Former patient transforms into super volunteer

For Harry Lutzer, the best way to pay back the people who cared for him is to pay if forward.

“Because Harry received compassionate care as a patient, he has mirrored this life-changing experience by infusing his own life and stories into the people he serves weekly,” says Brenda Shim, Manager, Volunteer Services, Misericordia Community Hospital and Villa Caritas. “At the heart of his volunteering is his intent and focus to ensure that each experience he has with a patient is a quality one.” 

Harry Lutzer has volunteered about 460 hours at the Misericordia Community Hospital and Villa Caritas over the past five years.

“My time is theirs from the time I meet with them until the time I leave to go home for the day,” says Harry Lutzer. 

Harry was just named “Volunteer of the Year“ by the Alberta Continuing Care Association (ACCA). The ACCA Awards of Excellence highlight individuals dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in continuing care. Harry demonstrated exemplary client care through a commitment to quality, compassion, excellence and enriching patient lives.

Harry currently works with patients at Villa Caritas, where he interacts with seniors receiving care for cognitive function challenges.

Whether he is taking a person for a walk outside on a warm day, talking to them about what is important to them, singing with them or participating in other activities, Harry's focus is 100 per cent on patients, says Brenda.

“He knows that it matters and this fuels him to continue.”

Harry is also involved with Saint-Thomas, a Covenant Care facility in Edmonton. He was Chairman of the Residence Committee from 2010 to 2014. He continues his service by remaining involved in events and presentations, as well as providing one-to-one support, motivation and inspiration promoting well-being.  

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