ELKINS, W.Va. – Mark Roy and Ellie, the dynamic Pet Therapy Team from Davis Medical Center, have been selected as recipients of the 2023 Governor’s Service Award. This award celebrates their volunteerism which brings joy to patients, staff, and visitors at the Davis Medical Center in Elkins.
On Thursday, June 15, Mark Roy and Ellie will be honored for their dedication to service at the annual Governor’s Service Awards dinner at the Culture Center at the State Capitol.
Presented since 1995, the Governor’s Service Awards honors individuals and groups that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. Mark Roy and Ellie will receive their award in the Group Category.
Mark Roy, a full-time employee, works long hours each day so he can take Friday off to volunteer at the Davis Medical Center with his dog Ellie. Inspired by his own experiences during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mark made the heartwarming decision to expand his family and welcomed Ellie, a lovable golden doodle dog from West Virginia Sweet Southern Doodles, into his home. Ellie provided him with invaluable companionship and support during a time of social distancing, leading Mark to consider how they could extend this comfort to others.
Recognizing the loneliness experienced by people in long-term care facilities and hospitals, Mark embarked on a mission to bring joy to these individuals. Determined to make a positive difference, he and Ellie started the rigorous certification process to become a certified pet therapy team. Under Mark’s dedicated guidance and Ellie’s diligent training, they successfully met the requirements and obtained certification with Therapy Dogs International in 2022. Their journey led them to become the Davis Medical Center Pet Therapy Team.
Every Friday, without fail, Mark and Ellie uplift the spirits of everyone they encounter at the Davis Medical Center. The emotional support they provide cannot be overstated. Their presence brings joy and comfort to patients, staff, and visitors, creating an atmosphere of hope and positivity. Their commitment to uplifting others epitomizes the transformative power of volunteerism.
The Governor’s Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service. The event will take place on Thursday, June 15th at 6:00pm at the Culture Center in Charleston. A volunteer review committee reads and selects the recipients based on achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, creativity, and impact of service.
Other recipients of the 2023 Governor’s Service Awards include, by category:
- Youth: Maren Boblits, Edmond
- Young Adult: Sequoia Ware, Huntington
- Adult: Susan James Hagan, Wheeling
- Senior: Libby Campbell Lucas, Ansted
- Lifetime Achievement: Fran Welton, Moorefield