August 2, 2018

Nanticoke Health Services is thrilled to welcome the newest members of our Volunteer Services program – several four-legged volunteers and their handlers from National Capital Therapy Dogs! The new pet therapy program at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital was introduced at a special leadership meeting where each dog was presented with their official Nanticoke Health Services volunteer identification badge. After their introduction, the teams toured the hospital visiting staff, patients, and guests throughout the hospital, spreading smiles and awareness for the new program.

The goal of the new pet therapy program is to provide Nanticoke’s employees, patients and visitors interaction with trained, tested and certified handler and dog teams, promoting positive mental health and reduce the effects of stress in a medical environment. These visits can reduce stress, anxiety, pain, blood pressure, and feelings of suffering and loneliness, which in turn promotes the healing process.

“Pet therapy services have been shown to reflect a positive service and influence to both patients and staff,” said Ray Fulkrod, DNP, MBA, MSN, RN, Vice President of Clinical Operations. “We are excited to have National Capital Therapy Dogs join the Nanticoke family and look forward to seeing our new team members throughout the hospital.”

Kelly Novak, Director of Volunteer Programs, noted the positive results of the program’s first run at the hospital: “The pet therapy program is going to be a huge benefit for our organization! When you bring the dogs around, you get to watch the stress melt away from everyone on the floor – doctors, nurses, patients, and visitors. To see the expressions change on a face the MOMENT they see one of the dogs is simply incredible!”

To learn more about volunteering at Nanticoke Health Services, visit

National Capital Therapy Dogs, Inc. (NCTD) is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that provides animal-assisted therapy and other activities to people in health facilities, shelters, schools and libraries. Established in 1990, NCTD has steadily expanded its operations, and is now recognized as one of the top animal-assisted therapy organizations in the country. To learn more, visit

Nanticoke Health Services includes Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and the Nanticoke Physician Network. Nanticoke Memorial Hospital holds a Level III Trauma Center certification and received a 4-star rating for 2016 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Nanticoke is nationally certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and is a Gold Plus Award performer according to the American Heart/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® program. Nanticoke’s Cancer Care Services holds Accreditation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and is a member of the Association of Community Cancer Centers. Nanticoke’s medical staff includes over 160 health care providers practicing in 40 different specialties.