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Have you met Poke-a-Dot?

Meet Poke-a-Dot the Comfort Dog and mascot for the University of Michigan Poke Program!

Poke-a-Dot is no ordinary dog.  He recognizes children who experience a poke or procedure at U-M.  Poke-a-Dot is just one part of a creative idea called the Poke Program. This program supports patients and families of children experiencing pain and anxiety with pokes or procedures.  Although pain cannot be completely avoided, there are some things parents and others can do to make a poke or procedure a more positive experience.

Learn more about all the Poke Program has to offer by "poking around" this site.

What is the Poke Program?

The University of Michigan Poke Program helps reduce the pain and fear surrounding needlestick pokes and uncomfortable procedures.

Needlesticks associated with blood draws, IV starts, immunizations and other procedures are a routine part of care for children in medical settings. These procedures often cause children pain and anxiety which may have both short-term and long-term effects.

Individuals vary in their response to pain and anxiety-producing stimuli. Pain is influenced by genetics, temperament and past experience. Read More

Key Contacts

Sandy Merkel, MS, RN-BC - Clinical Nurse Specialist, Pediatric Acute Pain Service

Julie Piazza, MS, CCLS - Certified Child Life Specialist, Child and Family Life Department  

Harry Neusius - Administrative Manager, UMH Pathology,  

Mary Watson, RN, MSBA  - Clinical Project Manager, Ambulatory Care Services

Cathy Desmet RN - Nursing Supervisor, Acute Care Pediatric Nursing,

Kelly Baird-Cox, MS, RN - Nurse Manager, Children's Emergency Service,

Sue Quinn, RN - Level E Nurse, Pediatric Radiology,

Featured Stories

Poke Plan in Action
See Ellie's story of a great example of how the Poke Program can work! Photo Page 1  
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