The Division of Child Life and Integrative Care consulted with Patient Services and the Infection Control team to make sure facility dogs would be beneficial to the hospital. After an internal application and approval process, Cincinnati Children’s partnered with Canine Assistants, a nonprofit in Milton, Georgia, to find the right dogs.
About a month before the dogs were to arrive, a representative from Canine Assistants visited Cincinnati Children’s to get to know us. Chevy, Leica and Idina have been matched to Cincinnati Children’s based on our needs and the personalities of the dogs and the handlers who’d be working with the dogs.
Kerri Birkett, Child Life Specialist, is the primary handler for Leica (pronounced “Like-Ah”), Katie Sullivan, Child Life Specialist, is the primary handler for Chevy and Mary Greiner, MD, MS, is the primary handler for Idina. Handlers spent a week in Georgia training with the dogs before bringing them to their new home in Cincinnati.