Meet Elliot, PhD. (Pretty Hypoallergenic Dog), a special member of the Weiss Pediatric Care Team offering a unique service for little kids, big kids, and parents too.
Although originally from Kentucky, Elliot has been a member of the Sarasota community for most of his life. Working alongside Dr. Weiss and our team, Elliot has helped demonstrate the benefits of pet therapy through his in-depth research at places like parks, the Sarasota Farmer’s Market, and restaurants with outdoor seating,
Elliot’s role as a certified therapy dog at Weiss Pediatric Care is in keeping with his lifelong ambition of bringing joy to children and families. But the benefits of a therapy dog in a pediatric setting far exceed the happiness factor.
Research suggests that the “presence of therapy animals can lower anxiety, epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, and systolic pulmonary artery pressure. In addition, patient testimonials identify common themes of relaxation, calmness, and peace among pediatric patients.”*
While Elliot’s participation in visits is by invitation only, almost all Weiss Pediatric Care patients – from toddlers to teens (and their parents’ too!) – ask for him whenever they come to see us. Whether he’s working with a 4-year-old anticipating immunizations, a toddler receiving a nebulizer treatment, or a teenager awaiting an annual well visit, Elliot is proof that skilled therapy dogs can play a vital role in creating an optimal environment for health and healing.
Elliot has been instrumental in the development of Weiss Pediatric Care’s patient-centered model, often taking Diane and Dr. Weiss on long walks to discuss the finer points of the Pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home model and also to smell trees. His passion for Weiss Pediatric Care and his work with children is matched only by his love of cream cheese.
If you haven’t met Elliot, please stop by for a visit. And if you would like to schedule a complimentary Prenatal or Get Acquainted appointment to meet Elliot, Dr. Weiss, and the Weiss Pediatric Care team just give us a call at 941-552-8341.
*Myers, Janet, PAWSitive Interventions Ease “rrrf” Times in Pediatrics, American Nurse Today, December 2014, Vol 9 No 12.