A new hospital-based pediatric facility will reunite patients with their own pets.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital broke ground on Thursday for the new Family Pet Center, believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
The center will allow patients on extended stays at the hospital to visit with their own family pets. The new facility will feature visitation bays that are accessible to wheelchairs and stretchers.
Officials say the Family Pet Center will focus on cancer patient recovery, but other long-term patients will also have access to the facility.
"Pets are really important in people's lives, especially children," said Dr. John Perentesis, executive co-director, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children's. "The interaction between patient and pet can be very therapeutic by bringing joy, comfort and a positive mindset to those suffering, especially from cancer."
The new facility will be managed by Cincinnati Children's Child Life Department and made possible by a $107,500 grant awarded to CancerFreeKIDS from Impact 100.
Construction on the Family Pet Center is expected to be completed in August.