Four-legged caregiver boosts welfare program

Rosie the Groodle at St John of God Bendigo Hospital (Kate Monotti Photography)

St John of God Bendigo Hospital has welcomed Rosie the Groodle into the team to support her fellow caregivers in the hospital environment.

The hospital has collaborated with mental health and wellness program Dogs Connect, that will see Rosie the Groodle work onsite at the central Victorian hospital two days a week as a welfare dog.

St John of God Bendigo Hospital chief executive Michelle Stares said the hospital began the program to help caregivers to reduce stress and make the hospital a more enjoyable place to work.

“In 2019 we ran a pilot program with Jack the Groodle who was considered part of the team, engaged with our caregivers and received an incredible response, she said.

“During the evaluation process 100 per cent of surveyed caregivers reported a reduction in their stress levels directly related to having the dog within the hospital.”

Ms Stares said while no COVID-19 cases had been reported at the hospital, the situation in Victoria had added stress to the healthcare system.

"Our caregivers are working hard to ensure our patients are safe and receiving the compassionate care that St John of God Health Care is known for, she said.

"While Rosie wasn't brought in specifically to help during COVID-19, she is most certainly a welcome addition to our overarching strategies to support the wellbeing of our caregivers."


Rosie the Groodle supports our healthcare workers (St John of God Health) 

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