Peterborough – Monadnock Community Hospital has joined a growing list of healthcare facilities offering pet therapy services for their patients. Administered through MCH’s Volunteer department, therapeutic pet handlers accompany one of three highly-trained dogs currently supporting the program. The service began in February and was spearheaded by MCH’s Volunteer coordinator Toni Gildone, and is available upon patient request. Pet therapy has been shown to lower anxiety and promote relaxation, in addition to fostering the release of serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin –all hormones that can play a role in elevating mood.
Sporting numerous world-class dog-training championship titles among them, the three dogs introduced at MCH have earned universal praise. “Mia” is a Miniature Pincher/small Beagle cross, “Minka” is a Cavalier Spaniel/Bichon Frise cross, while “Coffee” is a Chihuahua. Among them, they have logged over 300 patient visits prior to their experiences at MCH.
“Patients are thrilled when a dog arrives,” said Christy-Sue Solomon, Director of the Medical Surgical and Intensive Care Units. “Each of these dogs have a friendly and unique personality. They have a very calming presence, with a natural ability to cheer patients up. This program has been a welcome addition to our inpatient care.”
Photo: Claudia A. Cleary, RN, BSN, MSN, Lucy Byrnes, Maura Pascucci and Lisa Blais with “Coffee”
Monadnock Community Hospital is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital offering medical, surgical and Intensive Care, Obstetrics, Pediatrics, and Mental Health services. In addition, a wide variety of outpatient services are available, including an extensive Primary Care Network, Wellness, Cardiac and Physical Rehabilitation Services, 24-hour Emergency Care, a fully equipped laboratory and an extensive Radiology department. MCH is blessed with strong leadership and a dedicated medical community that allows us to meet the ever-changing requirements of today’s healthcare environment. As that environment changes, MCH is also committed to changing and providing the communities we serve with appropriate and innovative programs.