Introducing Hope: OHSU Doernbecher’s new Hospital Facility Dog

04/06/15  Portland, Ore.


Meet OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital newest “employee,” an incredibly sweet, specially trained dog named Hope.


  • Sandra Westfall, M.S., C.C.L.S., Hope’s handler and manager of OHSU Doernbecher’s Child Life Program
  • Mo Mauer, Hope’s trainer and co-founder of Assistance Dogs of Hawaii
  • OHSU Doernbecher patients and families


Tuesday, April 7, 10 a.m.


OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, 700 S.W. Campus Drive, Portland, OR.


Hope, a 2-year-old English Cream Golden Retriever, has joined OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital full time to help provide comfort and companionship to children battling serious illnesses and their families. Her official title? Chief Canine Officer. Her favorite command? “Snuggle.”

Hope lives with her handler, Sandra Westfall, manager of OHSU Doernbecher’s Child Life Program. In January, Sandra traveled to Maui, Hawaii, where she underwent intensive training with Hope’s trainers, Will and Mo Maurer of Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, and is now certified in Animal Assisted Therapy.

In the short time Hope has been at OHSU Doernbecher, she has had a visible impact on the health and well-being of our patients, families AND staff.

Every weekday, Sandra and Hope carpool to OHSU Doernbecher and begin making the rounds. Hope’s visits with patients and families include cuddling on the bed, playing fetch, grooming, taking short walks and more.

Doernbecher staff have also reaped the benefits of Hope’s calming presence. Nurses, child life specialists and other health care professionals frequently drop by Sandra’s office for some quality “Hope time.”

Hope’s presence at OHSU Doernbecher is made possible through a generous gift from Kate McCoy, a Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation board member, and her husband, Craig.

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