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News | May 13, 2024

Walter Reed Celebrate Nurses with Facility Dog Therapy Painting Event

By Vernishia R. Vaughn

In a week-long celebration of events, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center brought together nurses and Walter Reed facility dogs in a heartwarming activity  – therapy painting on May 10, 2024.

According to Army 2nd Lt. Katelyn Weisz the event was aimed at providing nurses with unique keepsakes and showcasing the invaluable contributions of both Walter Reed nurses and Walter Reed facility dogs within the health care setting.

"We see firsthand how the Walter Reed facility dogs brighten nurses’ days when brought in for patient interactions," Weisz said. "Including them in Nurses Week felt not only appropriate but necessary, given the joy and comfort they provide.”

Walter Reed's facility dogs are no strangers to the wards, where they play a crucial role in patient care and staff wellbeing, and Weisz shares that the day’s event is a “nod to our nurses who take on the additional role of facility dog handlers,” further contributing to the therapeutic environment at Walter Reed.

As the event lead, Weisz said the goal was to create an experience to honor the hardworking nurses and highlight the “incredible bond between the facility dogs and the staff.”

Not only were nurses and other participants allowed to take home a one-of-a-kind piece of art by our furry friends, a photobooth was set up for photo opportunities with the dogs, capturing what Weisz said were heartwarming interactions, “ensuring these memories will last a lifetime.”

The Facility Dog Therapy Painting activity not only offered a creative outlet and a moment of relaxation for nurses, but it also served as a tangible expression of gratitude.

"What better way to shower our nurses with gratitude than with a painting—or a slobbery kiss—from a facility dog?" Weisz said, highlighting the playful and affectionate nature of the event.

This unique celebration underscores Walter Reed's commitment to recognizing the hard work and dedication of its nursing staff, as well as the essential role of facility dogs in health care settings. It serves as a reminder of the diverse ways in which care and appreciation can be shown within the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s community.
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