May 2021 – Denver, Colorado
Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation is thrilled to announce the launch of our newest program, PAWS for RMHC, in collaboration with our partners at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children and support from Petsmart Charities.
PAWS for RMHC is a hospital facility dog program at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC). In May 2021, we welcomed the first dog, Posey, into the program. Posey was trained at Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Following nationally accepted best practices for Pet Therapy of service dogs, CCI dogs are expertly trained and partnered with a working professional in a health care, visitation, criminal justice, or education setting.
Posey lives with one of the members of RMHC’s Child Life team. The Child Life team and all the physicians at RMHC aim to address the multitude of issues their patients go through while undergoing treatment. By building a strong foundation and becoming more approachable, families are more likely to express their feelings. The ultimate outcome for a facility dog is an extension of this relationship. Patients look forward to seeing Child Life. They associate the team with play, laughter, non-medical personnel, and a safe person who will advocate for them. Illness often drives away some of the joy that children are known for, and Posey brings it right back!
Posey’s role at the hospital includes assisting pediatric patients with coping and pain management, procedure preparation, family visits, and recovery support, among other tasks. She also provides comfort to the staff at the hospital, especially through the challenges currently facing front-line workers.
To learn more about the program, visit our PAWS for RMHC page. To make a financial donation to support Posey’s work, please click here.
Thank you to Petsmart Charities for your support of PAWS for RMHC!