Bob McGrew has been part of Hudson Hospital since it began
Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Meg Heaton
Bob McGrew has been part of Hudson’s community hospital since the it first opened back in 1953.
Back when he was the advertising manager at the Hudson Star-Observer, his boss and the paper’s then owner Yvette Ward was heading up an intense effort to build Hudson’s first hospital. A photo from newspaper at the time the facility first opened shows McGrew and John Bonfein, then Hudson Booster Club members, putting up the first directional signs. Some fifty years later, another photo showed McGrew putting up a sign for the new facility that opened in 2003.
McGrew, 85, said volunteering at the hospital has been a part of his life and that of his wife, Lorraine, ever since doing “anything they needed.”
Over that time, McGrew has volunteered in the hospital’s chemical dependency program, in medical records, with Meals on Wheels when it was part of the hospital and at the front desk, offering information and assistance along with a familiar face and a warm greeting.
These days McGrew volunteers a full day on Fridays at the reception desk and two other days a week in medical records, regularly putting in 18-20 hours each week. He says he does it because he loves to be around people and that is the businesses of the hospital. “And all of us who live a long time, need to find some way of giving back to the community where we live.”
The interview with McGrew is interrupted several times as people who know him stop to say hello and catch up. Jenny Hauser who works at the reception area with him says, “He knows everybody and they love to talk with him. He’s a part of old Hudson and that’s an important part of the job he does here.”
“I do know a lot of people I see but over the past 10 years, I’ve noticed that I know fewer of them than I used to,” said McGrew. But McGrew’s warm welcome and genial personality makes even newcomers feel at home in their hospital.
When asked about his memories over the years, he is quick to point out, that even as a volunteer, the privacy of the people who come to the hospital is paramount. “It is important no matter where you work here, as an employee or a volunteer, to respect that.”
McGrew encourages others to consider volunteering. “it’s a great place because there are so many opportunities and places to volunteer and your work is really appreciated here.”
McGrew and Lorraine have not only supported the hospital as volunteers but have been financial supporters from the beginning as well. “I think it boils down to something simple. We feel we belong here.”
Expect to see McGrew at his volunteer posts for the foreseeable future. “God willing, I plan to keep it up.”