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New Program Helps Patients Drive Toward Success

Driving is a skill that many patients want to regain after their injury.  Special Tree’s new Pre-Driving Program helps individuals take the first step toward driving again by making sure they’re safe and ready to get behind the wheel for on-the-road training. 

“We all spend so much time behind the wheel that we take for granted the underlying skills involved,” said OT Bev Zimmerman, who helped develop the program with a multi-disciplinary team at Special Tree.  “A TBI can alter many off-the-road skills needed to be a safe and successful driver such as concentration, memory, physical stamina, visual perception, problem-solving, and more.” 

The Pre-Driving Program helps rev-up those essential off-the-road skills through a six-week program that includes a clinical assessment with an OT, speech pathologist, and/...

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Did You Hear? Special Tree Earns Another Three-Year CARF Accreditation

Special Tree has earned another accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), the highest level accreditation given to rehabilitation facilities.

CARF is an independent, non-profit accrediting organization, which works to ensure that high standards of care and quality are met by its accredited rehabilitation providers.  Special Tree voluntarily pursues CARF accreditation for its programs and services every three years.  To earn this internationally recognized accreditation, a team of CARF surveyors visited Special Tree to evaluate our programs, services, staff, policies, and procedures to make sure they met CARF standards. 

“Special Tree first earned CARF accreditation in 1991, and we're thankful to our team for helping to grow and expand it to more facilities and prog...

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IN THE NEWS: Robot Tool Gives Patients a Lift to Recovery

Check out this article in The Detroit News to learn how Special Tree's new ZeroG system is having a tremendous impact on the recovery of patients like Sloan H. 

 

Special Tree’s Adaptive Sports Experience Shows What’s Possible After Life-Altering Injury

Once an avid golfer, Gerry hadn’t touched a golf club since a spinal cord injury left him in a wheelchair six years ago.  But all that changed when he picked up an adaptive golf club at Special Tree’s Adaptive Sports Experience on June 28th at Willow Metropark.

“I can still swing and miss,” he said with a chuckle.  But there was much more to Gerry’s swing than hitting the ball.  “Instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I’m here to see what I can do,” he said.  

Helping Gerry and others to see what’s possible after a life-changing injury is what the Adaptive Sports Experience is all about says Recreational Therapist Kristin Claerhout.  The annual free event is organized by Special Tree’s Recreational Therapy team to showcase outdoor activities that can be adapted to accommodate all ability levels. 

“A...

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Bright Lights, Big Savings

Things are looking brighter around Special Tree with the installation of hundreds of new LED light fittings. Our fabulous Facilities Maintenance team have converted hundreds of conventional bulbs to LEDs at the NeuroCare Campus, Industrial Operations Center, Troy NeuroSkills Center, and The Leadership Center and it’s paying off in big ways.

Since the conversion project began in 2017, LEDs have not only produced better light quality, these highly energy-efficient lights have helped Special Tree cut their carbon footprint while also saving money.

“Although LEDs are more expensive up front, they’re dramatically more cost-effecctive in the long run,” said Jim Richert, Facilities Maintenance Director. For over a year, he has kept close track of the costs and energy savings at locations where LEDs have been instal...

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Special Tree Launches “ZeroG,” Robotic Body-Weight Rehab Support System

 

ZeroG Gait and Balance System provides dynamic, body-weight support, mimicking falls to provide real-time biofeedback.

Special Tree is thrilled to announce the launch of a new, cutting-edge rehab support system to help patients relearn walking after traumatic injury. The system was installed at the NeuroCare Center in early June. Following extensive training, therapists began using the system almost immediately and it has been in steady use ever since. 

"We are already seeing an impact on our patients," shared Nicole LeBaron, Physical Therapy Assistant. "Without Zero G, it could take several therapists to help a person stand up and walk. With this new system, they are able to build the confidence needed to regain independence.." 

The ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System by...

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2018 Scholarship Winners Announced!

Special Tree offers a $1000 annual high school scholarship to college-bound students who attend public schools where Special Tree has a facility located within that district.

The scholarships assist winners with tuition as they pursue a career in rehabilitation or a related healthcare field. This is one criteria upon which the scholarships are awarded, along with academic achievement, community service, extra-curricular activities, responses to essay questions, and letters of recommendation.

This year, Special Tree awarded 13 scholarships.  Congratulations to the following graduates:

Anderson High School, Southgate – Emily Plaza
Avondale High School, Avondale – Deven Tayal
Birmingham Groves High School, Birmingham – Hadley Moak
Dakota High School, Clinton Twp – Abigail Meesseman...

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Special Tree Represents at Capitol Day 2018

By Peggy Allen Bock, Special Tree Executive Director Business Development

Every year in May the Brain Injury Association in Michigan and the Michigan Brain Injury Provider Council sponsor Capital Day in Lansing.  Providers, advocates and survivors of brain injury and their families descend on the Capital for the opportunity to meet with their legislators.  Special Tree was well represented and our staff spent the day educating policy makers about brain injury and public policy that impacts the persons we serve.  Check out photos of the group in action...

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Curzydlo Named to Board of Examiners for 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

Congrats to Nicole Curzydlo, Special Tree’s Quality Program Manager, who was named to the Board of Examiners for the 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In the world of organizational quality, being selected as an Examiner is a pretty big deal.  Nicole joins a national team of 350 experts who were competitively selected to evaluate and provide feedback to organizations across the U.S. who submitted applications for the Baldrige Award, the nation's highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.   The feedback report is a key reason why organizations (including Special Tree!) apply for the award.  Nicole also served as an Examiner for the state-level Baldrige Award in 2014 and 2015.  Special Tree is proud to have had 19 staff selected as state and national Examiners since adopting the Bald...

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Out of the Chair and Into the Air!

Airport Tour Shows Clients How to Travel By Air in a Wheelchair

 

These days, flying anywhere is a hassle for anyone. But air travel can be especially challenging for wheelchair users. One way Special Tree is helping clients and their families prepare for future air travel is taking them to Detroit Metro Airport for a behind the scenes tour of the disability services available through Delta Airlines.

Recreational Therapists Kristin Claerhout and Courtney Fankhauser recently organized a TR outing where representatives from Delta Airlines Disabilities Support staff went with clients and their families through every phase of the airport experience. Delta reps took clients through TSA security and onto a gate where they boarded a plane and transferred to a seat using a special ai...

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