Kizzy Marco is a Certified Child Life Specialist, and is the coordinator of the facility dog program. She studied child life at the University of Iowa and came to Cook Children’s in 2012. Kizzy has a special interest in helping kids find mastery in all kinds of life experiences. Outside of her work at Cook Children’s, she coaches youth sports and facilitates a grief group at The WARM Place.
A team of Cook Children's employees has been trained as the dogs' handlers, and each day the dogs come to work to serve as part of our therapeutic environment. Whether the dogs come in and just sit by your child's side or help them recover from a procedure, there are added health benefits... and lots of happy tales!
Some of the benefits of interaction with our facility dogs are:
- Providing an alternate focus from illness symptoms, pain and medical treatment.
- Offering unconditional love and acceptance.
- Motivating and supporting patient coping through encouragement.
- Reducing anxiety by providing physical contact and a soft touch.
- Improving fitness by encouraging exercise (especially after surgery).
- Promoting social interaction.
- Reducing feelings of loss and loneliness for patients who are missing home, family and pets.