Exceptional Volunteer Wins Medical Mutual Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award - St Augustine Health Ministries

October 31, 2023

Exceptional Volunteer Wins Medical Mutual Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award

Celebrating Mike Falatach

Every year, the Medical Mutual Outstanding Senior Volunteer Awards program recognizes individuals who dedicate their time serving and uplifting their communities. Mike Falatach was nominated by St. Augustine Health Ministries and MetroHealth and was one of eight individuals to receive this award.

Mike has been a volunteer for more than thirty years, devoting his time to working with therapy dogs. Since retiring, Mike has worked with The Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc., training dogs, mentoring their owners, and helping them along the process to becoming certified. Mike brings these specially trained companions to health care facilities across Greater Cleveland to visit with patients, visitors, and caregivers. Since 2020, he has made over 600 visits to health care facilities! These heartwarming visits provide comfort, companionship, and joy to countless individuals in need.

Mike has been part of our St. Augustine Health Campus family for two years, with nearly 200 hours of service. Mike visits the residents at our Health Campus every week with his dogs Macee and Rosie. Mike’s weekly visits bring smiles to everyone he encounters. Our residents eagerly anticipate these visits, as they’ve come to cherish the joy that Mike and his furry friends bring. It’s not just about spending time with a furry friend; Mike forms genuine relationships with the residents he visits, engaging them in meaningful conversation.

“Mike’s visits with Macee bring so much joy to our residents, and their faces light up with excitement when they see them coming down the hall. We’ve witnessed significant changes in the lives of our residents from increased engagement, increased physical activity, as well as an overall improved quality of life. These interactions fill their days with happiness and a sense of connection,” says Caroline DiFabio, Volunteer and Community Outreach Manager.

Thanks to Mike’s dedicated service, we’ve expanded our pet therapy family, introducing 10 new therapy dogs to our facility. With these additions, we can now offer our residents the special treat of one-on-one pet therapy visits every week. This personalized attention makes our residents feel truly special and gives them something to look forward to.

We are incredibly lucky to have someone like Mike on our team. His deep commitment to our residents and his compassionate nature are truly special. Congratulations on this incredible achievement!

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