Bayhealth Therapy Dog To Receive International Award

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Pictured are (standing, left to right) Bayhealth Planetree Coordinator Donna Henderson; Bayhealth Director Patient Advocacy, Service Excellence and Professional Recruitment Marianne Foard, MS, BSN, RN; and Bayhealth Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Executive Bonnie Perratto, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE. Seated are Kayleigh Karnbach and Jack with his basket of goodies.
Pictured are (standing, left to right) Bayhealth Planetree Coordinator Donna Henderson; Bayhealth Director Patient Advocacy, Service Excellence and Professional Recruitment Marianne Foard, MS, BSN, RN; and Bayhealth Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Executive Bonnie Perratto, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE. Seated are Kayleigh Karnbach and Jack with his basket of goodies.

Bayhealth Medical Center

Jack is a three-year old Welsh Corgie. He doesn’t perform surgery, provide medication or check vital signs, but as a “caregiver” at Bayhealth’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Dover, he is a vital player in the healing process that brings smiles to the faces of patients and employees alike.

Donna Henderson, Bayhealth Planetree Coordinator, submitted Jack’s name and bio to be considered for the 2013 Pet Therapy Animal of the Year Award for Planetree. Jack was selected to receive this distinguished award over all entries submitted by 500 Planetree Affiliates from the United States and 13 countries. He and his owner, Kayleigh Karnbach, will be traveling to Montreal, Canada in October to be honored at the 2013 Planetree Annual Conference.

Since 2005, Bayhealth has been incorporating Planetree’s patient-focused model of care, focusing on a holistic approach to healing in all dimensions – “the mind, body and spirit.” Planetree is a non-profit organization that helps patients, families and staff members deliver care from the patient’s perspective.

“Jack and Kayleigh have been instrumental in making a significant difference in the lives of our patients in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center,” said Bayhealth Senior Vice President for Patient Care Services/Chief Nursing Executive Bonnie Perratto, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE.

Karnbach, a physical therapy/occupational therapy aide and registrar at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center brings Jack to work with her every Tuesday and Thursday.

“Patients like to try to schedule their therapy appointments around Jack,” smiled Bayhealth Director of Rehabilitation Services Effie Elliott, PT, DPT, FACHE. “The staff is always happy to see him as well. Having a pet around boosts everyone’s happiness and makes us all have a good day.”

In addition to visiting patients during their therapy sessions, Jack has also proven instrumental in the therapy process as well, particularly with pediatric patients. He participates with feeding and speech activities, by allowing children with eating disorders to feed him, and fetching and returning thrown balls. Many times, he simply rests next to a child receiving therapy as a source of comfort.

Karnbach received the three-year old Corgie as a college graduation present. Because of her interest in physical therapy, Karnbach had Jack certified through Paws for People to visit the hospital and also holds the American Kennel Club master certification. Karnbach, a one-year Bayhealth employee received her bachelor’s degree in general agriculture from Delaware State University and will begin her studies in the occupational therapy assistant program this fall.

Following their trip to Montreal to attend the 2013 Planetree Annual Conference, Jack and Karnbach will be special guests of Bayhealth’s Planetree Award Celebration at both Kent General and Milford Memorial as we celebrate Patient Centered Care Awareness Month in October. Bayhealth’s caregiver and physician champions will also be recognized.

“On behalf of our goal of organizational excellence and in conjunction with our Planetree journey, we are pleased to congratulate both Jack and Kayleigh for their outstanding contributions in patient centered care,” added Perratto.