There’s a new top dog around here…he has four paws, a wagging tail, and a big smile. Cincinnati Children’s radiology department welcomed its newest staff member, Josiah, a facility dog from Canine Companions. Josiah will assist his handler Emily VanSwearingen, a Child Life specialist, during her work with patients.
Josiah is the seventh dog in the Canine Comfort Facility Dog program at Cincinnati Children’s. This program is designed to provide emotional and physical support to patients and families. Facility dogs are task-trained dogs that work in the healthcare setting. Facility dogs work alongside their handlers to help patients meet specific, individualized goals. Josiah will help Emily support patients through various procedures in Radiology. The goal is for Josiah to help enhance Child Life interventions to improve patient coping and cooperation.
Canine Companions facility dogs are trustworthy in professional environments and can perform over 45 tasks. These dogs are specially bred for this line of work, and the tasks they are trained to perform are designed to motivate and inspire patients. Canine Companions facility dogs must pass the nationally standardized practical test administered by an Assistance Dogs International-certified evaluator. This is the same test that service dogs must pass. The estimated cost of a highly trained Canine Companions facility dog like Josiah and all follow-up support is $50,000 but is provided at no cost to the handler. Cincinnati has a facility dog donation fund that helps support the Canine Comfort program to pay for the maintenance of the dog.
If you would like to donate, please do so below:
Josiah was welcomed by Radiology staff and patients who came to his “meet and greets” and second birthday party! Check out the pictures below and Josiah will be pawsitively ready and eager to meet more patients, families, and staff!