DENVER — Rose Medical Center’s CEO is the first in the nation to have a certified Canine Companions therapy dog by his side.
As CEO Casey Guber walks the halls at Rose Medical Center he gets stopped a lot by patients and staff all wanting a little love from Ralphie, black Labrador Retriever.
“She's been officially certified for two weeks, and then we did some practice runs beforehand to make sure she would be a good fit and, again, I think the Rose family is really taken to her,” Guber told Denver7.
Casey was inspired by an emergency room doctor at Rose who trains therapy dogs.
Although adopting Ralphie was a big undertaking for a CEO with a family and another dog at home, he saw an opportunity to have an impact on the mental health of his staff.
“I think it's a huge morale booster and if people are going through tough times Ralphie has a great support system for them,” Guber said.
Studies have shown workplace therapy dogs can help employees experience less stress and more work satisfaction. Ultimately leading to increased retention.
Guber applied with Canine Companions, an organization that trains and places service animals.
“We got matched and it took about, I don't know 20 exams and some test work and interviews and a bunch of training from both of us and about eight months later Ralphie is now a therapy dog at Rose Medical Center,” Guber said.
Ralphie lives with Casey and his family and works about three days a week at the hospital.
She is groomed every day and follows infection protocol.
Her official title is Chief Dog Officer.
“She has an unbelievable effect on people,” Guber said.