Three puppies in training to become the first animal-assisted therapy dogs at Bluegrass Care Navigators now have names, thanks to hundreds of suggestions submitted from supporters around the commonwealth. The names are:
- Sampson, a male yellow Labrador, whose name means “service” and “sun.”
- Rosemary, a female yellow Labrador, whose name means “remembrance.”
- Grace, a female Golden Retriever who will serve eastern Kentucky, whose name means “in favor or goodwill” and “to honor.”
“We were amazed at the thoughtfulness and intention that so many people gave to the names they suggested for our animal therapists,” said program coordinator Whitney Clay. “The final names truly resonate with the care we provide, and they will be a beautiful first introduction that I am confident will bring meaningful connections to our patients and families.”
The puppies are currently in training to become certified animal-assisted therapists, and Bluegrass Care Navigators plans to officially begin the animal therapy program in the spring of 2020.
Integrative Medicine Program
Animal assisted therapy is just one of the programs included in the organization’s new Bluegrass Integrative Medicine program.
Integrative medicine brings conventional and complementary practices together in a coordinated way as part of the patient’s medical care plan. The program was developed at the recommendation of the organization’s board of directors, who identified a need for supportive therapies to help make every moment count for patients and families experiencing serious illness.
The Bluegrass Integrative Medicine program will include mind-body techniques such as music and art therapy; body-based techniques such as acupuncture, massage, yoga and aromatherapy; in addition to animal-assisted therapy. Music and art therapy programs are in development now and will be offered to patients before the end of the year.
Community support for Bluegrass Integrative Medicine is vital to the program’s success. To donate to any of the specialties in the program, visit give.bgcarenav.org/puppies.
Bluegrass Care Navigators will seek volunteers who are skilled in various therapies to support our patient needs as each program develops. Volunteers who are interested in lending their expertise to the integrative medicine program can visit bgcarenav.org/volunteers to complete an application.
Headquartered in Lexington, Bluegrass Care Navigators provides hospice care in 32 counties across central, eastern and northern Kentucky. In addition, the agency supports those facing serious illness or chronic disease with private duty nursing, home primary care, transitional care, adult day healthcare and adult and pediatric palliative care services.