St. Jude acquires emotional support dog to help employees

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has a new four-legged resident.

The hospital now has an employee support dog.

According to St. Jude, Rosalie is a 2-year-old, 60-pound golden retriever who joined the hospital as a facility dog in the Staff Resilience Center dedicated to supporting employees.

The Center helps employees care for themselves so they can care for others.

Employees get help with coping with stress, burnout and compassion fatigue, St. Jude said.

Rosalie will attend sessions with staff after events such as losing a patient or colleague.

Staff can also request visits, St. Jude said.

Kimberly Russell, a St. Jude chaplain, serves as Rosalie’s primary handler.

The St. Jude Paws at Play facility dog program launched in September 2019 with two hires: Huckleberry, a golden doodle, and Puggle, a golden retriever, according to St. Jude.

As part of the Child Life program, their workday duties include helping patients achieve clinical goals and providing social interaction, stress reduction and sensory stimulation.