IRVING, Texas – A new four-legged caregiver, a yellow Labrador/golden retriever named Grayson, is walking the halls of Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Fort Worth, a joint venture between Baylor Scott & White and Select Medical. He is the Baylor Scott & White Health's sixth and newest facility dog, provided through a unique collaboration with not-for-profit Canine Companions®.
Grayson was trained for two years at the Canine Companions at Baylor Scott & White Health – Kinkeade campus in Irving and can perform more than 45 skills designed to motivate and inspire special-needs patients with disabilities.
Grayson works alongside recreation therapist Katie White to change the way patients receive therapy in outpatient and inpatient settings. Like all Canine Companions service and facility dogs, Grayson was placed in this role based on his skills and ability to support patients, including:
- Walking next to patients for increased stability over long distances as well as over unlevel surfaces.
- Pulling tug straps attached to knelling patients to challenge their core strength and dynamic balance.
- Having a double amputee patient bend over to pet him while Grayson's lying on the floor to encourage dynamic balance using new prosthetics.
- Having a patient sit on a disc unsupported while throwing items for Grayson to retrieve to challenge dynamic sitting balance.
And this is just the beginning. Katie White, M.Ed., CTRS, CDP, looks forward to finding creative ways to integrate Grayson's skills into patient therapies, providing support to patients in a way that only a dog can.
"There is definitely more joy and enjoyment and a lot more motivation. Everyone is so excited when Grayson is in the gym. Whether they are the patient working with him or not. Everyone is just thrilled to be around him and so impressed with what he can do with the patients," said White.
It's no surprise that Grayson has quickly become one of the most popular employees at the hospital, providing life-changing support to patients.
About Canine Companions
Canine Companions is leading the service dog industry so our clients and their dogs can live with greater independence. Canine Companions provides service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities and facility dogs to professionals working in healthcare, criminal justice and educational settings at no cost to clients. Established in 1975, Canine Companions has six regions across the country serving all 50 states. The South Central Region training center is located in Irving, Texas and serves the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. Learn more at canine.org.
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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: BSWHealth.com