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NMCSD Furry Shipmate Impact on Staff and Patients

SAN DIEGO. U.S. Navy, facility dog, LC, poses for her official command portrait at Naval Medical Center San Diego, July 26, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cameron Pinske)

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Harley K. Sarmiento, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) — Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) has a very diverse and caring staff, but one of its most notable staff members is facility dog, LC.


LC’s first day at NMCSD was March 26, 2019. Since then, she has been improving the morale of staff members and patients all around the hospital.


“Every day I come into work, I cannot wait to see her,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Crislynne Warden, a surgical technician and secondary handler. “Seeing the way she lights up our staff members’ faces, no matter what type of day they are having, brings so much joy and calmness to our chaotic days here.”


LC receives requests to visit staff and patients all around NMCSD. Her presence brings smiles to the faces of everyone with whom she comes into contact.


“LC is a welcoming sight for most adult patients; they are able to relax and not worry about why they are here,” said Cheryl von Husen, facility manager and secondary handler.


LC is a stress reliever for both staff members and patients. She has a way of calming patients down before a procedure, especially our younger patients.


“Children love to play ball with her or give belly rubs, which LC has no problem with since she really likes belly rubs,” said von Husen. “Playing ball is her favorite thing to do, but once she starts, she never wants to quit. We have to hide the ball to get her to stop.”


Having her on staff boosts morale command-wide. Staff enjoy her company when they are having a troubling day and just need a pick-me-up.
“LC is such a mode of comfort,” said Warden. “She feeds off of our energy and is the ultimate companion.”


“To have the ability to provide that type of comfort to people in some of their most vulnerable moments is a gift,” said Warden.


LC adds to NMCSDs mission: to prepare to deploy in support of operational forces, deliver quality health care services, and shape the future of military medicine through education, training, and research.


By providing comfort to both our patients and staff, LC assists the hospital in being the nation’s premier military medical center, providing world-class care; anytime, anywhere.

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