Four Legged Volunteers Provide Comfort
In recognition of National Therapy Animal Day on April 30, Northwestern Medicine salutes the four-legged volunteers and their human handlers who visit patients across the health system. Interactions with therapy dogs have been shown to improve moods, lower blood pressure and reduce heart rate, pain and anxiety.
Canine Therapy Corps has worked with Northwestern Memorial Hospital to provide room-to-room dog visitations since 2010. Eighteen teams of dogs and their human companions visit inpatients and outpatients in medical, oncology and neuro/ortho/spine departments offering Animal-Assisted Activity (AAA) services, which aim to bring comfort and companionship to patients and their loved ones.
Canine therapy programs are also offered at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, which has three dogs that visit patients in neurology and pediatrics; at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, which has a service corps of 11 canines; Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital has one dog that visits patients on all floors and one dog that visits patients at vaccine clinics; and at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, which includes one-on-one dog therapy on request.
Watch the video below to meet one therapy dog named Sedona and her owner, Lori Schneider, program leader for Canine Therapy Corps at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.