An OR nurse visits with Kenny and the CCI cart in the UVA Health hall
An OR nurse visits with Kenny the therapy dog, part of the service offered by the Compassionate Care Initiative's cart, which recently relaunched and is visiting units across UVA Health all fall.

"This is the best part of my day!"

So said many of the more than three dozen UVA Health clinicians, administrators, and staff who enjoyed snacks, well-being ideas, and a visit from Kenny the therapy dog when the Compassionate Care Initiative (CCI) cart again roamed the hospital corridors and units, the first time since 2020 when COVID-19 brought its wheels to a screeching halt.

Laden with small gifts, healthy snacks, well-being resources, and even a break-time word find, CCI assistant director Hannah Crosby, 4th year BSN student Grace Foulds, and psychiatric-mental health nurse and assistant professor Edie Barbero and her therapy dog Kenny, recently relaunched the resilience-building service Aug. 31, with stops at the UVA blood bank, the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), 3 West's neuro-radiology unit, and the hospital's main operating room workrooms and common areas.

"We'll take a visit from Kenny every day!"

PACU nurse Lyndsey Isner

UVA Health team members like Lisa Barnes and Melissa Campbell, medical technicians at the UVA blood bank, took a few minutes from their work to close their eyes, stretch, and visit with Kenny and one another in a breakroom, plucking some of the resources from the CCI cart to keep at their workstations. Others, like PACU nurse Lyndsey Isner expressed appreciation for the cart, and quipped that they'd take "a visit from Kenny every day!"

The CCI cart debuted in 2017, the brainchild of CCI staffers and alumna Jane Muir (BSN ’12, MSN ’22, PhD ’22), a nurse scientist who studies burnout and is a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's National Clinician Scholars Program. Tabled during COVID-19, Crosby recently put out a call to UVA Health units to offer the service and was overwhelmed at the response. She's organized roughly monthly rounds with the cart through winter 2023 at the request of more than two dozen units.