Virtual pet therapy visits, singing nurses: How local hospitals are brightening spirits during coronavirus pandemic

ORLANDO, Fla. — A nurse practitioner’s voice rings out through the halls of AdventHealth Ocala. She’s not barking orders but belting out songs. A socially distant pianist stands nearby, accompanying her on the keys.

Nurse practitioner Tabitha Roberson-Newborn and chaplain Leta Kravig make two rounds daily at the hospital, singing in the halls and at the nurses’ stations to provide encouragement and spiritual care to those in need. Scroll down to watch video of one of their performances.

It’s one way local Central Florida hospitals are working to lift spirits for staff and patients in this time of crisis.


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AdventHealth Spiritual Care Team

Music has the power to heal. Our nurse practitioner Tabitha and Chaplain Leta are committed to caring for you - body, mind and spirit.

Posted by AdventHealth Ocala on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Pet therapy dogs are regulars at Orlando Health, but have been put on “paws” due to the coronavirus pandemic. But a hospital spokesperson said members of the Orlando Health Pet Therapy Program have found a way to help from afar.

Many of the 90 teams who participate in the program are creating encouraging virtual video messages to share with patients and hospital staff.

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In the messages, the dogs and their owners pose with encouraging signs reading everything from “Sending Virtual Puppy Kisses” and “You’re Pawsome” to “We Will Get Through This.”

“Our pet therapy volunteers are part of what makes Orlando Health so special. Each day our teams visit patients and staff to help ease stress and anxiety,” said Paige Johnson, pet therapy team assistant with volunteer services at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center. “They bring joy and comfort to those who need it most.”

Love Your Pet Day

Here at Orlando Health, we love our pets! Show us how you're showing love to your pets by sharing your pictures below. We are looking for more pet therapy volunteers to join the Pet Therapy Program. If you have a dog that loves people and has a calm temperament, consider volunteering with us! Comment below if you'd like more details or visit #OrlandoHealthPetTherapy #LoveYourPetDay

Posted by Orlando Health on Thursday, February 20, 2020

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.