MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Receives Grant from the Planet Dog Foundation to Establish Security Canine Program

The canine program will assist MedStar Union Memorial security personnel to reduce the rates of assaults and elopements on campus, as well as alleviate the number of calls for security assistance.

November 22, 2013

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has been awarded a $7,000 grant from the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) to help establish a hospital security canine program. The program, expected to begin operating in early 2014, will prove a valuable asset in enhancing the culture of safety already prevalent at MedStar Union Memorial.

“The safety of our associates, patients and visitors is a top priority,” said Neil MacDonald, vice president, Operations, MedStar Union Memorial. “We take necessary steps to ensure that our associates feel safe at all times. That sense of security enables them to focus 100 percent of their attention on the needs of our patients.”

The canine program will assist MedStar Union Memorial security personnel to reduce the rates of assaults and elopements on campus, as well as alleviate the number of calls for security assistance. Studies of the effectiveness of security dogs show that the presence of a canine can de-escalate a potentially violent situation more quickly and more effectively than a weapon.

The canine program at MedStar Union Memorial is one of eleven programs supported by PDF, Planet Dog’s non-profit grant-making organization.

“We are thrilled to announce new grants to eleven exemplary canine service programs in ten states across the country,” said Kristen Smith, executive director of PDF. “Establishing these new partnerships is a great way for us to embark on our next million dollars of giving and we look forward to learning more about our new grantees and seeing the grants in action.”

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 249-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. As one of the region’s top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial has been caring for members of the community for more than 160 years.

We are renowned for The Curtis National Hand Center, Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Heart Institute, and our Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine program. In addition, we offer a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including diabetes and endocrinology, eye surgery, general surgery, oncology, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care.

MedStar Union Memorial was among the highest rated Maryland hospitals based on Consumer Reports rankings in 2013, and is the only hospital in Maryland to receive the Delmarva Foundation’s highest honor, the Excellence Award for Quality for Hospitals, for six years in a row.

MedStar Union Memorial has ranked among the nation’s top 50 “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report, earning national recognition for seven consecutive years. Our excellence in care also has been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Award), the American College of Cardiology (ACTION Registry Award)and Thomson Reuters (Top Hospitals®: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success).

MedStar Union Memorial is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC). We are the first hospital in Baltimore to receive spine certification by TJC, and the first in the state of Maryland to receive advanced certification for palliative care. MedStar Union Memorial also is designated as a Primary Stroke Center and the Hand Trauma Center for the state of Maryland.

MedStar Union Memorial is a proud member of MedStar Health, a non-profit, regional healthcare system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C. area.

About Planet Dog Foundation

The mission of the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) is to promote and celebrate programs in which dogs serve and support their best friends. PDF is funded primarily by Planet Dog’s contribution of 2 percent of every sale to the Foundation’s grantmaking fund. Planet Dog’s contributions are augmented through private donations and the proceeds from local fundraising events as well as the Orbee-Tuff Glow for Good Ball, a best seller that donates 100 percent of its sales to PDF. 

Media Contact:

Megan Lutz
[email protected]

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