Every other week, you will see Bailey conducting her rounds as a therapy dog at UF Health Shands and also at the Clinical Research Center, or CRC, at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, where she visits patients and hospital staff. The nursing staff are very excited to see her, and she them! She will visit patients who are receiving infusions or keep them company during procedures. She recognizes that coming to the CRC can be a scary experience for our youngest patients and she is the best distraction when they need to have a blood draw.
During the height of the pandemic, Bailey became very antsy because she was not allowed into facilities to do therapy work. “I saw an immediate change in her demeanor when we were finally allowed to return. I feel as though she knows she has a job to do, and she looks forward to doing her job each visit,” said Mackenzi Coker, Bailey’s owner, who is a speech language pathologist as well as a clinical research coordinator for the UF Child Health Research Insitute.
Bailey is a 5-year-old Golden-doodle and has been a therapy dog for the past three years. Bailey has learned MANY tricks and commands that she will proudly perform, including “wave,” “sit pretty,” “whisper,” “wait” and “dance.” She will even close a cabinet that is accidentally left open. You can see her “sitting pretty” in the photo above. Bailey and Mackenzi joined the UF Pet Therapy program in June of 2022.
CTSI and CRC staff, located in the CTRB building, are very proud to have Bailey visit our patients, and look forward to her smiling happy face and the love she provides the patients that we serve. Our staff are dedicated to providing a comfortable and caring environment for all who enter our doors and are very thankful to Mackenzi and Bailey for helping in this mission. Visit the UF Health Pet Therapy volunteer webpage for more information. If you are interested in the services offered at the CRC, please contact email@example.com or visit our website.