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Healthwatch 16: Pet Adoption Day rejuvenates Geisinger staff

It's strange seeing the little furry friends at Geisinger, but staff said that's what keeps them motivated.

DANVILLE, Pa. — Benny is a two-year-old shepherd mix. His buddy Winchester is a five-year-old pit bull mix. They are both up for adoption at the PSPCA of Danville

So what are they doing at Geisinger?  

It's all part of a new program bringing shelter animals to meet with hospital employees. This is Pet Adoption Day at Geisinger near Danville.

"The focus is on getting the staff away from their jobs for 5-10 minutes, letting them de-stress before they continue on with their day," James Gould said.

James Gould is an operations manager at Geisinger and also a registered nurse. Recently he and some of his colleagues organized these meet-and-greets with nearby animal shelters as a way for employees to de-stress. It seemed to work.

"There's no stress on their faces. I guarantee when they go back inside and they have to go back to work, it's going to be a different story. But for at least 5-10 minutes, they get to lay off for just a minute, and I think they are rejuvenated after that," Gould said.

The event isn't only beneficial to the hospital staff, it helps out the animals too.

All of these animals are up for adoption. The hope is for some of the employees to bring home a dog or cat.

"Benny here is soaking in all the attention. All of the cats are getting socialization as well. It just gets the exposure, so people that don't normally go to a shelter might see that we do have great adoptable animals," Kristen Szwast, PSPCA of Danville site manager, said.

Geisinger says a few animals were adopted at a previous event. The health system has more events scheduled with other nearby animal shelters as it is a win-win for everyone.

See more Healthwatch 16 stories on YouTube.

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