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Our Annual Focus
Pawsitive Play and Child Life
Each year, Ambassadors focus their fundraising talents on a single program, increasing their impact. During 2023-2024, we are targeting the Child Life department and its Pawsitive Play program.
Ambassadors will fund the longevity and expansion of the Pawsitive Play program which enhances the emotional well-being of patients and families in the hospital setting. Professional facility dogs and their highly-trained handlers provide support to those who may have trouble coping with a hospital stay, a new diagnosis or certain medical procedures.
Specifically bred and trained to work as facility dogs in a pediatric hospital setting, our canine team trains for over a year-and-a-half before starting their jobs at Texas Children’s Hospital. Our pups work full-time alongside a Child Life specialist. They coordinate with a child’s care team to provide goal-oriented, therapeutic interventions and emotional support for hospitalized children and their families and for staff.
Just like any other employee, the dogs have a badge and enjoy a lunch break. Recognizing their need to take a break and recharge, they spend time outside playing with toys and each other. Facility dogs are groomed weekly, and their paws are cleaned daily to ensure cleanliness.
Pawsitive Play Program services Include:
- Encouraging therapeutic play
- Encouraging and supporting physical, occupational and speech therapy
- Offering comfort and distraction during medical procedures
- Offering patient and family social and emotional support
- Bringing a bit of home into the clinical setting
Evidence-based benefits of animal-assisted therapy
- Emotional well-being
- Adjustment to the hospital environment
- Perception of pain
- Fear and isolation