Geisinger Seeking Volunteers for Pet Therapy Program to Support Frontline Workers

Geisinger is seeking additional volunteers for its pet therapy program to participate in support sessions for frontline staff as they continue to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the program continues to provide comfort to Geisinger patients in its hospitals throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania, it also has increasingly served hospital staff through the pandemic over the past two years. Due to lower volunteer participation during the pandemic, Geisinger is recruiting new volunteers into its program.

Volunteers are needed at all Geisinger campuses, including those in Danville, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Lewistown, among others.

“Our pet therapy program brings a great benefit to patients and staff,” said Tina McDowell, director of Volunteer Services. “By volunteering, you can help decrease stress levels and provide a much-needed positive experience for our frontline staff who might be feeling overwhelmed by the effects of the ongoing pandemic. Just a few minutes of comfort and relief can improve overall mental wellbeing.”

Dogs and their handlers must go through Geisinger volunteer training with the volunteer services department before serving. Only dogs certified by an American Kennel Club recognized program are eligible.

If you’re interested in learning more about volunteering in the health system’s pet therapy program, contact volunteer services at 570-271- 6230.