On Sunday, December 7, more than 300 people crowded into the reception area of Rumford Hospital’s new building to hear Peter Chalke, CEO of the Central Maine Medical Family; Jolan Ippolito, president of the Rumford Hospital Board; John Welsh, Rumford Hospital president; and Dr. John Kroger, president of the medical staff, describe the new building as the culmination of years of hard work, extensive planning and preparation.

The new building was named for Welsh in appreciation of his many years of service as president of Rumford Hospital and his perseverance in seeing this dream to fruition. Welsh had known of the recognition for several weeks, having been presented with the board resolution at Rumford Hospital’s annual Employee Awards ceremony.

However, Joseph “Tony” Poirier was completely unaware that the solarium of the new building would be dedicated to him. When the speakers asked him and his wife, Lillian, to step forward, Poirier was still unsure of what was about to happen. Welsh and Ippolito quickly pulled the drape from a plaque dedicating the solarium. Poirier has been a member of the Rumford Hospital Board for 41 years and attested that the board meetings he has missed could be counted on one hand. The Poirier Solarium promises to be a popular place with patients and families, as it replicates the sunny front lobby of the hospital where inpatients and their families sometimes retreat.

The new building allows the hospital to consolidate all of its nursing units – Medical/ Surgical, Maternity and Intensive Care – in a single area with new construction and up-to-the-minute equipment and furnishings. In the new area, patients will enjoy the privacy and quiet of single rooms, each with its own bathroom. On the ground floor, the John H. Welsh Building holds a new, large operating room, new space for the Purchasing and Receiving Department and a conference room nearly double in size of the older one.

For more information about the new building and its features, call Community Relations at 369-1143.

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