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Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello

Chery Krause-Parello

Every day, about 20 military veterans in the United States die by suicide — more than are lost daily in combat. Many veterans develop post-traumatic stress disorder and struggle reintegrating into life’s daily routine.

To address this widespread issue, Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello, professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and faculty fellow in FAU’s Institute for Healthy Aging and Lifespan Studies (I-HeAL), is investigating how to reduce risk factors for suicide in the military veteran population by developing interventions and measuring their effects on biological and psychosocial stress indicators. Dr. Krause-Parello founded Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors (C-PAWW) after noticing the healing effects of the interactions of dogs with veterans experiencing stress. The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing is now home to C-PAWW, which is expanding the College’s efforts to investigate protective factors for suicide in the military population and improve the understanding of palliative effects of animal-assisted interventions.

“C-P.A.W.W. was created in response to the lack of vital information regarding the healing capacities of the human-animal interaction in military veterans,” said Dr. Krause-Parello. “Service dogs are specially trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, enabling them to live independently. They can be trained to sense a veteran’s anxiety, can serve as a calming influence through deep pressure therapy, and help a veteran feel safer in a crowded public area. Many veterans with a service dog can positively reintegrate into civilian life and reestablish a sense of independence.”

“C-P.A.W.W. is providing an invaluable service to our veterans locally and nationally, and we are very excited to have this important initiative housed in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing,” said Dr. Marlaine Smith, dean of FAU’s College of Nursing. To learn more about C-P.A.W.W., click here or watch this video.