During an employee engagement event, the staff at HCA Florida Palms West Hospital said so long to the “dog days of summer” with some furry friends.
Sophie, Oliver and Cooper and their humans from Certified Therapy Dog Inc. mingled with visitors in the cafeteria, where the hospital’s employees enjoyed a hot dog bar during the day and night.
Palms West Hospital CEO Jason Kimbrell is working with the Certified Therapy Dog founder Alan Levine to train his own golden retriever, Dax, to be a therapy dog, with plans to bring Dax to comfort patients during their time at the hospital.
The certified therapy dogs were also joined by longtime volunteer Jay Ackerman, who brought his own service dog, Vail. While there, the dogs made the rounds visiting the patients, including the children in the pediatric unit.
“Bringing our dogs to Palms West has just helped us reach the pinnacle of what we are trying to achieve,” Levine said.
Levine’s group also took their therapy dogs to the Broward County Courthouse to comfort the families during the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School sentencing trial.
Levine and his volunteers have committed to routinely visiting the patients and employees. The hospital looks forward to welcoming volunteers, such as Ackerman, back to service before the end of the year.