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 and Leica were then matched to Cincinnati Children’s based on our needs and the personalities of both 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”) and Katie Sullivan, Child Life Specialist, is the primary handler for Chevy. Handlers spent a week in Georgia training with Leica and Chevy before bringing them to their new home in Cincinnati.