The Power of Puppy Love

The Power of Puppy Love

Frazier Rehab Institute recently welcomed a new furry friend to the team.

In December 2016, thanks to donations to the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation, Frazier Rehab Institute patients received a wonderful surprise: a 15-week-old yellow Labrador retriever puppy named Stanley. Stanley is joining the pet therapy program at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health. This program plays an important part in providing emotional support to hundreds of patients each year.

The addition of Stanley and other future therapy pets is possible thanks to a generous donation from the June and Stanley Atlas family to the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

“The Atlas family graciously provided more than $160,000 in support, which will allow Frazier Rehab Institute to grow the pet therapy program and add an additional three therapy dogs,” said Leslie Buddeke Smart, CFRE, division vice president of development for KentuckyOne Health.

For the Atlas family, this generous donation came straight from the heart.

“We want to help make a difference for patients like my mother, June, who spends so much time at Frazier Rehab Institute,” said LouAnn Atlas, who is also a KentuckyOne Health board member. “Seeing her face light up when she opened this gift and saw Stanley was truly
a priceless moment. We know he will be loved by my mother and so many other patients.”

June Atlas and her granddaughter, Maggie Atlas, introduce Stanley at Frazier Rehab Institute

June Atlas and her granddaughter, Maggie Atlas, introduce Stanley at Frazier Rehab Institute.

Learning the Ropes

Stanley will join forces with Charlie, the Frazier Rehab Institute’s beloved therapy dog who came on board in 2015. Canine Partners for Independence, a local nonprofit, will assist in training Stanley as a therapy pet. He will learn various skills to help promote physical movement, emotional well-being, cognitive function and social improvements in patients.

“The pet therapy program has helped so many patients,” Smart said. “It is a great example of integrative medicine and has been shown to help patients relax, reduce blood pressure
and heart rates, and serve as a calming distraction during procedures.”

Want to help support Frazier Rehab Institute’s pet therapy program? Visit Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation to make a donation or learn more about giving opportunities.

This story originally appeared in the 2017 Spring edition of One Health magazine, a free publication distributed quarterly. Subscribe to One Health for more health and wellness stories.