Seeking volunteers for pet therapy | News, Sports, Jobs

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Geisinger is looking for more volunteers for its pet therapy service for frontline staff and patients following the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DANVILLE — Geisinger is looking for additional volunteers for its pet therapy program to help support sessions for frontline staff as it continues to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the program continues to comfort Geisinger’s patients at its northeast and central Pennsylvania hospitals, it has also increasingly served hospital staff during the pandemic over the past two years. Due to declining volunteer participation during the pandemic, Geisinger is recruiting new volunteers to its program.

Volunteers are needed at all Geisinger campuses, including Lewistown, as well as Danville, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and others.

“Our pet therapy program brings great benefit to patients and staff,” said Tina McDowell, Director of Volunteer Services. “By volunteering, you can help reduce stress levels and provide a much-needed positive experience for our frontline staff who may be feeling overwhelmed by the effects of the ongoing pandemic. A few minutes of comfort and relief can improve overall mental well-being.

Dogs and handlers must complete Geisinger Volunteer Training with Volunteer Service before serving. Only dogs certified by a program recognized by the American Kennel Club are eligible.

If you would like to learn more about volunteering in the Health System Pet Therapy Program, contact Volunteer Services at (570) 271-6230.

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