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COVID-19 Update | April 9, 2021

Here are the Latest Updates:

  • Two team members who work on NeuroCare Campus North have tested positive for COVID-19 this week. Unfortunately, visitation for all NCC North clients is temporarily suspended and clients on NCC North and South will receive a PCR test on Monday as required by the MDHHS.
  • Visitation for NCC South clients is not affected as the team members who tested positive did not work on the unit.
  • Two team members at Heavlin are on 14-day quarantines due to household members who tested positive. Indoor visitation is not affected for Heavlin clients. As a precaution, all Heavlin clients will be rapid tested on Monday.
  • Team members who tested positive are all on 14-day quarantines and contact tracing has been initiated to identify, monitor,...
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COVID-19 Update | February 15, 2021

NCC Vaccine Update
Special Tree held their second COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the NeuroCare Campus on February 4th.  We’re pleased to share that 70% of our clients and 107 staff are now fully vaccinated so far.  Staff who received their first dose on February 4th will get the second dose at the third and final NCC vaccine clinic on March 4th.  Our staff have expressed their excitement and hope about receiving the vaccine and see it as a critical step towards protecting our clients, their team members, and others in our community.   

Although many clients and staff are now vaccinated, we will continue to strictly follow our current COVID-19 safety practices and protocols to slow and prevent the spread of COVID-19 including PPE usage, visitor restrictions, social distancing, and other precau...

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Grant Program Donates Adaptive Jeans to Special Tree

Special Tree was among several organizations that received a generous donation of Seven7 adaptive jeans as part of the Runway of Dreams Wardrobe Grant program.  The Runway of Dreams Foundation (RDF) works to ensure people with disabilities have access to mainstream apparel that meets both their physical needs and personal style.   

The Seven7 Adaptive jeans are designed for ease of dressing and feature magnetic and micro Velcro closures as well as reinforced side belt loops instead of buttons and zippers.  The stylish yet functional adaptive jeans are getting rave reviews from clients who began receiving them earlier this month. 

“While our clients can’t wear them out just yet due to COVID-19, it’s been great for our therapy and care staff to see clients enjoying their jeans around Special Tree,” said Specia...

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COVID-19 Update | January 6, 2021

NeuroCare Campus Update:

  • Yesterday we were notified that a client in our Outpatient Clinic at the NeuroCare Campus tested positive for COVID-19 and is now on a 14-day quarantine. Special Tree has initiated contact tracing to identify, monitor, and support individuals who may have been exposed to the virus.  We continue to track our client and staff pending and confirmed cases on the COVID-19 page of our website.
  • At this time we have no active cases of COVID-19 for clients at the NeuroCare Campus.
  • Mandatory bi-weekly testing resumed this week for all NCC clients and staff on Tuesdays and Fridays from 12:30pm - 5pm.
  • Visitor restrictions remain in place at NCC until Wayne County is no longer designated "re...
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How Technology Has Improved Child Passenger Safety

In honor of National Child Passenger Safety Week, we’re taking a closer look at the technological advancements that have helped save countless lives - and how they came to be - with guest blogger Rob Hurlston of Fidelis Engineering Associates (FEA).

According to CDC statistics, motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States, based on 2017 data. During that year, almost 700 children under the age of 15 died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes and almost 120,000 were injured. While this statistic is startling, it has actually improved between 10% and 30% (per capita) since the 1970s, while the number of miles travelled by car has obviously skyrocketed.

This is due, in no small part, to the advances that we’ve seen, not only...

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Special Tree Team Members Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Brain Injury Community

Congratulations to Special Tree’s Rene Dell, Director of Vocational and Day Treatment Services, and Char Combs, Executive Director of our Home Health partner CC Rehab, for their awards from the Brain Injury Association of Michigan (BIAMI).

Rene Dell recently received the 2020 Brain Injury Association of Michigan Volunteer Award in honor of all the time, energy, effort, and talent she has contributed as Co-Chair of the BIAMI’s Legacy Auction committee.  The committee brings in donations for the BIAMI’s annual two-week online auction held in conjunction with their Spring Tribute Legacy Dinner to fund programs for military veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-tr...

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Hats Off to Respiratory Therapists! Unsung Heroes of COVID-19

Respiratory Therapists have been described as the unsung heroes of Covid-19. The global pandemic has brought these therapists into the clinical spotlight for many, but the critical role they play in patient care has long been a standard at Special Tree.

The importance of these uniquely trained clinicians, who evaluate and manage the respiratory needs of patients who have impaired lung function, has been amplified as COVID-19 began to spread, and impacted many of its victim’s ability to breathe independently. Across the nation, Respiratory Therapists showed their longstanding skill through tasks such as operating and maintaining equipment to administer oxygen or assisting with breathing (often through a "vent" or "ventilator"), managing therapy to help recover lung function, administering medications to help allevia...

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Tips for Healthy Eating During COVID-19

Maintaining a healthy diet is always important, but even more so during COVID-19.  We asked Special Tree’s Registered Dietitian Sarah Roan-Nguyen for her advice about how to stay well-nourished while at home.

Q:  If you had to self-quarantine for 14 days, what would you do to keep yourself and family well-nourished?

  • Create your own structure: I’m trying to stick to my normal meal and snack times, to maintain my own routine within this time of feeling such uncertainty/chaos. Also, my husband and I eat dinner together each night, to spend quality (screenless!) time together, which was our routine “pre-COVID”. I find it really helps to bring back some normalcy to our daily living.
    Tip: avoid going longer than 4-5 hours between meals or snack, to prevent from feeling...
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Special Tree's Wound Care Program Takes a Big Leap


What started out as an in-service for an advanced wound care device in December 2018 turned into an epic journey to rethink how we do wound care at Special Tree.   After attending the in-service, CEO Joe Richert was so intrigued by the technology, he asked Chief Nursing Officer Lela Hickonbottom how it could help our clients.  “His inquiry really inspired us to rethink our common approaches to wound care and to look for opportunities for innovation,” she said.  It was shortly after the in-service that Lela, Director of Nursing Della Little, and NCC Asst. Administrator Lisa Bray joined forces with Chief Quality Officer Mark Mac Aleese and his team to form a quality task force to evaluate our wound care program and to implement changes to take it to the next level.   

Process Improve...

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Special Tree Wins MIPex Award

The Michigan Performance Excellence Council (MiPex) has awarded Special Tree with the 2020 Michigan Performance Excellence Award, the state’s highest honor for organizations that have demonstrated outstanding performance, leadership, and operational excellence.

“This award really highlights that we are a high-quality organization,” says Mark Mac Aleese, Special Tree Chief Quality Officer. “It demonstrates our superior clinical and business outcomes and that we continually strive for agility, adaptability and overall best practices in every realm.”  He credits several factors in moving Special Tree to the level of quality to win the award including technological advancements such as adding the Zero G system and a new internal lab. 

The MIPex award program is modeled after the National Baldrige Performance Exc...

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