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Launch of Animal-Assisted Recovery and Care Project at the Bustamante Hospital for Children

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

The Ministry of Health and Wellness on Tuesday (March 28, 2023) officially launched its Animal Assisted Recovery and Care Pilot Project at the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC). The Minister of Health & Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton first introduced the project in parliament on November 22, 2022, which is targeted at providing comfort to children at the hospital and aiding in their smooth recovery after major surgeries.

Since that announcement, there has been a soft launch of the project which involved an initial school pilot at the Little Einstein Learning Centre in Seaview Gardens on March 11, 2022; and a staff sensitisation and pilot project on May 6, 2022. Dr. Teddy Barks, a golden retriever, along with a snake and a rabbit, were used in those interventions.

The pilot project, which will run for 18 months, is a patient-centred intervention that will complement healthcare delivery to hospitalised paediatric patients undergoing procedures or who require long-term hospitalisation at the hospital.

Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health & Wellness, holds Dr. Teddy Barks, animal therapy dog during a group photo moment at the official launch of the Animal-Assisted Recovery and Care (AARC) Project at the Bustamante Hospital for Children (BHC) on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. Also sharing in the photo are Mr. Joseph Brown (right in the front row), curator of Hope Zoo and trainer of Dr. Barks; Dr. the Hon. Kenneth Benjamin (third right in backrow), Chairman of the Hospital Management Committee, BHC and the team members of the initial team for the AARC pilot project.

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