At PPMC, the commitment to providing outstanding care doesn’t end at medical and surgical intervention. Sometimes just spending some time with a furry friend is all our patients need to feel a boost of positivity, and soon enough, pet therapy at Presby will become a reality. After receiving dozens of ideas for the program title, a dual name was chosen combining the creativity of clinical nurse specialist Amanda Szatala, MSN, RN, ACCNS-AG, and perioperative nurse manager Theresa Colyar, MSN, RN, CNOR. Thus, “Presby Pooches: Leashes of Love” was born.

Spearheading the program are Volunteer Services Coordinator Naimah Cann, and Clinical Nurse Specialist Kim Daniels, MSN, ACNS-BC, RN-BC, CCRN. For them, Presby Pooches: Leashes of Love offers patients an additional level of therapeutic care and support. Outpatient Practice Coordinator Janet McMaster, RN, MHSA, CPHQ, has also been instrumental in providing statistics about the impact of pet therapy, as well as the first Presby Pooch! Whether the dogs are helping family members de-stress in the serenity garden or are visiting patients with limited mobility in their rooms, their presence will provide a sense of calm and comfort by reducing blood pressure and easing anxiety.

“This goal is to increase morale among our patients their caregivers, and ultimately to improve their outcomes and help them heal more quickly,” Cann said. “I’m really excited to see our upcoming program grow and become as successful as the pet therapy program at HUP for our hospital community.”

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