RUMFORD — Five years ago, the Central Maine Medical Family developed the GEMS program, which recognizes clinical staff and clinical support staff for excellence in five areas: clinical excellence, customer service, education and research, leadership and community service. The ultimate goal of the program is to demonstrate commitment to excellence in patient care throughout the system.

GEMS stands for Growth, Enthusiasm, Motivation and Spirit. The GEMS program recognizes staff at three levels, or steps, of achievement: Sapphire, Ruby and Diamond. In order to keep standards high, staff members are awarded GEMS status for two years, after which they must reapply for their current level or a higher level.

Staff members apply to the program by meeting a required number of criteria and submitting proof of certifications, education and leadership, as well as their managers’ co-signature on special forms. At each hospital – Bridgton Hospital, Central Maine Medical Center and Rumford Hospital – an interdisciplinary committee, comprised of both clinical and non-clinical people, reviews the applications, making certain the applicants have met all the criteria. Managers are not eligible for the GEMS program.

Steve Brownell, RN, CNOR, is one of five new GEMS. He has been awarded the Sapphire level. He has worked at Rumford Hospital’s surgical services for the last two years for a total of 10 years in the operating room. Brownell lives in Peru and is a volunteer for the Dixfield Seventh-day Adventist Church and Webb River Christian School community projects.

Frances (Fran) Hannon, RN, Sapphire, has worked in the Rumford Hospital operating room for 18 years. Prior to joining the surgical team, she was a nurse on Medical/Surgical for 11 years. Hannon lives in Rumford and recently volunteered for the Pamper Yourself Day at the hospital, sponsored by the Dempsey Center, for women living with cancer.

Nichole Lesperance, RN, Sapphire, has been a nurse on Rumford Hospital’s Medical/Surgical service for two years. She lives in Jay.

Andrea Swasey, RN, has been a nursing supervisor at Rumford Hospital for two years. A nurse for seven years, she previously worked in the emergency rooms at MMC and CMMC. Swasey has been awarded the Ruby level. She lives in Andover.

Amanda Tozier, RN, Sapphire, works primarily in the Birthing Center at Rumford Hospital, but she is also occasionally works in Medical/Surgical where she originally worked when she came to the hospital five years ago. Tozier lives in Canton.

Among renewing GEMS is Kim Akers, RN. This is her third GEMS award at the Ruby level. She works in Day Surgery, recovery and the operating room. A registered nurse since 1996, she worked at the Rumford Community Home as a CNA and med tech while attending nursing school. Akers lives in Rumford and was a member of the School Advisory Board at Holy Savior School, where she also has taught an adolescent health class.

Dale Gaudreau, RN, another renewing Ruby-level GEMS, has worked on Medical/Surgical for eight years, one as a CNA and seven as an RN. She spent 19 years as a CNA before going to nursing school. Gaudreau lives in Greenwood and is youth director of the Woodstock White Tails Pathfinders.

Sylvia Goodman, RN, Diamond, works in intensive care and has been with Rumford Hospital for 17 years. She has been a nurse for a total of 34 years. She lives in Rumford with her retired surgeon husband. Goodman is a CPR instructor, helps coordinate the organ donor program, is a member of the Outreach Education Council and, away from medicine, sings with RAAPA.

Deb Gorham, RN, renewed her Diamond status for the third time. She had worked at Rumford Hospital for 30 years before recently accepting a job at Central Maine Medical Center and moving to Lewiston. Gorham was a River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition board member for 13 years, a 20-plus year volunteer with the Girl Scouts and a 15-year veteran of the SAD 21 Wellness Team.

Katherine Hutchinson, RN, also renewed to the Diamond level. A Rumford Hospital nurse since 1980, she has worked in the operating room since 1986. Hutchinson lives in Peru and has made quilts for raffles to benefit the March for Babies and the Dempsey Challenge.

Heather Kellogg, RN, renewed to the Diamond level of GEMS. She has worked at Rumford Hospital for 12 years, the last seven primarily in the operating room, although she still fills in in the Emergency Department when needed. Kellogg lives in Bryant Pond and participated in both the Trek Across Maine and the Dempsey Challenge last year. She is also vice president of the Woodstock Elementary School PTA.

Elizabeth (Betty) Palmer, BSN, renewed to the Diamond level. A nurse for 33 years, she worked at Rumford Hospital from 1971 to 1995 and returned in 2002 to work in the Emergency Department. In the past, Palmer presented community education programs including diabetes education, CPR and first aid classes. She lives in Dixfield.