Thank you for your interest in Gifford. We are a non-profit community medical center, a Critical Access Hospital and Federally Qualified Health Center with more than 110 years of experience in providing high-quality, accessible health care to the people of the White River Valley and central Vermont regions. Started by Dr. John Gifford in 1903, Gifford has retained much from its modest beginnings and also changed significantly.
Just like Dr. Gifford, today’s medical providers place patient care first. Our providers and staff, many of whom have been with us for decades, are committed to compassionately caring for patients, improving lives and bettering overall community health.
But the Gifford of today has also grown and changed. We have added substantial technology, square footage and personnel since the early days. Gifford now has more than 600 employees and nine locations. We offer advanced diagnostic technologies, accessible primary care through Gifford Health Care, diverse specialty and surgical care, high-quality emergency and inpatient care, a renowned Birthing Center and an award-winning nursing home that will soon be part of a senior living community. We’re extremely proud of all aspects of our medical center – from the cleanliness of our facilities to the quality of our food to the compassion of our staff.
We also take pride in our record of energy efficiency, financial stability and community commitment. We purchase locally grown produce for our patient and staff meals, we offer annual grants and scholarships, staff members donate countless hours to organizations and schools, and we invest in the local economy.
We are an organization truly committed to you and are thankful for the privilege of serving as your medical home. We hope you enjoy exploring our website and learning more about Gifford. As always, we welcome your feedback and your visit. To be part of the conversation, consider “liking” us on Facebook to receive notices on hospital happenings, such as free educational talks and new providers to our area. You can also share your thoughts and ideas with a member of our team or volunteer board. A listing of our board members follows.
Joseph Woodin, Administrator
“As a community hospital, Gifford’s mission is to improve the health of the people we serve by providing and assuring access to affordable and high-quality health care, and by promoting the health and well-being of everyone in our service area.”
Gus Meyer, chair
Gus Meyer has been calling Vermont home since the age of 9 and has lived in the same house in Randolph for more than three decades. He’s a private practice psychologist working primarily in central Vermont schools providing evaluations for special education eligibility.
Gus is a Middlebury College graduate and earned both his master’s degree and Ph.D. at Washington State University in clinical psychology. He previously worked at the Clara Martin Center and has made giving back to his community a priority. He served a term on the selectboard, has worked for decades with the local Boys and Girls Club and helped start the Orange County Diversion Board. He joined the Gifford board in 2006 and calls the volunteer position an honor.
Peter Nowlan, vice chair
Born and raised in West Windsor, Peter Nowlan studied history at the University of Vermont before being drafted in 1968. He entered officer candidate school, serving for five years as an infantry captain in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.
When he returned to Vermont, Peter read a Rutland Herald article about the Vermont Law School being established. He was a member of the charter class of 1973, graduating in 1976. He spent a couple of years as an assistant attorney general before opening his own practice in Randolph in 1981. He still operates that practice today.
A Randolph resident, Peter has served the community as a past village trustee and then a selectman, school board member, Town Meeting monitor and joined the Gifford board in 2012.
Lincoln Clark, treasurer
A New York City native and Middlebury College graduate, Lincoln Clark spent his career in the publishing and marketing, communications and research industries in New York City. He moved to Vermont full-time in 1984, first working for a New York-based company and then running his own business.
He retired more than a decade ago, joined Gifford’s board in the late 1990s and then again in 2010. A Royalton resident, he is also his town’s trustee of public funds and helps review requests to the revolving loan fund. He’s a past member of the Royalton Planning Commission, has been active with the South Royalton School and was on the Vermont Institute of Natural Science board. He was also an alumni interviewer for Middlebury College for 25 years.
Bob Wright, secretary
Bob Wright worked his way up from the foundry floor to manager at Vermont Castings in Randolph. Born at Gifford and raised in Randolph, Bob attended local schools and then college for a couple of years before starting at Vermont Castings. He was promoted to foundry manager in 1986 – a position he has held since, working out of the same office for nearly three decades.
A Brookfield resident, Bob is active in the business community, as a member and past board member of the local chamber of commerce, the Randolph Rotary club and Gifford. Bob has served as a past vice chair and chair of the Gifford board. He participates because of his enjoyment of community service and his admiration for Gifford’s success.
Joseph Woodin, Administrator
Joseph Woodin studied industrial engineering and operations research at the University of Massachusetts and earned a master’s in administration from St. Michael’s College. Before launching a decades-long career in health care leadership, Joe was an industrial engineer in manufacturing for the Belden Wire and Cable Co. He spent seven years at Central Vermont Medical Center as a senior executive and five years at what is now Fletcher Allen Health Care in its management services department.
Joe joined Gifford in 1999 as first chief operating officer but was quickly promoted in 2000 to chief executive officer and president. Under his leadership, Gifford since has operated “in the black,” meeting both its state-approved budget and operating margin. Joe lives in Randolph.
A fifth generation dairy farmer, David Ainsworth has moved towns since growing up, but not farms. His 450-acre Route 14 farm spans the Royalton/Sharon town line. David grew up on the Sharon side and has since moved to the South Royalton side and a community he enriches in more ways than one.
A graduate of South Royalton schools and the University of Vermont, David is the Royalton town moderator and has been since 1990. He’s been a justice of the peace since 1980 and is a director of the Tunbridge World’s Fair. He is active in the arts, playing in the South Royalton Band and acting and singing in a variety of theatrical productions in his earlier years. He’s also active in the dairy industry, served two terms in the House of Representatives and has served on the Gifford board for nine years.
William Baumann Jr.
Bill Baumann missed being a true Vermonter by a matter of months. His family moved from Long Island to Alburg when Bill was 6 months old. What he lacks by birthright, he has made up for in endeavor. In a 47-year engineering career, Bill has contributed significantly to the local landscape and downtown, including serving as project engineer for the design phase of the Vermont Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Randolph Center.
