Beebe Healthcare Offers Pet Therapy
Beebe Healthcare offers pet therapy for patients, visitors, and team members.
This alternative therapy has been shown to decrease blood pressure and improve even short hospital visits for patients and visitors. In addition, having a dog visit team members has been shown to greatly reduce stress.
Lee Halloran, Manager of Volunteer Services, and Jeannie Briley-Wallo, RN, Director of Patient Relations, read an article about the success of pet therapy programs in reducing stress for staff in the hospital setting. The pair decided to craft a new program to bring this special form of therapy to Beebe Healthcare.
Beebe is working with PAWS for People, a Wilmington-based nonprofit 501(c)3 pet therapy organization that recruits, trains, certifies, and places therapy teams in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The PAWS organization helps coordinate teams at more than 130 locations, which now includes Beebe in Lewes.
“This is a pilot program here at Beebe, but it mimics other successful programs at hospitals, including Nemours/A.I. duPont and Christiana Care in Wilmington,” said Halloran. “All of the dogs and handlers have gone through specific training courses for healthcare visitations.”
To start, Beebe will have five therapy dogs and handlers visiting patients, visitors and team members in the Outpatient Cardiology and Same Day Surgery Waiting Areas.
“I am proud to be able to offer one more way to reduce anxiety and stress for our patients, visitors and team members,” said Briley-Wallo. “It is our hope that this program will continue to evolve and grow to serve additional locations within the Beebe Healthcare system.”
For more information on the pilot program at Beebe, contact Lee Halloran at (302) 645-3531.
For more information on Paws for People, go to www.pawsforpeople.org.
Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services.
Caption: Starting in November, Beebe Healthcare is offering pet therapy to patients, visitors, and employees at the Medical Center in Lewes. This program was created through a partnership between Beebe Healthcare and PAWS for People, a Wilmington-based volunteer pet visitation service. Shown (left to right) are Stephanie Barry, Program Director, PAWS for People; Lynne Robinson, Executive Director, PAWS for People; new pet therapy volunteers at Beebe, Lynn Davis of Lewes with Baker, a miniature Australian Labradoodle; Aileen Murray of Lewes with Meisha, a Cavachon; Donna Walker of Bridgeville with Daisy, a Shih Tzu; Kathleen Smith-Jones of Rehoboth Beach with Beau, a Standard Poodle; with Lee Halloran, Manager of Volunteer Services at Beebe and Jeannie Briley-Wallo, RN, Director of Patient Relations.