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Special Tree Blog


Talking Universal Design With OT Bev Zimmerman

To help our clients live as independently as possible, Special Tree’s Occupational Therapists look closely at their living space to make sure it’s safe, functional, and accessible for their needs.  But our OTs go one step further in determining what to modify in a home setting.  Their goal is to create living spaces that work for everyone through Universal Design. 
 

Universal Design is an inclusive approach to design that creates an accessible and aesthetically pleasing environment for anyone, regardless of ability and age.   OTs like Bev Zimmerman apply Universal Design principals in their home evaluations for clients as well as at Special Tree’s residenti...

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A Team Approach to Vision Rehabilitation

Vision is more than 20/20.  It’s also our brain’s ability to gather information with our eyes and to process the information we see.  Our brain and eyes work together to help us think, move, and make sense of the world around us.   Because of the close relationship between the brain and vision, many people experience significant vision problems after a brain injury. These visual deficits can interfere with recovery which is why vision therapy is an important part of our clients' overall rehabilitation. We asked OT Patricia Laws to explain more about the benefits of vision therapy and how Special Tree's team-approach helps to maximize visual function. 

At Special Tree, we take a collaborative approach to vision rehabilitation in our adult, teen and pediatric clients.  By collaborating our occupational therapy servic...

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Special Tree Expands Continuum With Home Health Care

Special Tree is excited to announce Home Health Care, a new home-based program to help individuals make a smooth transition home.  Whether a person wants to return home or to live on their own in the community, Special Tree's Home Health Care team provides customized care and support to help them achieve their goals for more independence.  Special Tree’s Cortney Richert explains how Home Health Care is helping individuals to head home with confidence.

What is the goal of Special Tree’s Home Health Care services?
Our goal is to assist individuals that have experienced life altering circumstances, to live as independently as possible, while maximizing their potential. This is accomplished through a collaboration with the entire rehabilitation team and natural supports.  The program provides ind...

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Special Tree Named a Top Workplace by the Detroit Free Press

Special Tree is proud to be named a Top Workplace by the Detroit Free Press for the seventh straight year.  Special Tree was ranked #24 for Top Employers in the Large-Sized category. The Top Workplaces are based on employee feedback via a survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement.   The survey seeks to find if employees feel inspired in their workplace, and if they are given the opportunity and support needed to do great things. 

“We are committed to providing the best rehabilitation and care and know that it starts with having a great team,” said Special Tree CEO Joe Richert.  “Our team members take pride in helping our clients achieve the best outcomes possible throughout their recovery.  We...

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Role of Respiratory Therapists is a Matter of Life and Breath

It's Respiratory Care Week and a great time to shine a spotlight on our Respiratory Therapists (RTs) and the life-saving care they provide to clients throughout their rehabilitation and recovery.  

Our highly-skilled RTs provide 24/7 care to clients with many levels of respiratory support needs in the Subacute Rehabilitation Program at Special Tree's NeuroCare Campus in Romulus.  For many clients that means RTs work closely with an interdisciplinary team to successfully wean them off a ventilator to restore independent breathing.  For those clients who are dependent on a ventilator long-term, RTs are focused on helping them to live a more active, enjoyable life.  We asked RT Danille Jones (far right in photo) to explain more about her role at Special Tree and the big impact that Respiratory Therapy has on a client...

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PT Month Spotlight: Why I Love Being a Physical Therapist

By Jackie Cunningham, PT, CBIS -- As the temperature cools, the autumn leaves change colors, and the calendar flips to October, so begins National Physical Therapy Month.  PT Month is established to increase awareness to the profession. As a physical therapist for over 25 years, I often get asked the questions: are you happy with the profession you chose, and what do you like about being a physical therapist? Let us begin with who physical therapists are; PT’s are highly educated, licensed health care professionals who can help patients reduce pain and improve or restore mobility (APTA.org). I learned this explanation when I was researching careers at the library way back, I mean way back… in high school. It intrigued me to continue my interest and exposure to this awesome field.

As a PT, one can work in many areas...

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Vocational Program Expands to the Big House!

Special Tree vocational clients are accomplishing big things at the Big House!  For the U of M football 2016 season, a team of eight clients along with Special Tree job coaches are responsible for filling and cleaning all condiment stations at the 100,000 seat stadium during home games.   

“This has been a wonderful opportunity for our clients to get valuable work experience in the community,” said Rene Dell, Associate Director of Vocational Services.  With support from job coaches, clients are developing important job skills for competitive employment like following directions, working under stress, focusing on tasks, and being a part of a team. “Since working at the Big House, we’ve seen so much growth from clients,” she said. “Their self-confidence is up, they feel better about themselves, and it gives clients h...

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Adaptive Sports in Full Swing at Special Tree

From kayaking and biking to golf and fishing, adaptive sports and recreational activities are an important part of our clients' rehabilitation and recovery.  Being physically active not only helps clients improve strength and fitness, but it can have a positive impact on their overall well-being and quality of life.

“Participation in sports and recreation can speed the recovery process, and it shows our clients that their disability doesn’t have to keep them from an active and enjoyable lifestyle,” said Special Tree Recreational Therapist Kristin Claerhout, who organizes Special Tree adaptive golf program.  Special Tree’s Recreational Therapists encourage clients to explore new activities as well as return to activities they enjoyed before their injury and work with each client to find the most appropriate activity...

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Staff Honored for Dedication to Quality

Special Tree takes great pride in the recognitions we’ve earned for our commitment to quality, but we’re especially proud of our staff members who strive for quality excellence in everything they do each and every day.  Special Tree recognizes staff for their outstanding dedication to quality with the coveted “Lynn Slevin” Quality Award, named after Lynn Slevin, Special Tree’s Quality Officer who retired in 2015.

CEO Joe Richert presented this year’s award to Special Tree Registered Dietitians Jill Bruce and Brahmlin Sethi at the annual Ol’ Timer Recognition Luncheon on May 13, 2016.   Jill and Brahmlin were nominated for the award by fellow staff for their commitment to improve client satisfaction and health as well as the general health of staff through several company-wide programs including:

Quarterly Re...

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Scholarship Winners Announced!

Special Tree has awarded $1000 scholarships to twelve outstanding college-bound seniors to pursue careers in healthcare.  The competitve scholarship is given to students who are interested in continuing their education in a healthcare field and who have achieved academic excellence at schools in communities where Special Tree has a rehabilitation facilitiy.  Congrats to our 2016 recipients!

Tiera Thornton, Arthur Hill High School
Jacob Moak, Birmingham Groves High School
Griffin Ballick, Dakota High School
Alexandria Turner, Flat Rock High School
Emily Reams, Freeland High School​
Madison Kent, H.H. Dow High School
Angelica Zhou, Livonia Churchill High School
Jackson Arnold, New Boston Huron High School
Jacqueline Helstowski, Riverview High School
Alexis Paisley...

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