Central DuPage Patients, Staff Fall in Love with Casanova

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 14, 2001 | Go to article overview
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Central DuPage Patients, Staff Fall in Love with Casanova

Central DuPage Hospital has added a new weapon in its arsenal of medicine.

It's an 8-year-old German shepherd with a loving disposition to match his name, Casanova.

Casanova visits children and terminally ill patients at the Winfield hospital.

"It's unbelievable the benefits I have seen," said Trina Krischon, a child life therapist at the hospital and one of two staffers who pushed for the visits. "It helps people relax and feel at home."

When one boy was too weak to get out of bed and pet Casanova, the 80-pound dog climbed onto the bed to cuddle.

"This little boy brushed him for about half an hour and talked to him quietly," Krischon said.

Casanova spends several hours at the hospital once every three weeks with his owner LeAnn Spencer.

The dog was trained through Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy in Chicago and is certified through the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen Program. Not only is Casanova good natured enough to accept affection from strangers, he can entertain patients with tricks like picking the one cup out of three that is hiding a ball.

Casanova's visits started about three months ago after Krischon and Deborah Brunelle, outcomes manager for NeuroSpine services at the hospital, sold the idea to the hospital's managers. Now they hope to expand the program to include more dogs so that more patients can get a boost from a furry friend.

"Research shows that patients receiving pet therapy experience improved overall physiological effects and body image, shorter hospital stays and less anxiety," Brunelle said.

Design a quarter: If you love doodling as much as you love the state of Illinois then the contest to design Illinois' commemorative quarter may be just the ticket.

The United States Treasury is in the midst of issuing a series of state quarters. Every 10 weeks, starting in 1999, a new state quarter will be introduced according to the order the states were admitted into the Union. The Illinois quarter will debut in 2003.

Gov. George Ryan announced a statewide contest to design Illinois' commemorative coin. The deadline for entries is March 3.

Residents of state Sen. Peter Roskam's district also may send their entries to his office at 500 Pennsylvania Ave., Glen Ellyn, 60137.

Roskam would like entries into his office by Feb. 28 so he can review them and send them to the governor. The best entries in various age groups will be awarded with plaques for their efforts, he said.

But doodlers and artists alike should keep a few guidelines in mind. Designs must have broad appeal, have a "suitable subject matter," and be limited to one or two concepts. In addition, the design should be somewhat dignified in keeping with the theme of the series.

And finally, state flags, seals and images of living people are not considered appropriate for the series. Previous states have included a variety of symbols on their quarters including a peach for Georgia, a ship for Virginia and the Statue of Liberty for New York.

Ryan will be forwarding three to five design finalists to the U.S. Mint for review. The mint and the governor's office will then be picking the final design of Illinois' quarter.

More information about the statewide contest is available online at www.peterroskam.com or at www.state.il.us/state/quarter. The U.S. Mint Web site also has information about the series and how the state designs will be selected at www.usmint.gov.

Lights, please: It's a good thing Addison's employee of the month went to village hall to accept his certificate.

The night Jim Crotty, foreman of the building and grounds department, accepted his award there was an unrelated reception being held in the rotunda.

Crotty, who has been with the village for 14 years, was the only one who knew where the circuit breaker was for the floor switches that turned the power on in the center of the rotunda.

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