Patient & Family Support

Pets with Purpose Program

Pets with Purpose is an animal-assisted therapy program in which calm, friendly, loving and well behaved dogs visit patients, families and visitors to aid in the healing process. The program is composed of teams of volunteers and their pets. Dogs participating in the Pets with Purpose program have undergone frequent and careful veterinary screenings and have been specially trained as "therapists."

Pets with Purpose was established in 1994 and is part of the comprehensive Rehabilitation Services Department at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center. Teams of specially trained volunteers and their dogs are available to visit patients throughout the Medical Center. 

The goal of the Pets with Purpose program is to improve the quality of life of patients during hospitalization.

The Pets with Purpose program provides opportunities for motivational, educational, recreational, and therapeutic interactions among volunteers, pets and patients in an effort to enhance healing and rehabilitation.

Lymphedema Support Group

Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is pleased to offer a free Lymphedema Support Group to individuals and their loved ones who have been affected by any type of lymphedema. This group offers participants an informal and supportive environment where they can share concerns, fears and experiences.

Lymphedema can bring up many questions and concerns, both for patients and their loved ones. This support group provides you with an opportunity to share your thoughts, feelings and concerns with others who are going through a similar process.


  • Learn from others who have personal experience living with Lymphedema.
  • Discuss issues such as the impact of diagnosis, coping with emotions, and access to community resources in a safe, supportive, and confidential environment.

Meeting times

Every third Thursday of every month, except December. Meeting from 4-5:00pm in the Cancer Center conference room. Visitor parking at the front of hospital off Rinaldi. Self parking will be validated - no validations for valet parking.

Since lymphedema often tends to be a misunderstood topic, educational topics & lectures on lymphedema as well as on wellness are presented.

Group facilitators

Joanne Shahnazi, OTR/CLT-LANA and Kathy Caplan, PT, CLT

For more information or to RSVP for a class, please call 818-496-1643.

Stroke Support Group

To help stroke survivors, their families and close friends cope with the aftermath of a stroke. This group provides education and discussions of the social, emotional, and physical aspects of a stroke, as well as offering a forum to learn new coping skills. Open discussions within the group help to promote each participant’s personal development and well-being.

Meeting time

Last Wednesday of the month from 4 - 5:30 p.m. in North Building Conference Rooms


Barbara Lange, MS, CCC-SP and Onita Turner, DPT 818-496-4467