Nursing Home Visitation Program
People Who Care - a University Wisconsin Whitewater Sponsored Program

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Smiling, sharing, caring, forming relationships, loving, laughing, and making a difference...that is what we do! The UW-Whitewater Nursing Home Visitation Program was founded in 1975 with one exceptional student and one special professor. 44 years ago, Peggy Collins approached her professor Dr. Clifford O'Beirne, known as "Doc", and asked him if she could visit a resident at a nearby nursing home for extra credit. Thrilled with the idea, Doc agreed. Little did they both know what an extraordinary start this was to the greatest program here at UW-Whitewater. Over the past 43 seven years, gradually more students joined the program visiting residents. Currently, UWW students visit eight different nursing homes on different days and times throughout the week. Each group is led by a fabulous coordinator who as Doc would say is "not good, but great"! They live by the mottos of "only positives" and "good results, not good excuses" which makes this program a positive experience and fun for everyone. Each group is overseen by the head-coordinator and Doc who support the groups tremendously. Together this teams' dedication is the foundation of the program. To date, UWW students have made over 220,000 visits to nearby nursing homes. This proves the success of the program, which is a reflection of the wonderful students who have volunteered their time to reach out to others.

Throughout the years, there have been so many wonderful people who have contributed to the success of this program that we are sincerely grateful for. First of all, we would like to thank Dr. O'Beirne for his continual dedication, support, and love for the program. Without him, thousands of people would not have been touched. We would also like to thank several other important people: Doc's wife Brenda for her support year after year; the current and previous coordinators for all of their hard work and dedication; the UWW student volunteers for sharing their time and reaching out to others; all of the residents whom we visit with for their hospitality and kindness; the activity directors from each nursing home for their efforts and support; the Whitewater motorpool and Lisa for providing us with transportation; the past UWW Chancellors and the current Chancellor, Richard Telfer, for their contributions; and to everyone else who has helped make this program a success.
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