CROWN POINT, Indiana - Living a philosophy of "man's best friend also can be a healer," Franciscan Health Crown Point celebrated the second anniversary of its Pet Therapy program recently, with a gathering in the hospital's Marian Education Center that was attended by most of the team members and their canines.
The program has brought relief and pleasure to hundreds of patients and their families throughout the hospital since its inception, thanks to the two-year effort of coordinator Julie Canady, an administrative assistant in the Franciscan Health Marketing Department. Six dogs initially joined the effort, which now has 27 canines, along with owners and other members.
During the celebration, handlers received gift bags that included portraits of their dogs, created on computer software, copied from photos. Photo printing was done courtesy of Accucraft. The bags also contained blankets and t-shirts. Owners enjoyed lunch, while the pets sat by quietly and patiently.
Shown, from left, are: Nichole Johnson of Crown Point, with Jazabelle; Kelly Canady of Crown Point; Julie Canady of Crown Point, with Meiko (Frankie not shown); Harvey Roller of Crown Point (Maddie not shown); Jackie Woods of Cedar Lake, with Zena; Sharon Sylvie of Merrillville (Bishop not shown); Noel Collins of Crown Point, with Lou; Chris Tebbens of Hebron, with Cambree; Pam Stanberry of St. John (Bufflyn not shown); Bobbie Williams of Leroy, with Dice (Kenzie, Ziva not shown); Debbie Rzepczynski of Valparaiso, (Lexi not shown); and Tracy Sines of Griffith (Bella not shown).
Also not shown are Larry Rzepczynski of Valparaiso; Jan Koutelas of Valparaiso (Teddy and Alex); Jo Belleville of Demotte, Toby (Max not shown); Sue Markle of Crown Point (Colby); Corey Liss of Crown Point (Knox); Elisa Ellis of Kankakee, Illinois (Andrew); Jack Brogan of Valparaiso (Finn); Kristine Spencer of Munster (Luna); Debi Frey of Monee, Illinois, (Lyric); Becky; Mike Buchanan of Munster (Maggie); Barb Orosz of Kouts; Sally Edwards of Kouts (Sparkey); Mary Roman of Crown Point (Jack).
For more information about Pet Therapy services at Franciscan Health, visit https://www.franciscanhealth.org/health-care-services/pet-therapy-530.