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Frazier Rehab Institute Welcomes New Puppy to Pet Therapy Program - Archived


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Frazier Rehab Institute Welcomes New Puppy to Pet Therapy Program
Stanley, 15 weeks old, unveiled to patients during surprise event

Louisville, Ky. (December 15, 2016) - Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health, debuted its newest member of the pet therapy program today—a yellow Labrador retriever puppy named Stanley, with a surprise unveiling for patients. The new puppy will join Frazier Rehab Institute’s pet therapy program, which provides emotional support for patients.

The new puppy was made possible by a generous donation from the June and Stanley Atlas family, through the University of Louisville and the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

Stanley will help fill the role of Madison, Frazier Rehab Institute’s first full-time service dog, who retired in 2015 and recently passed away in November as a result of a tumor. Stanley will work closely with Charlie, Frazier Rehab Institute’s existing four-legged member of the pet therapy team, who joined the team in 2015.

“This is a bittersweet, but exciting day at Frazier Rehab Institute,” said Cathy Spalding, vice president of operations, Frazier Rehab Institute. “Madison was a wonderful friend to staff members and patients and she will certainly be missed, but we are thrilled to welcome Stanley to our team. This puppy will be an asset to our pet therapy program and the patients we care for. Stanley will learn dozens of new tasks, including retrieving items and being able to push the automatic door button with his paws. He will be a wonderful companion, and an important team member.”

“Stanley is an important addition to the pet therapy team, and today marks a new step in the program, which helps hundreds of patients each year,” said Leslie Buddeke Smart, vice president of development, KentuckyOne Health. “Thanks to the Atlas family for their generous donation to our Foundation for Frazier Rehab Institute.”

On Thursday, Stanley was unveiled to patients and guests, who thought they were just attending a party for the pet therapy program. Patients and guests thought a box full of gifts from Three Dog Bakery was being opened for Frazier Rehab and all the doggie guests present at the event. Stanley, a 15-week-old puppy, appeared and surprised everyone.

Stanley is from Bainbridge Labs in Lexington, KY, a program owned and operated by Joe Demichael, DVM (

Canine Partners for Independence will assist Frazier Rehab Institute in training the new puppy as a therapy pet. Frazier Rehab Institute’s smallest employee will help promote physical movement, emotional well-being, cognitive functioning/awareness and social improvements for patients.

“My family wanted to help make a difference for patients like my mother, June Atlas, who spends so much time at Frazier Rehab Institute,” said LouAnn Atlas, KentuckyOne Health board member. “Seeing her face light up when she opened this gift and saw Stanley inside was truly a priceless moment. We know he will be loved by my mother, and so many other Frazier patients.”

Stanley was welcomed to the facility by a group of other therapy and service dogs from local nonprofits, including WAGS, Canine Companions for Independence, Paws with Purpose and Canine Partners for Independence. Over the next year, Stanley will receive basic obedience training and participate in group sessions with a local trainer. Stanley will work on his training at home, and at the hospital with Charlie, to ensure that patients will benefit from his presence, and that staff will be able to see him grow and develop his skills.

About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.  The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.

Publish date: 

Thursday, December 15, 2016