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Switchbacks Visit Penrose Hospital & St. Francis Medical Center

By Joel Huber, 07/05/17, 3:00PM MDT

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The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC visited Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center as a continuation of their Spreading Smiles Initiative with Fox 21 & SOCO CW. Luke Vercollone, Eddy Prugh, and Ziggy visited patients alongside their pet ambassadors to brighten the days of patients.

"It was nice to visit the hospital, and along with the dogs, bring joy to some of the patients there," said Luke Vercollone of the visit. "I was honored to be a part of this great initiative."

"It was great visiting Penrose," echoed Eddy Prugh. "It was a good example of how the little things can make a big difference and you could see it when you look at the patients and how they light up when they see the dogs."

Research has long touted the benefits of pet ownership and contact with animals. in fact, having furry companions has been linked to decreasing blood pressure and anxiety, less pain following surgical procedures, increased social behaviors, and interactions, decreased loneliness and more opportunities for physical activity and socialization.

Volunteers are an integral part of Penrose-St. Francis, as they enhance the quality of care given to their patients by providing an extra special touch. The service their volunteers offer, including their pet ambassadors and their handlers, is truly a gift from the heart.

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