REM Award Honorees (2016) — Rona Backstrom (Inland Hospital)

This year, Inland has chosen Rona Backstrom of Waterville as its Volunteer of the Year.

If you’ve ever been to Inland, it’s likely that you have been warmly welcomed at one time or another by Rona. As an Information Desk regular each week, she has been greeting, assisting and escorting people to their appointments since 2001. Rona has a kind, reassuring way about her and we just love having her as one of our excellent first impressions at Inland!

Rona started volunteering at Inland after retiring from a 28-year career with the Maine Department of Labor. She still lobbies the legislature for her Retiree’s Steering Committee and helps with clerical work as needed. Those clerical skills come in handy every week as Rona helps us coordinate Volunteer and Gift Shop reports.

In her spare time, Rona loves to travel—she’s visited 85 countries! She’s an avid golfer and enjoys bridge and cribbage.

According to Rona, “My favorite thing is meeting and assisting people. Inland is a great place to volunteer and I feel that I’m an integral part of the Inland family.”

Maggie Simpson, Inland’s Volunteer Director says Rona is a role model for other volunteers. “We really depend on Rona at the front desk. She is professional, friendly and helpful—and just a really nice person! What else could we ask for?”

To volunteer at Inland, call Maggie Simpson, 861-3325, and at Lakewood, call Michelle Rossignol, 873-5125. For more information about Inland and Lakewood, go to

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