Jack is a three-year old Welsh Corgie. He doesn’t perform surgery, provide medication or check vital signs, but as a “caregiver” at Bayhealth’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Dover, he is a vital player in the healing process that brings smiles to the faces of patients and employees alike.
Donna Henderson, Bayhealth Planetree Coordinator, submitted Jack’s name and bio to be considered for the 2013 Pet Therapy Animal of the Year Award for Planetree. Jack was selected to receive this distinguished award over all entries submitted by 500 Planetree Affiliates from the United States and 13 countries. He and his owner, Kayleigh Karnbach, will be traveling to Montreal, Canada in October to be honored at the 2013 Planetree Annual Conference.
Since 2005, Bayhealth has been incorporating Planetree’s patient-focused model of care, focusing on a holistic approach to healing in all dimensions – “the mind, body and spirit.” Planetree is a non-profit organization that helps patients, families and staff members deliver care from the patient’s perspective.
“Jack and Kayleigh have been instrumental in making a significant difference in the lives of our patients in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center,” said Bayhealth Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Executive Bonnie Perratto, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE.
Karnbach, a physical therapy/occupational therapy aide and registrar at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center brings Jack to work with her every Tuesday and Thursday.
“Patients like to try to schedule their therapy appointments around Jack,” smiled Bayhealth Director of Rehabilitation Services Effie Elliott, PT, DPT, FACHE. “The staff is always happy to see him as well. Having a pet around boosts everyone’s happiness and makes us all have a good day.”
In addition to visiting patients during their therapy sessions, Jack has also proven instrumental in the therapy process as well, particularly with pediatric patients. He participates with feeding and speech activities, by allowing children with eating disorders to feed him, and fetching and returning thrown balls. Many times, he simply rests next to a child receiving therapy as a source of comfort.