Patricia L. Kranzow has been volunteering for three years and has accrued more than 2,200 volunteer hours in the Education Therapy Section of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service at the Edward Hines, Jr. Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital. She works as a tutor, writing assistant, and computer assistant to paraplegic and quadriplegic hospitalized veterans in the Residential Care Facility (RCF).
With Kranzow’s dedication to education, resourcefulness, and artful persuasion, these veterans are now enrolled in the undergraduate program of the Telecommunications course at Triton College. Despite their severe handicaps, her students have achieved a remarkable grade point average of 4.0 and are members of the President’s List. She also assists another quadriplegic veteran in his pursuit of a legal career through correspondence courses.
As a writing assistant, Kranzow provides the means for the veterans to pursue a writing career. Her efforts have enabled her students’ work to be published in Veteran’s Voices. This publication is devoted exclusively to the works of hospitalized veterans and is published in cooperation with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Kranzow is employed at the University of Chicago Laboratory School as a substitute teacher. She is also a part-time instructor for teachers in the Chicago Public School System at Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys being a Sunday school teacher at Hope Lutheran Church in Countryside, Illinois. She is also a member of the Board of Parish Education, Northern Illinois District, and Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Kranzow is a Past President of the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA), Department of Illinois. As a member of Cicero, Illinois Unit of the ALA, she was instrumental in getting the organization to adopt the RCF patients. The unit conducts bi-annual bingo parties and distributes birthday and holiday cards to all patients. In addition to this, she is a member of the past presidents club of the ALA.
Patricia Kranzow is an exemplary volunteer and serves as a role model for patients, other volunteers and employees. Not only does she offer invaluable support to Hines, but she also serves as an advocate for all veterans. Her superlative performance, coupled with her positive attitude reflects favorably not only on the volunteers but on the Education Therapy Section and Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital.