As the program continues to comfort Geisinger’s patients at its northeast and central Pennsylvania hospitals, it has also increasingly served hospital staff during the pandemic over the past two years. Due to low volunteer participation during the pandemic, Geisinger is recruiting new volunteers to its program.
Volunteers are needed at all Geisinger campuses, including those in Danville, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Lewistown, among others.
“Our pet therapy program is of great benefit to patients and staff alike,” said Tina McDowell, director of volunteer services. “By volunteering, you can help reduce stress levels and provide a much-needed positive experience for our frontline staff who may be feeling overwhelmed by the effects of the ongoing pandemic. A few minutes of comfort and relief can improve overall mental well-being.
Dogs and handlers must complete Geisinger Volunteer Training with Volunteer Service before serving. Only dogs certified by a program recognized by the American Kennel Club are eligible.
If you would like to learn more about volunteering in the Health System Pet Therapy Program, contact Volunteer Services at 570-271-6230.
Geisinger is committed to facilitating better health for the more than one million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,600 physicians employed, Geisinger boosts the economies of his hometown in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars a year. Learn more at www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.