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Hospital painter a handyman all his life
Photo caption: Michael Woodruff helps with the repair of a set of window blinds in a patient room at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.

Bolingbrook – Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital painter Michael Woodruff remembers trailing along with his father when he’d have a job to paint a place.

He was around 8 years old when he started going with his brother and father on commercial painting jobs, too young to paint yet, but he could prep a site, scraping off the old paint before his dad would put on a fresh coat. Two years later, Woodruff would join his father, brush in hand.

“I like to use my hands,” Woodruff said. “I’m not a sit down kind of guy.”

Woodruff was recently named employee of the year for 2012 at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. Woodruff was honored along with other employees of the year at an Adventist Midwest Health banquet Feb. 13, receiving a plaque and a $1,000 award.

Woodruff has worked in the health care industry for 11 years, working at an area nursing home just prior to joining the hospital staff in October 2007. When the hospital job arose, he applied hoping to grow his professional knowledge.

“There was more opportunity to learn and to go to school,” Woodruff said of the hospital job. Joining the Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital team allowed him to go to College of Dupage to study heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Now, he not only paints at the hospital, but also helps out with needed repairs throughout the facility.

“I like working at the hospital because there is room for growth and it gives me the opportunity to better my skills,” he said.

Woodruff goes out of his way to help anybody in need, and does not believe in ever saying no to a job, Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital Chief Executive Officer Rick Mace said. If there’s a deadline looming, he’ll change his schedule in any way necessary to get the job done.

“He also seems to know everyone in the hospital by name,” Mace said. “He has been referred to as the unofficial mayor of the hospital.”

Woodruff uses that personal touch to try to make work feel more like home. “I like to make everybody feel warm and welcome,” Woodruff said.

At work, he’s now undertaking a repainting of all 138 patient rooms because of the installation of some new computer equipment. Once he’s done, the hospital will look as new as the day it opened five years ago.

When he’s not working, Woodruff enjoys exercise and bowls. He also spends time with whatever odd jobs he can get done at home. Ever since he was a boy, he said, he has torn things apart and put them back together.

“My wife, she makes her ‘Honey Do’ list, and it’s pretty long,” Woodruff said.

Woodruff lives in Woodridge with his wife Kathy. Their daughter recently graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a master’s degree in hospitality.


Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,; (630) 856-2354