Schervier Nursing Care Center Awarded Two-Year Grant from Amie’s Place Foundation -- Innovative “Come Mend with Your Friend” Program Allows Pets to stay at Schervier

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Bon Secours New York Health System, Schervier Nursing Care Center, in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, has received a $58,400 two-year grant from Amie’s Place Foundation to launch a “first-of-its kind” comprehensive in-patient pet therapeutic treatment program, “Come Mend with Your Friend.”

"Come Mend with Your Friend" at Schervier Nursing Care Center.

Bon Secours New York Health System, Schervier Nursing Care Center, in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, has received a $58,400 two-year grant from Amie’s Place Foundation to launch a “first-of-its kind” comprehensive in-patient pet therapeutic treatment program, “Come Mend with Your Friend.” This important initiative will allow vulnerable elderly, who risk losing their pets due to being away from home for a prolonged period of time, receive comprehensive rehabilitation treatment at Schervier, knowing their beloved pets are safe and with them throughout their recovery process.

Oftentimes, elders are admitted to the hospital in a crisis situation and don’t have time to adequately plan for their pets’ care needs. Ideally, a family member or neighbor will help, but there are times when there is no one, leaving people and pets at risk. This grant answers a great need to help keep people and pets together and will establish a comfortable, safe, welcoming area for patients to have their pets close by while they are recuperating from surgery or a serious illness. Patients will be able to spend therapeutic quality time with their pets throughout the day, which is physically and emotionally healing for both the patient and the pet, and often the staff, too. Depending on the patient’s abilities, caring for their pet will also be included as part of their daily rehabilitation therapy program.

“Documented studies show that people, especially the elderly, heal faster from surgery and illness knowing their pets are safe and with them,” said Gregory Poole-Dayan, Administrator at Schervier. “We are thankful to Amie’s Place Foundation for aiding our efforts in funding this program, which we believe will significantly increase the quality of care and recovery that we have consistently provided seniors within our community.”

The grant money will cover the cost of hiring a certified veterinary technician who will care for the pets on a daily basis and a consultant veterinarian who will also evaluate the health and safety of all new pet admissions. Recognizing the unique relationship people and their pets share, this program will help keep elderly vulnerable in-patients and their pets together, specifically in crisis situations, while providing quality health care and good help to those in need.

“People and pets have a special bond, but for vulnerable elders, their pet is a life-saver,” said Dr. Paulette Sansone, Grant Writer for Schervier. “Their pet not only provides unconditional love but also companionship, a sense of purpose and a will to survive. They lower blood pressure, reduce pain, anxiety, isolation and despair, and help patients heal faster. There is no question that this program will be of benefit to our patients.”

“Come Mend with Your Friend” allows all domestic pets to stay at Schervier Nursing Care Center, free of charge, while their human companions are receiving in-patient medical treatment and therapy at Schervier. With aid from Amie’s Place Foundation’s grant, the implementation of this new, important program additionally supports Schervier’s mission of providing “good help to those in need,” by bringing compassion to health care, while directly benefiting the comprehensive medical needs of its elderly patients. The program will launch in January 2013.

For more information on the “Come Mend with Your Friend” comprehensive in-patient pet therapeutic treatment program, or to learn more about all the services Schervier provides, visit http://www.scherviercares.org/, its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SchervierNursingCareCenter, or call the Admissions Office at (718) 884-5100.

About Bon Secours New York Health System
Schervier Nursing Care Center is located in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, and is part of Bon Secours New York Health System, whose mission is to bring compassion to health care and to be “good help to those in need.” Bon Secours New York’s mission is carried out through the services and programs of Schervier Nursing Care Center, Schervier Short-Term Rehabilitation in Riverdale, Schervier Respite Care, Schervier Center for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care, Schervier Home Care, Schervier Cardio/Pulmonary Sub-Acute Care, the Bon Secours Center for Research in Geriatric Care and the Schervier Apartments. Information about Schervier and Bon Secours New York may be obtained from the Admissions Office at 2975 Independence Avenue in Riverdale, by calling (718) 884-5100, and at http://www.scherviercares.org.

About Amie’s Place Foundation
It all began in 1982 in Long Beach, Long Island, with the exceptional work of Lewis Gelfand, DVM who provides pet care treatment and assistance for people too ill to care for their pets. Based on Dr. Gelfand’s work, Amie’s Place Foundation was established in New York City to fund organizations that provide programs for people who need help caring for their pets, who risk losing them during times of crisis, or who face barriers limiting access to their pets when they most need each other. In light of the profound healing effect that pets have on individuals who are going through a difficult, sometimes life-changing event, the Foundation works to provide necessary pet-care assistance and to promote public awareness of the unique relationship a beloved pet and its human companion share. Grants have funded the first Senior Center and hospital-based programs at The Caring Community and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, New York City. Amie’s Place Foundation has funded programs that include Beth Israel Hospital, JASA, Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, MedicAlert Foundation International, PAWS NY and Search and Care. The Foundation hopes to see national replication of these model programs that help prevent the unnecessary separation of people from their pets only because no one is there to help them. For information about Amie’s Place Foundation, please visit http://www.amiesplacefoundation.org/.

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