Neighbors in Action: Origami Rehab

Feb 24, 2016

Adults who suffer traumatic brain injuries require extensive medical care as well as support and encouragement along the road to recovery. For this week’s Neighbors in Action, we speak with the executive director of Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center about the non-profit’s interdisciplinary approach to caring for patients.


Physical therapy at the Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center.
Credit Courtesy photo / Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center

When someone sustains a traumatic brain injury, the road to recovery can be extremely difficult. Beyond medical care and attention, brain injury patients have emotional, social, spiritual and physical needs to be met while they work to recover.

Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit founded in Mason to provide a continuum of care for adults who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. Their goal is to maximize recovery and restore quality of life and independence.

For Neighbors in Action this week, Current State talks with the Executive Director of Origami, Tammy Hannah.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS:

On Origami’s care

“We have fourteen different types of services. We have occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech language pathology. We also have a recreational therapist, vocational therapy, psychology, social work, nursing, etc. Anything that impacts the brain and all the specialty services that are necessary to put those pieces back together - that’s what we have at Origami.

We’re getting very close to have serving our 1000th client from when we opened in 1997. Every year we see an increase in the number of people served. Last year nearly 200 were served.” — Tammy Hannah

On Origami’s expansion

“When Origami first started in 1997, the focus was residential programming. Individuals with a traumatic brain injury that needed 24/7 supervised care. They realized early on that as people progress, they don’t need the residential program anymore. They can come to Origami for outpatient services. We built more buildings to be able to serve outpatients.

Then we realized that there’s a lot more brain injuries that need our care besides just traumatic brain injuries. Strokes, aneurysms, tumors, epilepsy - those are all forms of brain injury. We’ve expanded along the way, and we’re very good at being able to serve a variety of types of brain injury.” — Hannah

On the patient recovery process

“The number one question I often get from family and friends is ‘How do you do that work?’ I think the beauty of it all is that when you see a challenge you also see opportunity: the opportunity to help that individual and lead that family along the recovery.

Sometimes there are leaps and bounds, other times it’s celebrating those baby steps. There’s a level of appreciation, dedication, devotion - a passion required for anybody working with brain injuries. You just have to embrace it to see those opportunities. It’s hard work for everyone involved.” — Hannah

Current State is always looking for more nominations for our “Neighbors In Action” feature. Please help us out and e-mail us your suggestions to currentstate@wkar.org. Put ‘Neighbors in Action’ in the subject line. Or tweet us: @KARCurrentState and tell us a little about why you think they should be featured.