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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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zerog therapy rehabilitation

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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lansing capitol

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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delta airlines volunteer

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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Brain Injury Association of Michigan Honors Jack Richert With Legacy Society Award

Special Tree’s Jack Richert, Vice President and Director, Referrals & Admissions, wias honored at the annual Brain Injury Association of Michigan’s Legacy Society Tribute Dinner on April 21, 2018 at the Suburban Collection Showplace’s Diamond Center in Novi.

Jack received the Community Service and Leadership Award and was  inducted into the Brain Injury of Michigan’s Legacy Society.  Legacy Society members are recognized for their dedication, leadership, and personal commitment to enhancing the quality of life of persons with brain injury and their families.  Jack is being recognized along with Dr. Michael Andary of Michigan State University.

As the son of Special Tree founders Dr. Joseph and the late Jean Richert, Jack grew up in the world of brain injury rehabilitation.  Jack joined the family busine...

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CARF is Coming Soon!

A survey team from CARF International* will be visiting Special Tree on April 11- 13, 2018.  We invited the surveyors to evaluate how well we meet international standards for quality. The survey will tell us what we are doing well and ways we might improve. As a result of this survey, we may earn or continue accreditation.  As part of the survey, the surveyors will interview people who receive services, their families, our staff, and others. Some questions the survey team members might ask people are:

  • Do we provide a clean and safe setting?
  • Do you receive the services you need and want?
  • Are you treated with respect?
  • Do you take part in planning your services?
  • Are you told what you need to know about your services?
  • Are your questions answered in a way you under...
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lab services blood

New In-House Lab Generating Better Patient Outcomes

Special Tree is proud to announce another step in improving the delivery of care for our patients.  Fully accredited lab services are now available at our NeuroCare campus in Romulus.   The new lab offers many common diagnostic tests and screenings including CBC’s, Electrolyte panels, BMP, CMP’s, Liver function Panels, and Lipid Panels for patients in our sub-acute and residential programs.  The lab is accredited by the CLIA, a regulatory division of the FDA.

“Having access to on-site lab services is very beneficial for our patients,” said Lela Hickonbottom, Chief Nursing Officer.  “The quicker we get results, the quicker we can diagnosis and implement treatment which results in better outcomes for our patients.”  Added benefits include the coordination of medical data all in one place and a decrease in the duplica...

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