Canines Contribute to Care at Wake Forest Baptist
Forest Baptist Medical Center has more than 700
volunteers. Sixteen of them have paws.
16 – all dogs – are members of Wake Forest Baptist’s Animal Assisted Therapy
program. Representing a variety of breeds – including Portuguese water dog,
golden retriever, pug and springer spaniel – they contribute to treatment and
healing in a variety of ways.
dogs work with inpatients and outpatients of all ages in different areas of the
Medical Center, from Brenner Children’s Hospital to the Sticht Center on Aging.
The services they provide range from helping people with brain injuries regain
their motor skills to simply easing the stress and anxiety that can come from
being in the hospital.
to work with these wonderful dogs and their owners,” said Suzanne Melcher
Thompson, who has been the coordinator of the Animal Assisted Therapy program
since it was established in 1999. “No matter where they are or what their
particular task may be, the dogs always bring smiles to people here. And not
just patients. Family members, visitors and the staff also enjoy seeing the
dogs and, I think, benefit from their presence.”
the therapy dogs at Wake Forest Baptist are certified by one of two national
organizations, and each one had to pass a behavior and temperament test before
receiving a Medical Center ID badge and gold volunteer vest. (The dogs’ owners,
meanwhile, are subject to the same application and screening process as all
other prospective volunteers.)
of the therapy dogs on active duty is Sadie, a six-year-old golden
retriever-lab mix who visits patients at Wake Forest Baptist once a week.
has been a therapy dog since she was a year old and going to the hospital is
the highlight of her week,” said her owner, Catherine Rutter of Winston-Salem.
more information about Wake Forest Baptist’s Animal Assisted Therapy program,
call 336-713-3088 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 2/29/2016http://www.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases/2016/Canines_Contribute_to_Care_at_Wake_Forest_Baptist.htm
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