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  •  Five employees marked 40 years of service at Rome Memorial Hospital in 2016


     40 year employees 
     COMBINED 200 YEARS OF SERVICE – Five Rome Memorial Hospital employees marked the 40th year of their hospital careers in 2016.  From left, Food Service Manager Liz Nadeau, recently retired Director of Plant Operations Edward Koziarz, Nursing Assistant Ellen Thompson, Registered Nurse Mary Rose Spellicy, and Certified Nursing Assistant/Patient Transporter Marcia Plunkett. 

    The year was 1976. The country was awash in red, white and blue as it celebrated its bi-centennial. A little company called Apple Computers was founded in California with the intent of developing a small computer for personal use, and the first prototype of the space shuttle, the Enterprise, was unveiled to the public.

    At Rome Memorial Hospital, the newly constructed Bartlett Wing opened, expanding capacity for inpatient care and the Residential Health Care Facility, and five young people accepted positions with the hospital that turned into careers that would last more than four decades.

    Celebrating 40 years of employment at Rome Memorial Hospital in 2016 are Food Service Manager Liz Nadeau, Registered Nurse Mary Rose Spellicy, Nursing Assistant Ellen Thompson, Certified Nursing Assistant/Patient Transporter Marcia Plunkett, and just recently retired Director of Plant Operations Edward Koziarz.

    In their 40 years at the hospital, the five worked through continuous advancements and changes in the delivery of healthcare. The country was 200 years old when they started at Rome Memorial Hospital, and today they have a combined 200 years of knowledge and experience which they share with others who have joined their team over the last 40 years.

    To stay with one employer for 40 years is almost unheard of in today’s workforce. So what kept these employees at Rome Memorial Hospital? Without exception, all five said it is the people they work with and the feeling of camaraderie that makes working at RMH so special.

    “Truthfully, what made those years go by so quickly is the good people that worked for me and with me,” Koziarz said. “When you have dedicated people at your side it makes your job that much easier. When push came to shove, we all worked together as a team.”

    “It’s like the place where everyone knows your name,” Nadeau laughed. “And if one hurts, everyone hurts. When someone is going through difficult times, you know you can count on support from your coworkers.”

    “The hospital became home to me,” Spellicy agreed. “It is small enough that you know everyone, so it became an extended family.”

    Of equal importance to the longevity of these hospital employee’s careers, was their commitment to caring for patients.

    “I always wanted to work in a hospital from the time I was little,” said Thompson, who continued to work per diem at the hospital even after she took a full-time position with the state. “I love what I do working with patients.”

    “My mother was a nurse at RMH so I wanted to work here too,” Plunkett said. “I like helping people. I may retire some day, but even then I will probably pick up some hours working at the hospital when I can. I just can’t sit at home. I would rather be doing something helpful.”

    A career of service to patients has continued in Plunkett’s family with her son Michael now the third generation to work at Rome Memorial Hospital. He is a dietary clerk in the Food and Nutrition Department.

    “There is no one memory or event that really stands out to me about my career,” Spellicy explained, “But rather the feeling you get when you have helped a patient and they appreciate it, that is what is most special.”

    In recalling their careers here, most of the 40 year employees noted that 1995 was a major turning point for the hospital when the struggling city-owned hospital became a private not-for-profit hospital. It was a difficult time leading up to privatization with the hospital operating at a loss for 15 out of the 18 years and the city nearing its constitutional taxing limit.

    “We really didn’t know what to expect when we went private,” Nadeau said. “But that is the thing about this hospital. We are always changing. Some may not always agree with all the changes, but what is important is we are always moving forward.”

    Spellicy agreed. “In my 40 years here, planning for the future, to provide the best, most up-to-date quality care, has always been the primary goal for all of us at Rome Memorial Hospital.”