Facility Dog Jordy Supports Santa Rosa Memorial Caregivers
Santa Rosa, Calif. – June 4, 2020
– Jordy, a facility dog at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, is providing therapeutic
support to caregivers who have been working around the clock at the hospital
to prepare for a potential surge due to COVID-19.
Nonprofit organization Canine Companions for Independence® provided
Jordy, a lab/golden retriever cross, free of charge. Facility Dog Jordy
recently graduated from the organization’s assistance dog training
program, to work in the hospital visiting patients. Jordy graduated with
Kathy Bellino, RN, who is her handler when she is working at the hospital.
Now, she’s lending a paw to support, motivate and interact with
the hospital’s caregivers during this highly stressful period.
“The science confirms what we already know, pets provide comfort
and support during hard times,” said Jessica Lacanlale, MSN, Trauma
Program Manager at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. “The stress of
caring for patients and working long hours is intense; but spending a
little time with Jordy lifts my spirits and helps me get through the long
Jordy started her tenure at the hospital in February by visiting pediatric
and trauma patients and was just getting into a groove when the pandemic
began. As a safety precaution to prevent the risk of spreading COVID-19,
the hospital implemented visitor restrictions, as recommended by the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governor of California.
While these restrictions precluded Jordy from visiting patients within
the hospital, Jordy was redeployed to provide some stress relief to the
caregivers and doctors who are on the frontlines of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Jordy is a big favorite with our patients, and we wanted our caregivers
to be able to experience the benefits of canine companionship during this
highly stressful time,” said Vicki White, Chief Nursing Officer.
“Dogs have a miraculous healing power on people. They help lower
stress hormones, bring down blood pressure, and help us take a break from
our immediate problems. Jordy is helping our hospital staff do all of
Jordy was expertly trained in 40 commands to help calm patients going through
procedures and motivate patients to reach their goals. Jordy calmly and
effectively interacts with patients and staff in the busy, and sometimes
stressful hospital environment
Founded in 1975 in Santa Rosa, CA, Canine Companions for Independence is
a nonprofit organization that provides expertly-trained assistance dogs
to adults, children and veterans free of charge. Canine Companions trains
assistance dogs that open new possibilities and increase independence
for people with disabilities.
PICTURED: Facility Dog Handler Kathy Bellino, RN, with nurses Lee Ann Pinnelli,
Leah Di Jorio, Shienne Anderson, Rachel Harika and seated with Jordy is
Dr. Ray Lejano.
PICTURED: Registered Nurses Gina Colombatto, Kathy Bellino and Jen Lovrin