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Pet therapy program at St. Joe’s gets to ‘the heart of healing’

A visitor from Pet Partners of Syracuse checks in with a family member of a patient at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in the waiting room. The hospital recently launched a pet therapy program to help patients and their family members, as well as staff, cope with the stresses of the hospital environment.

A visitor from Pet Partners of Syracuse checks in with a family member of a patient at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in the waiting room. The hospital recently launched a pet therapy program to help patients and their family members, as well as staff, cope with the stresses of the hospital environment.

— “They just light up,” Lando said. “It makes such a big difference in the healing process.”

Lando said the program, along with other complementary therapies, wouldn’t be possible without the support of the administration at the hospital.

“We’re really supported by our leadership to bring about other holistic modalities to balance out the medical model,” she said. “It’s been a really positive experience with the staff, the patients, the families and the administration.”

In addition to the pet therapy program, St. Joe’s is looking to bring holistic and complementary therapies to the hospital. Lando said the office is researching ways to expand its influence to help patients, families and St. Joe’s staff.

“We’re really in the beginning stages right now,” she said. “When the office was formed last May, we started researching other holistic modalities to implement. We want to expand our therapeutic music program. We’re researching to see other ways to respond and other programs we can implement here. We’re really getting to the heart of healing.”

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