Semple and Casey
Summit Cancer & Hematology Services - Radiation Oncology Patient Beatrice Semple hugs therapy dog Casey of Kindly Canines.
Monday, August 27, 2018

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – When it comes to the best part about the care Beatrice Semple received at Summit Cancer & Hematology Services – Radiation Oncology, it’s a three-way tie.

Semple has great things to say about the providers and nurses who gave her expert cancer care. But there was something about Casey’s bedside manner that really put her at ease.

“I’m a dog-lover,” explained the Orbisonia resident who has three dogs of her own – Odie, Lucy and Samantha.

Casey is a golden retriever and is part of a group of therapy dogs regularly brought to Radiation Oncology by Kindly Canines to help take patients’ minds off their treatments as they greet them and circulate the waiting room.

“It’s hard to explain how the dogs make you feel,” said Semple. “It just makes you feel good and helps you get rid of any anxiety.”

Semple’s complete cancer team of providers included Dr. Mahinur Khan of Summit Cancer & Hematology Services – Medical Oncology, Dr. Lori Eakin of Summit Breast Care Services and Dr. Ato Wright of Radiation Oncology.

She said she’s grateful to the doctors for their knowledge; the nurses for their care and kindness; and the therapy dogs for the relaxation they provided.

“It’s a very good place – they all treat you so well,” she added.

For more information about cancer services at Summit Health, click here.

Learning from experience

“We will visit with patients, as well as the family that comes in with the patients,” said Nancy Shay, who has six years volunteering with Kindly Canines under her belt. “We just see the smile it puts on the patient’s face, coming in or coming out of their treatment.”

Shay said the experience is calming for patients – something she understands first-hand.

“I’ve been doing this work ever since I, myself, went through cancer,” she said. “I ended up coming here for treatments, as well, and I had a dog my vet said would be a wonderful dog to do this work and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Kindly Canines is comprised of a group of volunteers who take therapy dogs to visit patients in health-care settings, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In addition, the group offers a reading support program for students of all ages in the local community. For more information, visit

Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.

As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, urgent care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.

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