NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The newest member of the staff at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital works cheap – a few treats and a pat on the head is all Nana needs.
Nana is a 21-month golden retriever who was trained by an organization called K9 Assistance in Georgia, she has joined the hospital staff as an In-residence therapy dog.
Caitlin Leary, a certified child life specialist at Yale-New Haven Children’s is Nana’s handler/partner at the hospital – and at home.
“Nana is going to be working with me at the inpatient units, helping kids coping with their hospitalizations,” said Leary who has worked at the hospital for 14 years.
Nana’s service at the hospital was made possible by The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation through their “Dogs for Joy Program” which aims to train and gift dogs to hospitals all over the region.
The Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation also presented the hospital a check for $100,000 – a grant for its Arts for Health Program.
Nana has already enjoyed success at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, spending the last few weeks getting to learn her new routine with the patients.
Cynthia Sparer, the executive director of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital said, “if we can do things to make it a little easier, a little better, a little more like home, that’s what we want, so the partnership with Dunkin’ is really allowing us to do that and Nana is a perfect addition to the family.”
The hospital has plans to add another therapy dog in the months to come. Leary added that Nana, “lives up to her name – she’s very caring and gentle.”
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