse-midwife, I’ve helped thousands of babies and
mothers have a loving, safe, and healthy start in life. I’m proud of that. But leading a
hospital as a nurse and a woman, in a heavily male-dominated field, and being able to
mentor other women — particularly those who face social challenges — and to write,
lecture and teach about it; that’s where I focus heavily. Their success is my success.

What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
I’ve stalled projects many times in my career because others had a strong emotional
response to the change I was asking for. Some of those projects were abandoned under
pressure. When leading change, you’re often derailed by people senior to you, or by the
people who have to pivot. Change can cause extreme duress. I had to learn along the way
that if you always do the right thing for patients, you’re never wrong, and if you change
direction to avoid anger or relieve people’s anxiety, you only create more anxiety. Just
make very sure you’re doing the right thing before you start; if your patients aren’t well-
served, you have to change it.

How long have you lived in the greater Williamsburg/York area?
I moved to Williamsburg in March of 2022 from Nashville, Tennessee, but I have lived in the area on and off for over 20 years.

What is your favorite part of living here?
I love being close to my family; my youngest daughter is a William & Mary student who graduates this semester, and my oldest daughter is in Richmond. I’m originally from Holland, and when I walk the streets of Colonial Williamsburg it reminds me in many ways of my own childhood.

What do you do for downtime/to relax?
I am a solo-hiker, and I find that going off-the-grid to explore our beautiful National
Parks — and in particular, waterfalls — gives me great peace, and offers me a time of
reflection and an opportunity to sharpen my mental acuity. I also enjoy oil painting, and
on the weekends I enjoy oyster farming and fishing at my home on the Rappahannock.

What is the next step in your journey?
Part of my role in Sentara is to assume responsibility for the issues that affect Women’s
Health. I’m currently working on aligning health plans with the care that people receive
in the hospital to optimize outcomes for women. What I love about my job is that it’s
ever-evolving. I also look forward to the continuation of writing and lecturing on
Women’s Leadership, and am delighted in particular to be speaking at William & Mary
in April. As an Old Dominion University (ODU) graduate, I’m proud to have become involved with the ODU Women’s Initiative Network this year, as well. In this role, I mentor and help to forge a career path for female college students and I look forward to continuing to focus on equitable representation in leadership and facilitating a path forward for the future generation of Women Leaders in our community and watching them succeed.

(Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center)

Do you want to learn more about your community and the people that live and work in the Historic Triangle? We are looking for people with interesting jobs, super volunteers, or community leaders to showcase. Reach out to let us know if you (or someone you know) would like to be considered for Ten Questions.

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