Perhaps it’s her big smile, the friendly eyes behind her wire-rimmed glasses or the way she doesn’t let a simple “I’m fine” pass without a follow-up question.
Judith Sullivan, 66, is a volunteer with the Coulee Region Volunteer Ombudsman Program for the Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long Term Care. Once a week she knocks on the doors of resident rooms at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse. She asks about the food, the staff and their overall well-being. She typically hears no complaint. But, when residents have a problem, she isn’t afraid to tell the administration.
“My role here is (to be) the eyes of the public and the voice of the residents,” she said.
....The Volunteer Ombudsman Program was started in 1994 to reduce the burden on regional ombudsmen — 14 paid employees who monitor 400 nursing homes in the state. In 2008, the program expanded to 20 new counties, including those in the Coulee Region, said Karen Price, coordinator of the program. Eight volunteer ombudsmen are now serving in La Crosse County, and Price is searching for more. The main qualifications? Be open-minded and care about others, Price said.
Read the full article [here] and learn more about the Wisconsin Board on Aging & Long Term Care Volunteer Ombudsman Program [here].
Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.
Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.
He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.
(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)