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Geisinger seeking volunteers for pet therapy program

Geisinger is seeking volunteers for Paws to Reflect, an innovative program aimed at combating burnout and trauma by connecting health care professionals with pet therapy and peer support to provide relief and comfort in a safe environment.

“We asked our caregivers what would help them feel more supported and get them through a difficult day. They responded with two very clear needs: more emotional support and more puppies,” said Brittany Drumm, program director of the health network’s Center for Professionalism and Well-Being. “Our teams do such incredible work, and this program will give us the chance to bring them comfort, resources, safe spaces and moments of respite.”

To be eligible, dogs and their handlers must complete Geisinger volunteer training and be certified by Therapy Dogs International, the Alliance of Therapy Dogs or a therapy dog certification program recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Last fall, Geisinger was one of three health organizations to receive grant funding for Paws to Reflect during the first NurseHack4Health Pitch-A-Thon. Geisinger nurses and members of Geisinger’s Center for Professionalism and Well-Being and the Volunteer Services Department presented the program to the panel.

While this initiative was launched through a nursing innovation competition, Geisinger intends to expand the program to support not only its nursing teams, but all employees.

To learn more about volunteering for Paws to Reflect, email or visit

Source: Berkshire mont

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