Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children introduced the newest addition to its staff on Girls' Day, March 3rd.
Winnie, a one-year-old Labrador Retriever, was welcomed as the new hospital facility dog and Chief Canine Officer by staff, patients and invited guests at a special introduction event on Friday.
Dr. Wendi Hirsch, a pediatric psychologist, will be Winnie's handler.
"Everyone at Kapiolani has been eagerly anticipating this day, and we are very excited to welcome Winnie to the team," said CEO Martha Smith. "We're very grateful to Assistance Dogs of Hawaii for gifting us with Winnie. She will play an important role in the care provided to our pediatric patients, and we know she will do a wonderful job in carrying on the legacy of our first hospital facility dog, Tucker."
The hospital's first facility dog, Tucker, died in August 2016 after serving as the Chief Canine Officer for nine years.
The hospital facility dog program at Kapiolani provides comfort to pediatric patients, many times at the bedside, through the use of a dog that is specially-trained for full-time work in a hospital setting.
Funding for this program comes from donations and supports participation in activities within the medical center and outside in the community.
Winnie was trained by Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, a nonprofit organization on Maui that trains service dogs to support people with disabilities and to provide comfort and courage to children in hospitals and courthouses.