Tiffany Shanks, MSN, RN, CNOR, Director of Surgical Services, and Alice Hester, Nurse Leader, RN bonding with Ambassador Dog, Gussie

Bradenton, FL – Today, caregivers at Blake Medical Center welcomed a visit from three Southeastern Guide Dog Ambassadors.

“We are blessed to have Southeastern Guide Dogs right here in Manatee County, and we greatly appreciate their generosity in coming out to give our hardworking caregivers a special visit,” says Randy Currin, President and CEO Blake Medical Center. “It’s wonderful to see the joy on people’s faces when they engage with the dogs. After the intensity of the past year, it’s especially meaningful to see our caregivers relax and enjoy the peaceful joy these ambassador dogs bring.”

From 9:00 am – 11:00 am, hospital staff members were invited for a “pet therapy” break.

Scott Klein, Occupational Therapist, enjoys double pet therapy with Ambassador Dogs Gussie (left) and Romeo (right).

“All patients and caregivers need things that can bring peace and happiness into the day,” says Tiffany Shanks, MSN, RN, CNOR, Director of Surgical Services. During the pandemic, some patients have had to come to the hospital without their loved ones at their side, and staff have had to work through one of the toughest times in healthcare. A smile is worth a thousand words, and these dogs gave caregivers smiles today that they will carry them through the shift and affect everyone they come into contact with.”

Randy Currin, President and CEO Blake Medical Center with Ambassador Dog, Gussie.

“We’re thrilled to share some puppy love with Blake Medical Center. Just seeing or petting a dog can be calming for most people, which is why Ambassador visits like this are so important. Every dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs has a purpose, whether they’re a guide dog for the visually impaired, a service dog for a veteran with PTSD, or an ambassador helping to spread awareness of our mission,” says Muffy Levans, Media Relations Manager, Southeastern Guide Dogs.

Jessica Gambella, RN, takes in a few moments with Ambassador Dog Gussie.

Erin Albright, RN (left) and Victoria Berry, RN (right) with Ambassador Dogs Romeo (left) and Marjorie (right).