Bill attended Norwich University and worked for the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps and a New York-based firm before joining DuBois & King in Randolph in 1969. He rose through the ranks to president and majority owner until organizing an employee buyout to keep the company local.
Today Bill of Randolph is retired – mostly. He joined the Gifford board in 2009 to help support such a vital local institution.
Carol Bushey grew up in Tunbridge, moving to Randolph Center as a teen and soon heading off to the Thompson School of Practical Nursing. She went on to work as a nurse, including at Gifford, until transitioning to a long career in real estate and then insurance. In 2001, she bought and still operates The Frankenburg Agency in Randolph.
Carol now lives in Brookfield and invests significant time and effort in bettering her community. She spent more than a decade helping to coordinate a golf tournament for Make-a-Wish Vermont, serves on the board of the Randolph Area Food Shelf and joined the Gifford board last year, quickly getting involved in charity events like Gifford’s Last Mile Ride as a participant and as a business sponsor.
Linda Chugkowski was born and raised in Northfield and, other than a few years spent in New York, has lived there since. Even Linda’s employer – Northfield Savings Bank – bears the Northfield name.
Linda has worked in banking for more than four decades. She joined Northfield Savings Bank in 1979 and has spent the last nearly two decades as a mortgage originator.
She joined Gifford’s board in 2007 and has taken a special interest in the Last Mile Ride, in which she participates and is a top fundraiser each year.
Leo Connolly grew up in Rutherford, N.J., home of the New York Giants, attended Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania and went on to work for Bear Stearns on Wall Street. A love of skiing brought him to Vermont and he moved here full-time in 1994 and went to work at Vermont National Bank. He moved to Randolph in 2000, opened a local Edward Jones branch and got involved in the community.
Leo, an asset management specialist by trade, serves on the Randolph Rotary, Randolph Historical Society, Randolph Technical Career Center and Gifford boards. He joined the Gifford board in 2012.
An Oregon native, Randy Garner always thought he’d work in funeral service, but an unexpected 24-year career as a paramedic came first. Randy was an EMT even before graduating from high school. He did paramedic training while in college studying accounting. While still in school at age 20, the privately-owned ambulance company where he worked was going on the market. Randy bought it and ran it until 1998 when he moved to Vermont.
Randy had been visiting for Vermont for several years, spending a month working at Day’s Funeral Home in Randolph while the owner went away. When he moved to Vermont full-time he joined Day’s as first an employee and then part-owner. A Randolph resident, he also got involved in his community as part of the Randolph Rotary, Bethany Church, Chandler and Gifford. A past chair, he is in his 12th year on the Gifford board.
Sheila Jacobs had an early start with Gifford. She was born at Gifford and her first job was staffing the switchboard in the evenings.
In 1984, she started what would be decades-long career in banking, climbing through the ranks and leading to her current role as assistant vice president and branch manager for Mascoma Savings Bank’s historic Bethel location. Her move to the Bethel branch meant an opportunity to return to the community she loves and, after 22 years spent living in White River Junction, Sheila moved back to her native Randolph in 2000.
Since then, she has gotten involved her community. She is a member of the Randolph Area Hospice, is on the board of the White River Valley Chamber of Commerce, is a member of the Randolph Rotary Club, a justice of the peace and joined the Gifford board in 2013.
Despite 30 years living across the country in California, Linda Morse is more familiar with Gifford than some. She was born at Gifford, she grew up in Randolph and her father, Leslie Morse, served as Gifford administrator from 1957-1968.
Linda is a retired environmental planner by trade. She received her undergraduate degree in math from Middlebury College and attended graduate school at the University of California – Berkeley, studying landscape architecture.
She moved back to Vermont full-time in 2005 and became involved in Chandler, serves on the Braintree Conservation Commission and joined the Gifford board in 2013 to support the health and well-being of the Randolph and greater communities.
A seventh generation Vermonter, Fred Newhall grew up in Berlin and attended Norwich University as part of the Corps of Cadets, achieving the rank of Captain Chief of Investigations for the Headquarters Company as part of the Air Force ROTC.
When it came time for graduation, Fred opted for civilian life and put his accounting degree to work as an accountant, controller or chief financial officer at a host of primarily Vermont manufacturing companies. He is currently controller at Maponics in White River Junction.
Now a Randolph resident, Fred joined the board in 2012 as an opportunity to serve the community.
Barbara Rochat moved to Chelsea in 1980 to escape the “suburbia” of New Jersey. The property Barb and her family bought was an old farm, but Barb had no plans of farming. That is until her husband bought her a couple of sheep one year for her birthday. In the decades since, the Rochats have seen their herd grow to more than 50 sheep, started selling meat, added chickens, and bought Rutland-based Vermont Quality Meats, which ships a variety of Vermont food products to primarily New York and Boston markets.
Barb is also a past EMT in Chelsea and in 2008 joined the Gifford board. Like sheep farming, volunteering in health care came with a learning curve, but Barb is happy to be affiliated with such a “shining star in the field.”
Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara, Medical Staff president
Dr. Ellamarie Russo-DeMara is a gynecology, and specially certified menopause practitioner at Gifford’s Bethel and White River health centers. Dr. Russo-DeMara attended Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y., and the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, also in New York. Her residency was at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn.
A gynecologist for more than 20 years, she joined Gifford in 2005, served as chairwoman of Gifford Ob/Gyn and Midwifery until 2010 and currently serves as president of Gifford’s Medical Staff. In addition, she is a member of the State Board of Health, a position appointed by the governor. She lives in Sharon.
Missing: Mona Colton, Paul Kendall