Meet Jeter

Meet-JeterJeter-1Hallmark Youthcare is excited to announce the arrival of a new staff  member, a black Labrador named Jeter. Jeter was adopted in September  2014 by the family of Hallmarks Chief Clinical Officer, Brian Chizuk. Jeter was named  after recently retired Yankee great, Derek Jeter. This dog’s sweet  personality and calm demeanor made him a great candidate to serve as a  therapy dog. After months of training with Brian and Deborah Moore of  Siriusly Canine LLC, Jeter received his Canine Good Citizen Certificate and  later his Alliance of Therapy Dogs Certification.

Jeter works at Hallmark Youthcare three full days a week. He attends  staff meetings, individual and group therapies, school lessons and visits  each of the units. The response from the children and the staff have been  immeasurable. Both the kids and the staff find comfort in Jeter’s presence.  He is a source of unconditional love, support and comfort. Also because  Jeter is under two years old, his youthful playfulness often brings a lot of  smiles and laughter.

Jeter-2Studies continue to show the benefits of pet therapy in residential  settings as hugely advantageous. Just a few of benefits include: reduced  feelings of isolation and alienation, decreased depression and anxiety, encourages communication and socialization and creates motivation for  patients to recover faster. Pets can also assist in patient/therapist bonding,  assisting children in overcoming speech and emotional disorders and  increased self confidence by providing a non-judgmental, non-stressful  environment. Animals working in residential facilities can be used as a  peaceful escape but also a valuable learning tool.

Hallmark Youthcare is excited to begin integrating pet therapy into our  multidisciplinary approach to individualized care provided to our youth.  This is an exciting step in the direction of adding innovative and holistic  approaches to working with our youth toward the goal of providing hope,  recovery, and renewed direction for youth, families and community.