CHICAGO—As part of an effort to provide comfort and serenity to patients, officials at Mount Sinai Hospital have launched a new therapy oyster program that brings hundreds of the bivalve mollusks to the bedsides of those most in need of cheering up. “Our hospitals provide patients with the best medical care available, but the soothing presence of a therapy oyster can offer reassurance that no doctor can,” director Miriam Lucas said of the new program, which brings saltwater tanks of oysters to the rooms of ill and end-of-life patients for them to pet, cuddle, or simply have nearby during a difficult time. “There’s nothing quite like the way a weak, ailing patient’s face lights up when the therapy oysters arrive. Even just watching them filter plankton for 15 minutes a day can make all the difference in the world.” Lucas added that not only do the patients benefit from the therapy oyster program, the oysters seem to enjoy spending time with the patients too.
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