‘Gold standard’: Rumford Hospital administrator lauded after long career – Lewiston Sun Journal

Becky Hall of Peru holds flowers presented to her on her retirement as vice president of nursing and patient care at Rumford Hospital. Honoring her for her 37 years of service are interim Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services Stephany Jacques, left, Rumford Hospital President Peter Wright and Bridgton Hospital Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services Jill Rollins. Submitted photo

PERU — Becky Hall came into the world at Rumford Hospital, as an adult chose a health care career because her father was a patient there, and has now retired from there as vice president of nursing and patient care services.

The 60-year-old Peru resident has spent 37 years at the hospital, and at one time her office was the room she was born in.

Her last day on the job was Feb. 1.

“This was something I was thinking about for close to a year,” she said. “I didn’t want to leave in the middle of a pandemic, but I think we’re on the downside of it now.”

Hall said she decided on a medical profession after losing her father years ago.

“My dad died at a very young age from heart disease, when I was only a young teenager,” she said. “We’d go visit him at Rumford Hospital. On Christmas Day, he was in ICU and the doctor and the nurse in ICU sneaked us in the back way. Kids weren’t allowed in the ICU.

“When we got into his room, there were presents for us that my mother had brought in, and we got to spend a little time with our dad on Christmas. He passed away the following summer, but I’ll never forget that.”

Through her decades of nursing she has seen many changes.

“Probably the biggest change I saw over time was the technology, and how we delivered care. When I started working as a nurse, everything was on paper, and papers would get lost or they’d get wet and smudge. Now everything is on the electronic medical records, and it alerts you when the medication is due or if vital signs are out of whack. It just helps make the nurses’ job a lot easier, for better safe patient care.”

Her impact on the hospital and the River Valley community has been immense, according to some who have worked with her.

“She is one of the reasons I chose to come to Central Maine Healthcare,” Peter Wright, president of Rumford Hospital, said. “Becky’s warm heart and strong leadership skills were a reassuring draw to an otherwise complicated situation. Since then, we have bonded so very well and that bond has held us through what can only be described as the most difficult challenge in both our careers.”

Jolan Ippolito has known Hall since she began serving on the Rumford Hospital Board of Directors in 1997.

“She is the gold standard of health care,” Ippolito said.

“There is absolutely nothing you could ask Becky to do that she would say no to,” Ippolito said. “And when she was finished, the result was way beyond what you asked her to do. Besides the formal positions she has held at Rumford Hospital, Becky has always taken on several side roles as well.”

Ippolito said those side roles include organizing community fundraising for the Heart Walk and Dempsey Challenge, as well as lesser known projects for food and clothing relief in the River Valley.

Karen Wilson, chairwoman of the River Valley Community Health Committee, part of Central Maine Healthcare’s governance system, said, “Becky has been the consistent face of leadership at Rumford Hospital over the years I have known her. As senior leadership has changed, she has been the constant, often taking on the role as interim president.”

Hall said her choice to work at the hospital where she was born and visited her father has rewarded her.

“I was able to work in so many different departments and have professional advancement there,” she said. “It was just a wonderful opportunity that I probably wouldn’t have got anywhere else.”

Her focus has switched from being a leader at the hospital to caring for hospice patients.

“I’m going to do some hospice work,” she said. “Getting back to my roots — bedside care. Years ago, I used to work in a nursing home.

“I want to slow down; not be in charge,” she said.

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