East Georgia Regional Medical Center features a pet therapy program as a part of an overall goal of better meeting the various needs of the hospital’s inpatient population. Pawsitive Connections of Statesboro, a Chapter of Therapy Dogs International, is the local resource for these therapy dog associates.
Therapy dogs who have served East Georgia Regional Medical Center include: Sadie, Heidi, Sunny, Barnabas, Bitsy, Tarrah, Wrigley and Jenga. Their handlers are Laura Collins, Cheri Duffey, Linda Carlson, Jerri Kropp, Mary Rottier, Susan Humma. Each handler is trained and certified in the use of their therapy dog(s) in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice settings, mental health settings or any other place where their therapy dogs may be of benefit to an individual or group of individuals.
Therapy Dogs International, Inc. is a non-profit organization of volunteers organized to provide qualified handlers with their therapy dogs for visitations to institutions, facilities and any other place where therapy dogs are needed at no charge. The primary objective of the TDI dog and handler is to provide comfort and companionship by sharing the dog with patients. This is done in a way that increases emotional well-being, promotes healing, and improves the quality of life of those who are being visited and the staff who care for them.
Therapy dogs are on-site Sunday afternoons, Tuesday mornings and Tuesday afternoons for hospital patients. If you would like pet therapy for your loved one, please ask the physician for a pet therapy referral. For more information, please contact John Geerdes at (912) 486-1989.
The next time you visit East Georgia Regional Medical Center, don't be suprised if a therapy dog greets you - and yes, it's okay to pet them.