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Summa Health System Offers Pet Visitation Training March 3

Date: 02.27.2012
Contact: Erica Rosenthal Phone: (330) 375-3052

AKRON, Ohio, Feb. 27, 2012 – Summa Health System is always looking for volunteers, including man’s best friend – dogs. Pet visitation teams have a profound impact on the patients and families they meet, bringing smiles to their faces and encouraging speedy and healthy recoveries.

WAGtime is Summa’s pet visitation program that allows teams consisting of a trained pet handler and dog visit patients and family members throughout Summa Akron City and St. Thomas Hospitals. For those interested in becoming a WAGtime volunteer team, Summa is holding a Delta Society Pet Partner Training Course on Saturday, March 3, 2012. The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at Summa Akron City Hospital, 95 Arch Street (Center of Excellence Building), Suite 175, classroom 1.

“Our WAGtime volunteers create such a positive atmosphere, it is truly a great service not only for our patients but our staff,” said Rebecca Clark, manager of volunteer services for Summa Health System. “We are so happy the program is growing and look forward to meeting some prospective new teams on March 3.”

The training will be taught by licensed instructors through the national Delta Society Pet Partner program. Attendees will learn how to tell if both you and your dog are a good fit for the program and how to prepare for a Delta Pet Partner Skill evaluation. The instructors will also talk about identifying and decreasing stress in your dog as well as learning more about his or her overall health and safety. Successful completion of this course and evaluation is required to volunteer in Summa’s WAGtime program. The Delta Society Pet Partner program trains and screens volunteers and their pets for visiting animal programs in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other facilities across the country.

The course costs $50 (credit card or check only), and includes a training manual, handouts, lunch, and snacks. Attendees are not to bring their dogs to this class. To register, contact Summa Connections at 1-800-237-8662 by Tuesday Feb. 28, 2012.

About Summa Health System

Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet® status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at and Twitter at