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speech language

Former Patient Thanks Special Tree SLP for Life-Changing Treatment

Better Hearing and Speech Month is a great time to recognize Speech and Language Pathologists like Beth Brookens who make a big difference in the lives of our patients recovering from brain and spinal cord injury.  Here's what one former patient had to say about how Beth changed her life.

I suffered a mild brain injury in an automobile accident. My vision, speech, and memory were affected. My physician recommended speech and vision therapy, I put it off as long as possible. I had done a pretty good job hiding my deficits for almost a year. Going to therapy to me was admitting I still had issues. It sounds silly now, but I had a difficult time accepting that I had a brain injury. Before my accident, I worked a professional job as a nurse manager, managed my family, maintained a home, and was very invol...

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lab services team quality

Special Tree's Lab Services Team Honored for Quality Excellence

In just two years, Special Tree’s Lab Services has gone from new start-up department to winner of the 2019 Lynn Slevin Quality Award.

“Lab Services is one of the truly great new programs at Special Tree,” said Chief Quality Officer Mark MacAleese who presented the award at Special Tree's Ol’ Timer’s Luncheon, an annual event for employees with 10 or more years of service. The fully accredited in-house lab runs many common diagnostic tests and screenings which helps our doctors to treat clients more quickly and accurately.

The annual award recognizes outstanding quality excellence at Special Tree and was established in 2012 to honor the work of retired Quality Officer Lynn Slevin.

“This award is a great opportunity to recognize each other and the great work that’s happening at Special Tree,” said Mark....

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Special Tree Awards Healthcare Scholarships to Local Graduating Seniors

Special Tree is excited to announce the recipients of their Healthcare and Rehabilitation Scholarship for 2019.  Each of the 13 recipients was awarded a $1000 scholarship to pursue their education in a health-related field.

This year, Special Tree awarded cash scholarships totaling $13,000 to high school graduating seniors from Michigan school districts in communities where Special Tree has a rehabilitation facility. Since 1995, Special Tree has contributed $150,000 to 175 Michigan students as part of their annual scholarship program.

Students receiving Special Tree’s 2019 Healthcare and Rehabilitation Scholarships are:

Downriver Area

  • Elizabeth Jensen, a graduating senior from Flat Rock High School, who will attend Michigan State Univers...
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boaz basketball rehab

Team Member Spotlight | Boaz Cheboiywo

What is your role here at Special Tree?

I’m a Clinical Exercise Physiologist and manage the DTS-Fitness/Exercise Rehabilitation Program. I have a master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiologist.

What’s a typical week like in your exercise program?

Every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, I work with our outpatient clients at the Troy Neuro Skills Center in the morning and then drive to the NeuroCare Center in Romulus where I work with clients in our subacute, outpatient, and Wayne County residential clients in the afternoon.On Wednesday mornings, I lead an exercise program at the Romulus Neuro Skills Center for Day Treatment clients.On Fridays, I drive to our Westwood and Cottage Community Residences to work with clients in a home-setting. Our residential clien...

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vision therapy program

Special Tree Adds Visagraph to Vision Therapy Program for Brain Injury Rehabilitation

Recognizing the need to address vision limitations after brain injury, Special Tree screens for vision problems with every patient.

After three separate eye surgeries to repair detached retinas, resulting in 75 days total spent face-down to recover fully, Special Tree CEO Joseph Richert knows first-hand how powerful vision can be in everyday functioning.

That’s one reason he is passionate about evaluating all patients with brain injury for vision challenges when they first come to Special Tree. Another is simply the good sense it makes to screen patients for impaired vision at the outset; something that is often overlooked and which can have a tremendous impact on rehabilitation and recovery.

“About 70 percent of your sensory nerve fibers are vision, just vision,” says Dr. Danna Haba,...

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trivia contest staff

Residential Team Members Face-off at Trivia Showdown

When it comes to team building events, our fabulous Residential Services crew really like to go all in to make them as fun and engaging as possible for RSTs (Residential Services Technicians) at Special Tree’s community residences.  At their most recent and highly anticipated event, four residential teams gathered at Rosie O’Grady’s in Ferndale to compete in the final Residential Town Hall Trivia Championship which was live streamed on Special Tree’s intranet.

Watch the hIghlights video:

Town Hall meetings are an informal way for our Residential Management team to...

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VR virtual reality therapy

How Virtual Reality is Helping Special Tree Treat TBI

Virtual Reality isn’t just for gamers. For therapists like Courtney Fankhauser, Certified Recreational Specialist at Special Tree, it’s a fantastic tool to motivate patients recovering from traumatic brain injury.

“We appreciate the immersive experience VR offers patients,” shares Fankhauser, “And that it allows us to follow their progress.”

In virtual reality, or “VR”, patients interact with 3-D, computer-generated environments to experience activities like baseball, travel, mountain climbing and more. Therapists are able to watch what patients are doing in real time via monitor, then store data from their sessions to track trends over time.

At Special Tree, virtual reality has provided a powerful method to engage patients in the rehabilitation process.

“One of our patients, Josh, uses vir...

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health information HIP

Get to Know the HIP Team at Special Tree!

Happy Health Information Professionals Week to our fabulous Medical Records team!  This hardworking team manages ALL the health information and Electronic Health Records at Special Tree -- making sure we have the right info where and when its needed while ensuring its accuracy, accessibility, and security.  Thanks to Judy Freels, Chantelle Miller, and Jennifer Graves for the important work they do to make sure our clients receive Fabulous Everyday Care Every Day! 

We asked Judy Freels, Health Information Coordinator for 17 years, a few questions to help us better understand her team's critical role at Special Tree.

Who is on the team and what are their roles at Special Tree?

Judy:  I process all the requests for medical records from attorneys, other health facilities,...

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Adaptive Basketball Event a Slam Dunk!

On Friday March 8th, Special Tree Day Treatment Services (DTS) clients and staff teamed up with Fusion Medical for another great therapeutic basketball event. This is the 4th time Special Tree and Fusion Medical have paired up to conduct an adaptive basketball clinic for clients. Fusion Medical hosted the workshop at Romulus Athletic Club, where clients were able to shoot some hoops and test out specialized basketball wheelchairs that allowed them to step their game up!

Following the clinic, clients picked sides and cheered on the Wayne “Warriors” and Troy “Titans” as the staff went head to head in a competitive basketball game. The Troy Titans took the winning title with a final score of 32 to 17. This annual event is highly anticipated, with such a fun atmosphere and a little cross county rivalry. Many thanks to...

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The Big Reveal!

The camera was rolling as our residential staff and clients got a first look at the major renovation and expansion of our Beverly Hills Community Residence on move-in day! The former 4-bedroom ranch now features six private rooms and a completely remodeled interior. Clients were so excited to see all the big changes, especially when each client was shown their new private room! There were also rave reactions to the new open floor plan which combines the beautifully remodeled kitchen, dining area, and living room into a large inviting space for gatherings. A big shout out to our fabulous Facilities Team who worked diligently to get the interior ready for the big reveal which happened in November....

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