Pet therapy helps to reduce stress and anxiety for patients through a popular program at Christiana Care, but a visit by furry friends on Dec. 7 just for staff was something new.

“Christiana Care has long embraced the benefits of pet therapy for our patients,” said Heather Farley, M.D., FACEP, director of provider wellbeing. “When I noticed that staff members would also light up when they saw the dogs, I thought, why not share this with our exceptional people, too?”

Hospital staff enjoyed a welcome time-out with therapy dogs at an event called “Paws to De-stress.”

“The act of petting an animal produces an automatic relaxation response in many people,” she said. “We were excited to bring a few moments of well-deserved relaxation and fun to our hard-working employees.

“On behalf of the Center for Provider Wellbeing and iLEAD, I would like to thank the human and canine volunteers from Paws for People who graciously shared their time to make this possible. The event was so well-received, we plan to hold additional Paws to De-stress sessions in the future.“