Making a Difference in Boone County

Lew Pitchford has been volunteering at Columbia Manor Care Center since January 2003 and has made weekly visits without fail. Lew was interviewed by Irene Haskins, Tribune columnist, and in Lew's own words: "I try to arrange my schedule or any trips I take so I can be there on Tuesdays. I really don't want to miss a day." "Our duty is to advocate for the resident. We are not working for the nursing home. Administration is very receptive to my comments and always does something about it."

All residents need someone who cares about them and is willing to listen and respond to their needs. Lew certainly fills that need and brightens the day for every resident he sees. And now we face the challenges of COVID! This does not stop Lew from doing everything he can to continue to connect with the residents at Columbia Manor. He found ways to have conversations with residents by connecting with the activity's director who now assists Lew with phone visits. Lew is an inspiration to other volunteers who were struggling to connect with residents or even to get staff to take their calls. After sharing what Lew is doing, some of the other volunteers are trying the same techniques and are now having successful phone visits. Lew's report this week began with this... "It was nice having three good phone visits." We are proud to have Lew on our team and I know he will continue to inspire other Ombudsman Volunteers to never give up!

After serving 24 years in the Army, Lew Pitchford earned his master's degree in radiological health and is a retired radiation safety officer for the University of Missouri.

Thank you for your service, Lew!