On June 8th, we welcomed a very special addition to our RVNAhealth team — Sophia, our very own therapy dog! There have been lots of ooohs and aaahs around the RVNAhealth offices since she arrived and several weeks later, it still takes Sophia quite a while to get to her desk in the morning — what with all the greetings and affection.
Sophia, a golden retriever, is two years old and has been in training since her birth. She was originally intended to be a seeing eye dog, but her calm demeanor and mild pace ultimately destined her to be the perfect facility/therapy dog.
Prior to her arrival in the office, our three RVNAhealth handlers, Stephanie Notaro, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator; Stephanie Collins, BeWELL Coordinator; and Garrett Walkup, Hospice Pastoral Care Coordinator received extensive training with Sophia at ECAD — Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities. They all passed their final exams, and graduation took place on June 16th. It was a lovely ceremony with four other graduates alongside our Sophia. It wasn’t announced officially, but we suspect she was the valedictorian. She’s awfully smart.
Since her arrival, Sophia has been busy getting acquainted with the RVNAhealth Ridgefield and New Milford offices, her working role, and her handlers. She has been on hospice patient visits, has visited Ridgefield Crossings and Wilton Meadows, and has chaperoned at COVID-19 vaccine appointments. We’re looking forward to bringing her to all the towns we serve. Sophia truly comes to life when she’s doing her job. As should we all!
In the weeks and months to come, she’ll be going to volunteer events, bereavement groups, and community education and outreach events. As Sophia’s schedule fills up and we introduce her to society, we’ll keep you posted on opportunities to say hello. She’s quite a darling. Check out the photos below.
It was a busy weekend for RVNAhealth as we took our show on the road bringing COVID-19 vaccines — and food — to local events in Danbury and Ridgefield. In Danbury, we administered over 40 vaccines at the Assembly Church of God alongside our friends at the Community Food Rescue CT, who arrived with a refrigerated truck of food. After receiving COIVD-19 vaccines, attendees at the clinic received bags filled with goodies to take home with them.
In Ridgefield, we joined the We All Shine On festival, offering COVID-19 vaccines to kids right there on Main Street and serving up delectable energy bites and chia seed pudding, handmade by RVNAhealth registered dietitian and nutrition educator, Monica Marcello, MS, RD, who was on hand with recipes and education.
Beginning Thursday, June 10th, RVNAhealth will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children with special needs, ages 12-18. The clinics will be held at RVNAhealth in Ridgefield each Thursday in June (6/10, 6/17, and 6/24) from 9:00am – 10:30am. Additional clinics will be added in July if needed. These limited appointments are reserved especially for kids with special mental, physical, or emotional needs. The light, clean environment of the RVNAhealth Center for Exceptional Care, paired with the skill and experience of RVNAhealth nurses, offers a calming environment and experience for vaccine recipients.
Please contact Stephanie Collins at 203-438-5555 x1012 with questions or for further information. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will be administered, and second dose vaccines will be offered three weeks following the first dose.
These clinics are being offered as part of RVNAhealth’s mission to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals and communities without easy access, or with more complicated situations. This initiative is made possible by the generosity of the Barker Welfare Foundation, Ridgefield Fresh Air Fund and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.