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Pet Therapy: Jessie's Paws in Motion

Quality Assurance Pet Therapy Program

One of the most unique programs offered by On Time Ambulance, Inc. is Quality Assurance Pet Therapy ("QAPT").  Marilee Bush, the mother of On Time's founder John Bush, serves as our Quality Assurance Ambassador.  As a registered nurse who graduated from St. Vincent's Nursing School, Marilee understands the needs of our physically and mentally challenged patients.  She frequently visits our facilities to ensure that our field personnel's performance and skills meet or exceed our current standards, while also making sure that our patients are receiving the best possible care.

Animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems. And it's not only the patient who reaps the benefits; family members and friends who sit in on animal visits say they feel better, too.  Thus, QAPT is a unique way to check in with our customers while providing a program that benefits our facilities and their patients.

Marilee started the QAPT program in 2009 with her rescue dog, Dixie, a terrier mix. Marilee enrolled Dixie into the pet therapy training course at St. Hubert's, where both dogs and their owners can become certified for pet visitations at various facilities.  Soon after completing this certification, Marilee and Dixie began visiting schools for children with disabilities, nursing homes, specialized hospitals, and long-term acute care hospitals.  Over the years, Dixie became a favorite with many of our clients.  This is how On Time's Quality Assurance Pet Therapy program evolved into its current state today.

We are sorry to report that Dixie succumbed to cancer in September 2014, but she was able to enrich the lives of many of our patients up to that time.  She will be sorely missed.

In order to continue this unique, and much needed, QAPT program, John Bush and his family trained their now-3 year old chocolate lab, Jessie.  Marilee took Jessie for her certification in August 2014 and, like Dixie, she received a perfect score on her evaluation.  Jessie is excited to follow in Dixie's paw prints and become a regular part of our clients' wellness plans.  Every day, she is excited to put on her On Time vest and "go to work."  Look for future stories about Jessie's QAPT adventures.

If you would like to learn more about On Time Ambulance's Quality Assurance Pet Therapy program, or to schedule a session for your facility, please contact Marilee Bush at mbush@ontimeambulance.com or (908) 445-2227.

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