Baylor Scott & White Health and Canine Companions for Independence Celebrate Grand Opening of Campus in Irving, Texas

Largest provider of highly trained assistance dogs opens flagship Texas training center in first-ever collaboration with a health care system

Today, Canine Companions for Independence at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade Campus opened as the first assistance dog training center campus in the nation connected to a health care system. The campus will provide highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support cost-free to individuals with physical and developmental disabilities who qualify through the application process.

The new campus will serve children, veterans and other people with disabilities whose independence and quality of life would benefit from an assistance dog. Professionals working for organizations that provide physical or mental health care to clients who would benefit from interaction with a facility dog are also encouraged to apply. The new campus will eventually be able to graduate up to 60 dog and recipient teams per year.

"We have a long history of innovation and collaboration, and we are proud to add this moment to that history," said Joel Allison, CEO, Baylor Scott & White Health. "We are now the first health care system in the country to open a facility like Kinkeade Campus. This is another example of how we're working to take care of the total patient – it's part of our Population Health mission."

The nine-acre campus includes indoor and outdoor training areas, dormitory rooms, kennels, a veterinary clinic and a grooming area. Project management was led by CBRE. The center was designed by t. howard + associates architects, a Dallas-based firm specializing in health care and educational environments. Outside consultation was provided by Animal Arts Design. Initial construction began in November 2014, and MEDCO Construction served as the construction general contractor for this project.

The Kinkeade Campus will train three types of assistance dogs:

  • Service dogs assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks.
  • Skilled companions enhance independence for children and adults with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities.
  • Facility dogs work with a professional in a visitation, education, criminal justice or healthcare setting.

"As the first collaboration nationwide between an assistance dog organization and a health care provider, our affiliation with Baylor Scott & White Health marks the commencement of a truly innovative and groundbreaking program," said Paul Mundell, CEO of Canine Companions for Independence. "For more than 40 years, our organization has stood on the forefront of the assistance dog service sector and we are proud to open our sixth center in the nation through this alliance."

For more information and to support the center, visit or text BAYLORDOGS to 313131. 

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Julie Smith
(214) 820-7135

Jeanine Konopelski
(707) 577-1759

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: