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Special Tree Blog


Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

For some, shorter days and colder weather can trigger feelings of sadness and fatigue, common symptoms of seasonal mood disorder or (SAD).   If you find yourself in a seasonal slump, try these tips from Special Tree’s Psych and Social Work team to help beat the winter blues.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that recurs seasonally.  Typically, us Michigan folks are more likely to experience seasonal depression during the winter months, when our internal body clocks shift due to decreased sunlight; the colder temps don’t make things any easier.  While some of us look forward to all that winter brings, others will feel like ‘tis the season to be melancholy.  

In addition to feeling sad and down most of the day, nearly every day, this condition also includes symptoms of low energy, sleeping mu...

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Special Tree named Top Work Place for 8th year straight

Special Tree has been named one of the top places to work in Michigan for the 8th year in a row! We first achieved Top Workplace status as part of the "Mid-Size" category in 2010, and are honored to have earned recognition each year, continuing to achieve Top Workplace status even as we moved into the "Large Company" category in 2014 where we have remained since. 

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Talking With Susan Wollschlager, RN, Subacute Rehabilitation Program

Special Tree’s nurses are an integral part of the rehabilitation process. Specializing in rehabilitation and post-acute care, our nurses play an active role in helping patients and their families through recovery from brain and spinal cord injury.  Our nurses strive to provide the highest quality care along with compassion, motivation, and hope to help patients achieve the highest quality of life.  

We spoke with Susan Wollschlager, a rehabilitation nurse at Special Tree’s NeuroCare Campus, to learn more about her role and the meaning she finds in her work. 

Q:  What’s a typical day like for you?
Susan
: It’s rewarding and goes by so fast!  The first part of my day is focused on medication passing.  The remainder is working with my patients to support their rehabilitation...

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gardening plants garden

Special Tree Expands Vocational Rehabilitation Program in Mid-Michigan

The goal of many people recovering from brain injury is returning to work.  Special Tree’s strong commitment to help our clients achieve the best possible employment outcomes is reflected in our wide range of vocational rehabilitation services that focus on each client’s individual goals and job interests.   That’s why we’re so excited about the new enhancements to our Vocational Rehabilitation Program in Mid-Michigan.   We’ve ramped up our program with more specialized services including Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Community-Based Employment Enclaves to help even more clients make a smooth transition back to work. 

“Our Vocational Services are an integral part of our outpatient rehabilitation program in Mid-Michigan” said Rene Dell, Associate Director of Vocational Services.  “Our Voc and therapy tea...

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Special Tree SLPs help clients “See the Swallow”

Special Tree’s Speech Language Pathologists are using a new high-tech therapy to drastically improve how clients relearn to swallow following a brain injury. The Synchrony Dysphasia Solution is a revolutionary biofeedback device that enables clients to “see” their swallows through the use of virtual reality-enhanced images. Watch as Sarah Kapelczak, SLP, demos the new technology and explains how Synchrony is helping to improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals with Dysphasia.

Special Tree's Innovation Team Brings Great Ideas to Life

Special Tree’s Innovation Team is all about turning our employee’s great ideas into reality.  Whether an idea involves new and productive ways of doing things or meeting the needs of clients, the Innovation Team encourages employees to submit ideas both big and small and provides structured support to bring them to fruition.

Watch this video to see our Innovation Team in action as they take innovative ideas from zero to hero!

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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vision therapy

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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