Banner Thunderbird welcomes first facility dog to Glendale medical center

Mar 11, 2024, 4:25 AM

Gumby is the newest dog on Banner Thunderbird's campus. (Banner Thunderbird PR photo)...

Gumby is the newest dog on Banner Thunderbird's campus. (Banner Thunderbird PR photo)

(Banner Thunderbird PR photo)

PHOENIX — Banner Thunderbird Medical Center welcomed a new addition to its team, its first facility dog named Gumby, it announced Tuesday.

Gumby, a two-year-old white poodle, will be working full-time alongside certified Child Life specialist Lauren Katz to provide support to patients of all ages.

He was trained by Paws With A Cause, a Michigan-based organization with a field representative in Phoenix, since he was a puppy.

“We are extremely proud of Gumby for becoming the first facility dog for Banner Children’s at Thunderbird,” Paws With A Cause CEO Michele Suchovsky said. “We know that he will be quickly an important part of the Banner team and provide comfort to so many.

“Being in a hospital can be scary and overwhelming for children and their families, (and) Paws facility dogs like Gumby help provide a bridge in communication and offer support to the family and the caregiving team as they navigate these difficult situations.”

We are excited to be the first Banner hospital to offer this unique form of care to our patients,” said Wendy Pauker, Associate Director of Child Life at Banner Thunderbird. “Dogs have a magical healing power that can truly make a difference in a patient’s journey to recovery. We are confident that Gumby will have a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.”

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Banner Thunderbird welcomes first facility dog to Glendale medical center