Cynthia Ingram, RN, COHN-S – Animal Therapy Coordinator
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BS, Health Arts - College of St. Francis, Joliet, IL
Associate, Nursing - Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, WI
Occupational Health Nurse Specialist
"I thoroughly enjoy being part of a multidisciplinary team that serves our patients and caregivers in such a holistic way."
Cynthia Ingram, RN, COHN-S
Animal Therapy Coordinator
Cynthia Ingram joined Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) in 2004 as a registered nurse case manager. Now, Ingram serves as the animal therapy coordinator for the Animal-Assisted Therapy program in the Mind-Body Medicine Department.
This program includes visits from Tori, an Australian Labradoodle and therapy dog. Ingram is Tori’s trainer, handler and Pet Partner. Together, they underwent intensive training, health screening and a 22-part evaluation process to become registered Pet Partners by the Delta Society, an organization dedicated to improving human health through animal-assisted therapy.
As part of the mind-body team at Midwestern, Ingram and Tori visit patients to provide them and their loved ones with comfort, relief and/or distraction from pain, discomfort and stress.
Ingram, who is also a certified occupational health nurse specialist, shares, “I feel the mind-body connection is so powerful in helping patients through treatment. When we walk in a room and it brightens up a patient’s day, it generates such a feeling of peace, comfort and happiness.”
“Studies have shown that animal-assisted therapy can help lower depression, blood pressure, anxiety, and pain levels,” says Ingram. “Tori provides unconditional love and support to our patients, their caregivers and family members. I really feel honored to be able to care for our patients in this manner.”
Part of Ingram’s responsibility is to individually evaluate each patient to ensure that a visit from Tori is appropriate in their particular phase of treatment.
Ingram holds a bachelor of science degree in health arts from the College of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. Before leading the Animal-Assisted Therapy program, Ingram fulfilled roles as the occupational medicine employee health-wellness manager and as an oncology RN case manager at Midwestern.
Ingram is a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and the American Association of Occupation Health Nurses. Additionally, she and Tori are active members of Dogs of Endearment Dog Therapy Group and the Delta Society.
In her downtime, Ingram enjoys exploring the outdoors, cooking, gardening, biking and training for and participating in sprint triathlons, which she has done for the past 10 years.