Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital has received a generous donation from Sally and Bob Goldman of Franklin to endow its therapy dog program.
Sally Goldman is a nurse, working in the neurosurgery clinic since the hospital opened in 2009. She enjoys the presence of the therapy dogs, as she and her husband, Bob, have a passion for animals.
The Goldmans are aware of a dog’s effect on patients and staff, especially children. Research indicates interacting with a therapy dog can lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety, and minimize stress in hospitalized patients.
The dogs also reduce staff stress. Studies have found that the dogs can help re-energize and motivate hospital staff.
This is what drove their desire to endow the therapy dog program.
“Having a dog in the hospital makes a big difference,” Sally says.
The hospital has three facility-owned dogs, Henry and Hope (Black Labradors) and Benson, a Golden Retriever. In 2009, Henry was the first hospital-owned therapy dog in Michigan. The hospital also has more than 20 pet therapy dogs that visit with their volunteer owners.
“We are so grateful to the Goldmans for their generosity,” says Lynn Torossian, president and CEO, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. “Thanks to the Sally and Bob Goldman Therapy Dog Program, we will be able to maintain this program permanently.”
Once the hospital-owned dogs come to Henry Ford, they live with a host employee for a family-living environment.
“It is our hope that others love dogs as much as we do and want to join us in supporting this valuable program,” Bob Goldman says.