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Special Tree's New Learning Series Covers Essentials of Living With a Spinal Cord Injury

Special Tree is ramping up our SCI programming beginning with a new educational course for patients and their family/care-providers.  The course, which kicked-off on November 5th, consists of six one-hour classes presented by Special Tree clinicians on how to manage life after a spinal cord injury.  The classes are offered twice a week at the NeuroCare Campus (NCC) during the first three weeks of every month and deal with important topics such as spinal cord anatomy, skin care, bowel and bladder care, mental health, secondary health complications, and sexuality and relationships.  (Special Tree’s SCI Community Liaison Todd Hammons will continue to provide peer-to-peer support programming at NCC on the third Wednesday of every month.)

“We’re so excited to offer this course to our patients with SCI and their care-pro...

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Special Tree Welcomes New Neuropsychologist

Special Tree is pleased to welcome Emily Robinett, Ph.D.  Dr. Robinett provides neurolopsychology evaluations and works closely with our interdisciplinary team to integrate neuropsychology interventions into individualized rehabilitation services for the patients we serve.  

Along with monitoring the neurobehavioral status of inpatient patients and providing comprehensive outpatient neuropsychological evaluations, she is currently working to integrate information about each patient's current cognitive functioning into Special Tree’s Vocational Services and Pre-Driving programs.

 “Having neuropsychological evaluations in place before clients begin a specialized program helps them to focus on their strengths and to avoid likely pitfalls.”

Dr. Robinett earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an emphas...

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Special Tree Celebrates 10th Consecutive Top Workplace Award

For the 10th year in a row, Special Tree has earned a Top Workplace Award from the Detroit Free Press! Special Tree was thrilled to rank #13 in the Large-Size company category, placing it in the top third of the list.  The recognition is based solely on employee feedback through a survey that covers topics like work and life balance, salary, benefits, leadership, and corporate culture.

“This award belongs to all of our employees at Special Tree,” said CEO Joe Richert.  “While it’s gratifying to have earned this recognition for ten years, we’re most thankful for our fabulous team.  The outstanding rehabilitation and care they provide to our clients throughout...

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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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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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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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aquatic therepy pool rehab

A Day in the Life of a Special Tree Recreational Therapy Intern

Did you know that Special Tree is a sought-after placement for therapists, nurses, and other disciplines for completing their clinical education rotations? Each year we have students from various colleges and universities shadow our clinicians over days and weeks to learn about neurorehabilitation. As part of Therpeutic Recreation Awareness month, our fabulous TR intern Erik Weston created this Vlog giving us a snapshot of his day

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Visagraph Helps Patients With Vision and Reading Deficits After Brain Injury

Special Tree recently added the Visagraph to it's vision therapy program to better treat reading and comprehension problems that are common after a TBI.   Special Tree OT Patricia Laws explains what a Visagraph is and its impact on patient outcomes.

1.            What is a Visagraph and why is this technology a good addition to our Vision Therapy program?

The Visagraph is an eye-movement recording device that uses infrared sensory goggles that tells us what the patient’s eyes are doing during reading as well as what they’re comprehending so we can more accurately target vision therapy to address deficits.   

2.            What do eye-movements tell you about a person’s reading efficiency?

It tells us if there are underlying visual issues and wh...

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