It all started with a suggestion from a staff member in 2019. Kim MacDougall approached senior leaders with the idea to have a facility dog brought in as a mental health resource for the CMH team. Similar high-stress environments have also brought in facility dogs, such as Fire and Police departments, but the concept was a new one for Canadian hospitals. After a long wait- we were placed with the most ‘pawfect’ black lab- Ember.
Ember and her team of three handlers, provide support daily to staff across the organization. From debriefing sessions to huddle visits, Ember offers us with stress release and provides mental health support and emotional comfort.
The cost associated with Ember is graciously being funded by a donation from the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation. Over the next ten years, Ember’s food and veterinary bills will be covered by the donation- one that we are incredibly grateful for.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation for their generous gift to our hospital that’s made Ember’s presence possible,” said Lisa Short, Executive Director, CMH Foundation. “This donation means investing in our future and helping CMH adapt to the evolving needs of our healthcare workers. It means offering even more support to our staff so that they can provide our community with the absolute best care.”
Bringing Ember onboard has been a unique and powerful experience that we have all been humbled by. Her presence in the hospital has already made a positive impact on staff. Thank you to the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation for this opportunity.
You can follow Ember’s journey on Instagram @CMHPaws and on Tik Tok @cmhpaws
Read the full CMH media release here: https://bit.ly/3oObybA