Orlando Health and PetSmart Partner to Help Fund Pet Therapy Program

  Orlando Health and PetSmart Partner to Help Fund Pet Therapy Program

        Donation will help fund more than 50,000 patient visits a year

Business Wire

ORLANDO, Fla. -- March 21, 2014

Orlando Health is teaming up with PetSmart to help fund the hospital system’s
pet therapy program, ensuring thousands of patients access to these canine
comfort teams. PetSmart Paws for Hope at Orlando Health will kick off today at
Orlando Health’s seven hospitals throughout Central Florida. Funding from
PetSmart will sponsor the 36 pet therapy teams currently in operation at
Orlando Health.

“At PetSmart, we’re dedicated to supporting our customers, associates and
communities,” said David Lenhardt, CEO of PetSmart. “We’re proud to partner
with Orlando Health on PetSmart Paws for Hope and look forward to helping more
patients heal through the power of pets.”

“Our pet therapy teams play a very special role here at Orlando Health - the
impact the volunteers and therapy dogs have when they walk into a patient’s
room, or sit at the feet of a chemotherapy patient undergoing cancer
treatment, is truly incredible,” said Mark Roh MD, President, UF Health Cancer
Center at Orlando Health. “Pet therapy has proven to reduce a patient’s
stress, calm fears and anxieties and aid in much quicker healing times. We
thank PetSmart for its support and recognition of this vital program that
comforts so many of our patients, guests and team members.”

This is the second national partnership of its kind between PetSmart and a
hospital pet therapy program and will mark the first time Paws for Hope has
worked with adult patients. PetSmart’s donation of $62,500 over the next four
years will fund new pet therapy teams and pet therapy activities within
Orlando Health’s hospitals. In addition, community events and outreach to
local veterinary offices, dog clubs and dog shows will help recruit additional
four-legged volunteers to the program.

Currently, Orlando Health pet therapy teams visit adult and pediatric patients
at the UF Health Cancer Center at Orlando Health, Arnold Palmer Hospital for
Children, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, Orlando Regional Medical
Center, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, South Seminole Hospital, and Health Central
Hospital.

PetSmart’s donation was made possible through its PetSmart Gives Back
initiative. District Managers in several states, including Florida, donated
their philanthropic funds in honor of their colleague, District Manager Jerry
Serafin. Jerry lived in the Orlando area and recently lost his battle with
cancer.

In 2012, PetSmart teamed up with Phoenix Children's Hospital to sponsor their
first animal-assisted therapy program, PetSmart Paws Can Heal. The initial
launch was such a success that PetSmart expanded the program to hospitals
throughout the country with PetSmart Paws for Hope. The program creates
additional pet therapy teams in hospitals and allows for more daily visits
from a therapy animal for each patient. Additionally, the program provides
support for the patients and their families after their hospital stay.
PetSmart plans to expand this program into three new hospitals across the
country every year, with Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, Calif. kicking
off this spring.

About PetSmart

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of
services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs
approximately 53,000 associates and operates more than 1,333 pet stores in the
United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 199 in-store PetSmart^®
PetsHotel^® dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider
of pet supplies and pet care information (http://www.petsmart.com). PetSmart
provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and
offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp^SM
day care services and pet adoption services. Through its in-store pet adoption
partnership with PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada,
PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 5.7 million pets since 1994.
PetSmart Charities, Inc. and PetSmart Charities of Canada (collectively
“PetSmart Charities”) are independent, nonprofit organizations that save the
lives of homeless pets and reduce shelter intake through spay and neuter
efforts. In 2013, nearly 440,000 dogs and cats found homes through PetSmart
Charities’ adoption centers in all PetSmart stores and by sponsoring community
adoption events. PetSmart Charities is the leader in granting money to help
pets in need, with more than $34 million given in 2013 throughout North
America.

About Orlando Health

Orlando Health is a $1.9 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a
community-based network of physician practices, hospitals and care centers
throughout Central Florida.

The organization, which includes Physician Associates, one of the largest
multispecialty practices in central Florida and the area’s only Level One
Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, is a statutory teaching hospital
system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. They are: Orlando
Regional Medical Center; Dr. P. Phillips Hospital; South Seminole Hospital;
Health Central Hospital; the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which consists of
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women &
Babies; the UF Health Cancer Center – Orlando Health (effective January 31,
2014); South Lake Hospital (50 percent affiliation); and St. Cloud Regional
Medical Center (20 percent affiliation). Areas of clinical excellence are
heart and vascular, cancer care, neurosciences, surgery, pediatric orthopedics
and sports medicine, neonatology, and women’s health.

Orlando Health is one of Central Florida’s largest employers with nearly
15,000 employees and more than 2,500 affiliated physicians supporting our
philosophy of providing high quality care and service that revolves around
patients’ needs. We prove this every day with over 110,000 inpatient
admissions and nearly 690,000 outpatient visits each year. In all, Orlando
Health serves 1.6 million Central Florida residents and nearly 3,000
international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides
approximately $239 million in support of community health needs. More
information can be found at www.orlandohealth.com.

Contact:

PetSmart, Inc.
Katie Dagenais, 407-242-0305
Katie.Dagenais@orlandohealth.com
Erin Gray, 623-516-3908
EGray@ssg.petsmart.com
 
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