Radiating Hope: Radiology Department Blog


Radiology Department Welcomes Facility Dog 

Post Date: December 11, 2023
Radiology Department Welcomes Facility Dog 

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!  

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About the author: Emily Vanswearingen

Emily Vanswearingen is one of our Child Life Specialists. She helps to comfort our pediatric patients and parents. She always enter the room with a smile, hand holding an iPad or age appropriate toy. Emily helps educate children and parents to understand the medical procedure that they’re about to go through, working to relieve any stress or anxiety.

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About the editor: Glenn Miñano

Glenn Miñano is a media specialist in the Department of Radiology, providing graphic design, photography, printing, video services, and administration of the department’s online properties. His works have been published in several medical articles, such as the American Journal of Radiology and the American Institute of Ultrasound. He has been providing these services to the Radiology Department since 1996.

About the editor: Meredith Towbin

Meredith Towbin is a freelance copy editor and writer. She has copyedited the Department of Radiology’s blog since it launched. She also works as a copy editor for the home improvement website BobVila.com. Her writing has been featured on HuffPost as well as other writing sites.