The simple act of petting a dog genuinely boosts the well-being of patients while enhancing the hospital’s mission of building a healing culture. Scientific studies prove that time spent with animals can decrease depression, lower blood pressure and ease anxiety. Morristown Medical Center has trained more than 80 pet-therapy teams, each team includes a volunteer and his or her pet. These teams as a whole average more than 30,000 visits each year. Funds support volunteer training programs, an annual conference, expenses associated with each pet visit and special events throughout the year.
The Need: $30,000
Virtual Pet Visits
Virtual animal visits add greatly to the quality of a patient’s day. Other experiences that increase well-being among patients include playing with animal-centered interactive gaming modules, looking at photos of animals, watching videos with animal themes and cuddling plush animal and robotic animal toys.
The Need: $5,000
Volunteer Human-Animal Teams Training and Development
A robust training program (website upgrades, educational posters, training manuals) is a key learning component to the success of each pet-therapy team. Bright uniforms for both pet-therapy volunteers and their animals will instill instant recognition and a sense of confidence in hospital personnel and patients when approaching these teams in a hospital setting. Adding enrichment activities for the benefit of the pet will help them to de-stress after each encounter and can be as easy as giving them time with a ball or favorite toy.
The Need: $3,000
If you have any questions, or if you would like to support a funding need, please contact Gerri Kling, foundation officer, at 973-593-2414.