Living a philosophy of “man’s best friend also can be a healer,” Franciscan Health Crown Point celebrated the first anniversary of its Pet Therapy program Dec. 14, with a gathering in the hospital’s Marian Education Center that was attended by most of the team members and their canines. The program has brought relief and pleasure to hundreds of patients and their families throughout the hospital since its inception, thanks to the two-year effort of coordinator Julie Canady, an administrative assistant in the Franciscan Health Marketing Department. Seven dogs initially joined the effort, with a total of 25 projected by January.
During the celebration, handlers received gift bags that included portraits of their dogs, created on computer software, copied from photos, done by Franciscan Health employee Tracy Moreland-Lageveen. Photo printing was done courtesy of Accucraft. The bags also contained cups, blankets and t-shirts. Owners enjoyed lunch, while the pets received treats, in the shape of dog bones or paws, with their names on them. Shown, from left, are: Pam Stanberry of St. John, with Bufflyn; Debi Frey of Monee, Ill., with Lyric; Jackie Wood of Cedar Lake, with Zena; Jan Koutelas of Valparaiso, with Teddy and Alex; Noel Collins of Crown Point, with Lou; Sue Markle of Crown Point and Colby; Harvey Roller of Crown Point and Maddie; Jo Belleville of DeMotte, with Max; and Corey Liss of Crown Point, with Knox.
Not shown are Chris Tebbens of Hebron and Cambree; Tracy Shines of Griffith and Bella; and Barb Orosz of Kouts and Blackjack. For more information on the program, call Canady at (219) 613-6640, or (219) 661-3299.