Golisano Therapy Dog

He can be spotted playing fetch in the halls, demonstrating the importance of medical equipment, and offering a little extra comfort to children who aren’t feeling their best. “Those kids, they light up when they see him coming down the hallway or when they see him come into their room, and we have yet to have someone say no, they don’t want a visit from him,” said Erika Zalecky, a child life specialist with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Monday through Friday, a two-year-old golden doodle, named Dorian, is a full-time employee at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “He’s a professionally trained service dog. There are specific things to our hospital, and our job, and our role as child specialists in our units that we are training him specifically for,” explained Anna Stephanz, a child life specialist with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Dorian’s main objective is to distract children and their parents from any fear or discomfort in the hospital. “If a child is frightened to get up on the x-ray table or the MRI table, he can get up there and show them that it’s ok. He can lay with a child during an IV start or getting an EEG,” said Stephanz.

Dorian is well accustomed to the hospital environment, at just seven weeks old, he started training to be a service dog. At 10 months old, he began special medical training at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Hospital.

“Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robins have a grant called Join a Childhood foundation, and this year they granted 11 hospitals throughout the nation a facility dog, and we were one of them. It is a three-year grant and we have no doubt that the generous community of Fort Myers will be able to help us keep Dorian working here,” Stephanz said.

Just another way, Golisano Children’s Hospital is keeping children and their families comfortable in the hospital.

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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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Author: admin-Ben