New facility dog to join Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital pediatric emergency team thanks to Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has made a $68,000 donation that will bring another facility dog to Norton Healthcare’s Heel, Dog, Heal program. Edie, a 2-year-old golden retriever, will join the team in the pediatric emergency department at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital. This brings the program’s team to 10 dogs serving different hospitals within the Norton Healthcare system.
Research shows that having dogs in shelters full-time has many benefits for patients and families. Sometimes it provides emotional comfort by lying at the foot of a patient’s hospital bed before surgery or sitting next to them. In the ER, Edie is expected to provide comfort to children who are there for whatever reason. Each year, more than 14,000 children visit the emergency room for problems such as migraines, breathing difficulties, broken bones, sports injuries, injuries caused by accidents, seizures and problems with diabetes.
“Our shelter dogs not only provide comfort, but also provide children with an outlet to express their fears,” said Heather Stohr, pediatric therapy manager at Norton Children’s Hospital. “Edie will be there to help with any problem, even to comfort children when their parents are there because of an illness.”
“We have been happy to support Norton Children’s Hospital in a variety of ways for many years,” said Dan Rivers, managing partner of Northwestern Mutual. “Having a facility dog in the emergency department is something we consider important to help the children of this community, and we are excited to be a part of it.”
“We are grateful to Northwestern Mutual for their continued support and for helping expand a program that has been so beneficial,” said Lynnie Meyer, Ed.D., RN, CFRE, senior vice president and chief development officer, Norton Healthcare. “With this gift, even more children and families can receive additional help to calm, relieve and heal their fears.”
Edie was trained by Paws With Purpose through the organization’s program at the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women in Pewee Valley. Dogs are bred as service and facility dogs and begin their training around 8 weeks of age. Edie is an avid squirrel and chipmunk hunter, loves to take squeakers out of toys and loves to rest her head on strange surfaces such as feet and table supports. According to her companion, she loves people and children and is always looking for someone who needs some love.
A generous gift from the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) Foundation has established the Heel, Dog, Heal program, with additional support from the Sam Swope Family Foundation, Dunbar Foundation, Unified Technologies, North Harrison Elementary School, Barbie Meyers, Bourbon & BowtiesTM , Carol Snyder and Sara Yamin, Edie Nixon and PetSmart Charities.
Heel, Dog, Heal facility dogs at Norton Healthcare
Norton Audubon Hospital: Henry Norton Children’s Hospital: Yarie and Dunkin Norton Hospital: Pepper Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital – Zeke and Edie Norton Cancer Institute – Brownsboro: Zeus Norton Children’s Medical Center: Holly and Doc Pediatric float (Norton Children’s Hospital, Norton Children’s Medical Center and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital): Juno