Being in a hospital setting can be a stressful situation. I heard a doctor refer to it once as White Coat Syndrom when patients get nervous when seeing a doctor.

An easy way to distract patients who may need a little joy in their day while at the hospital is therapy animals.

Some Hudson Valley hospitals have enlisted the help of therapy dogs to spread joy and kindness throughout the hospital.

What is a Therapy Dog?

What exactly is a therapy dog? According to the American Kennel Club, Therapy dogs are dogs that "go with their owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes."

The AKC goes on to explain some of the job duties of a Therapy Dog writing:

From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in assisted living, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people.

Dog owners can learn more about how their dog can become a therapy dog on the American Kennel Club website. 

Hudson Valley Hospitals Enlist the Help of Therapy Dogs to Spread Joy

Last week, Northern Dutchess Hospital shared a photo of one of their volunteers. His name is Case and he is one of the goodest boys ever.

We reached out to Northern Dutchess Hospital to learn more about Case who is a therapy dog at Vassar Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Associate of Public/Community Affairs at Northern Dutchess Hospital, Robyn Scarchilli, tells us that for the most part "Each hospital in the Nuvance network has a therapy dog program" and each week a therapy dog will visit the hospitals with their "fur parent."

Scarchilli adds the therapy dogs will walk around the hospital for about an hour or so to:

Simply bring joy and brighten the days of patients and staff. And as you may have guessed… everyone LOVES when the dog(s) come to visit! Sometimes the dogs will even be dressed up in cute outfits around the holidays. In a high-stress environment, sometimes all you need is to pet a dog to feel better.

Case received his therapy certification from The Good Dog Foundation and his training specialties include Emotional support and Companionship.

Keep an eye on the Northern Dutchess Hospital's social media accounts for more introductions to their therapy dogs.

If you see Case make sure to tell him he's a good boy!

Northern Dutchess Hospital
Northern Dutchess Hospital

While we're on the topic of local hospitals, take a look at some of the top-rated in New York State:

9 Hospitals In New York State Among Best In America

These nine hospitals across New York State are considered some of the very best in all of the United States.

When it comes to therapy animals, many automatically think of dogs. But therapy animals can range from dogs to pigs and goats too!

Meet the Hiking Therapy Animals of the Hudson Valley

Eleanor Pigby made a splash on social media around the Hudson Valley this week. Turns out she's part of a pretty special team. Get to know Eleanor and the rest of the Pets For Purpose Animal Therapy group of The Summit School in Nyack.

10 New York State Hospitals Rank Among The World’s Best

Newsweek magazine recently published its ranking of the top hospitals in the world and 10 are here in New York State. Who made this list?

Newsweek based its list of the Top 250 hospitals on earth based on four criteria: patient care, research, innovation, and consistency. 2023 marks the fifth year the publication put together data on hospitals from around the world. This year's data reportedly includes more than 2,300 hospitals from 28 countries, approximately 400 in the Unites states.

Here's the ones from New York State:

Gallery Credit: Dave Wheeler

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