First Hospital in Washington, DC Area to Use Facility Dog

Leesburg, VA — Inova Loudoun Hospital (ILH) is pleased to announce it is expanding the hospital’s Child Life Team with a facility dog named Jeremiah. Jeremiah, a two-year golden retriever, will work primarily alongside the child life specialists in the pediatric ER and pediatric inpatient unit visiting the hospital’s youngest patients.

“We are always looking for additional ways to improve our patients’ experience and knew adding a dog to our staff would enhance their visit,” said Dr. Jill McCabe, Medical Director, Inova Children’s Emergency Room at Inova Loudoun Hospital.  “Jeremiah supports the patients’ overall social, physical, and emotional development by minimizing their stress.”

Jeremiah has been training since he was eight weeks old with Hero Dogs, Inc. of Brookeville, MD, which trains service dogs to assist veterans with a wide range of disabilities, including PTSD and anxiety.  Jeremiah is a specialist, trained to work in a healthcare environment.  Although his official graduation isn’t until November, he has been working at the hospital and is quickly becoming one of its most popular employees.  Jeremiah loves snuggling with patients and showing off his tricks, especially popping bubbles and giving high fives.

“Kids love dogs and associate them with comfort.  In his short time here, Jeremiah is already making a difference with our pediatric patients. He’s allowing us to connect with kids like never before,” commented Child Life Specialist Allyson Halverson, Inova Loudoun Hospital.

Both the pediatric ER and inpatient unit have designated “dog free” patient rooms and areas that Jeremiah will not enter in order to keep these areas safe for allergic patients.

Media contact: Reneé Brohard, APR, 540-454-3493

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Inova Loudoun Hospital, serving Loudoun County for over 100 years, is part of Inova, a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova’s mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Visit us on the web at www.inova.org/ilh.

About Inova
Inova is a global leader in personalized health, which leverages precision medicine to predict, prevent and treat disease, enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. At Inova, we serve more than 2 million people each year from throughout the Washington, DC, metro area and beyond.

We are shaping the future of health through our integrated network of hospitals; primary and specialty care practices, emergency and urgent care centers, outpatient services and destination institutes.  Our commitment to health and wellness is further reflected in our sustainable practices. Inova is home to world-class researchers, expert medical specialists and renowned scientists, who are driving innovation to improve patient care, prevent disease and promote wellness. For more information, visit inova.org, or find Inova on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

About Hero Dogs
Hero Dogs, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, improves the quality of life of our nation’s heroes by raising, training, and placing service dogs and other highly skilled canines, free of charge, with lifetime support of the partnerships.  To learn more about Hero Dogs, visit hero-dogs.org or call 888-570-8653.

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