Therapy Dogs Visit Hospital

Absecon therapy dogs bring joy to AtlantiCare hospital staff over summer
Posted on 09/20/2022
Skye and staff at AtlantiCare

It was an exciting summer for Absecon Public Schools’ therapy dogs, Skye and Hope, who used their special skills to support the staff at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC).

As part of a pilot partnership between the school district and AtlantiCare, Skye and Hope made twice weekly visits to the staff at both the Atlantic City and Mainland campuses of the hospital in July and August.

“Skye and Hope have had a major positive impact on the students, as well as the faculty and staff at Absecon Schools. So to be able to forge this partnership with AtlantiCare and help spread that positivity to some of our Healthcare Heroes has been exceptional,” said Superintendent Dr. Daniel Dooley.

ARMC leadership said the visits were a welcome support and acknowledgement to the dedication of all those at AtlantiCare for their commitment to caring through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Therapy dogs contribute to the healing environment so critical to our dedicated providers and staff,” said James Kilmer, vice president and chief administrative officer, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City Campus. “Over the last two and a half years, our team has steadfastly cared for our patients, our community and each other. We are grateful for the visits Skye and Hope made to our hospital campuses.”

The role of therapy dogs is to positively react and respond supportively to people and their environment, under the guidance and direction of their owner/handler.
Skye and Hope, both Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, were accompanied to the medical centers by their “dad,” Dr. Dooley and other trained members of the Absecon Public Schools staff.

During the hospital visits, Absecon staff brought pizza donated by McHugh’s Pizza in Galloway, flowers donated by Lilies Florals in Galloway, and pretzels from Philly Pretzel Factory in Egg Harbor Township, as well as handmade cards from students in our STARS Summer Program.

If you and your pet are interested in becoming a trained handler and therapy dog, contact Jesse Haas, Senior National Director of Pet Partners, at [email protected].

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