By Mary Bonner
At Craig Hospital, “holidays” take on a special significance whether it’s Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or another tradition. We realize what it means for our patients to be away from their families when they have been suddenly faced with a catastrophic spinal cord or brain injury. It can mean weeks or months of rehabilitation. Life is disrupted, and life is altered.
Patients and their families become part of the Craig family. We cry with them, celebrate
their triumphs, and applaud each small step in their quests to regain independence. We see miracles every day; we also see that anything is possible. We’ve established our own traditions here, bringing the holidays to those who can’t be home. Kosher foods and religious traditions - we do our homework in order to bring a little bit of home to the hospital. Here is a snapshot:
The Shopping Outing
The Therapeutic Recreation Department takes patients in small groups to the mall so they can shop for their families. The big surprise: a stipend for each patient so they can purchase gifts. This money in past years has come from staff donations for this very purpose. This year, an anonymous donor funded the entire shopping excursion.
This year, on December 14 the Craig cafeteria was magically transformed as hospital directors and board members dressed in red aprons waited on staff, patients and their families, serving a made-on-site, “home-cooked” holiday meal of shrimp cocktail, prime rib, all the sides and trimmings and
made-from-scratch desserts. A holiday pancake breakfast was served to the night shift.
For over 40 years, the Craig Holiday Sing fills the gym to standing room only. This year’s program included staff, physicians, as well as current and former patients. Included in the program were solos, a cappella numbers, stories read aloud, and performances by the choir. For those patients unable to attend, a live feed was broadcast throughout the hospital.
A new tradition started this year was the luminary project. For every donation received in December, a luminary was lit in honor of a patient, staff member, or loved one. They were displayed after the holiday sing along the walkways and over the bridge.
Need we say more?
Thank you to everyone in the Craig family who worked so hard this season to bring the holidays to our remarkable patients. We wish you all the best in 2013.
Technorati Tags: award winning rehab, buffet, choir, Christmas, Colorado, Craig Hospital, donation, donors, family, hanukah, holidays, hospital, kwanzaa, rehabilitation, sing, Spinal cord injury, tradition, traumatic brain injury
| | | | | |
Guest Blogger: Chris Chappell, Graduate Relations Coordinator, Craig Hospital
About a year ago Craig embarked on a new project to develop and assist with the design of a Universal Home that would be as accessible as possible to our graduates as well as the “differently-abled” community at large that may need better access, function and utilization of their homes via a wheelchair, scooter, walker, etc. The home is designed with the comfort and ease of wide doorways, large kitchen access, elevator, roll-in shower, and dozens of other amenities that inspire independence, beautiful, functional living spaces and spectacular mountain views.
With the help of former Craig graduate Patrick Hawn, and homebuilder David Wall of Wall Custom Homes, along with many partners Craig is proud to announce the unveiling of this spectacular home in the picturesque development of the Backcountry off of Wildcat Reserve Pkwy in Highlands Ranch, CO.
Photos, blueprints and a list of the vendors can be found at: www.wchuniversalhome.com
Please take a look and consider the possibilities for your friends, families and loved ones. Get ready to tour the open house on one or more of the following dates:
July 27th & 28th – 10:00am-3:00pm
August 3rd & 4th – 10:00am-3:00pm
August 10th & 11th – 10:00am-3:00pm
We are very excited about this project and the inspiration for independent living displayed throughout the home. The design, layout, and construction brings ideas and imagination to our graduates, their families, and those within the Colorado community challenged by accessibility but not deterred in their creation of functional, accessible, independent living space. Hope to see you there!
Questions? Contact Mary Bonner at Craig Hospital, 303-789-8019, or David Wall, with Wall Custom Homes, 303-792-3001.
Technorati Tags: accessibility, accessible, adapted, Colorado, community, Craig Hospital, rehabilitation, rehabilitation, rehabilitation hospital, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Universal Accessible Design Home, Wall Custom Homes, wheelchair, world-renowned
| | | | | |
Carol Petersen was named the "Jim Richards Outstanding Volunteer of the Year" at the annual volunteer dinner. The award was initiated by Jim Richards' family last year after Jim's passing. Carol was chosen for her can-do, will-do everything attitude. She is a regular volunteer for the Therapeutic Recreation department, but is considered as the go-to volunteer for the entire hospital. Carol has been a regular volunteer for over 32 years. She embodies the same care, compassion and commitment to Craig Hospital exhibited by Jim Richards. Congratulations Carol!
Photo: CEO, Mike Fordyce, Carol Petersen, Volunteer Coordinator, Jill Stelley Virden, Family members, Leona Berger and Don Richards.
Jeppesen CraigFlight Mission
Therapeutic Recreation is an important part of the rehabilitation process at Craig Hospital. The program encompasses horticulture, art, culinary classes, and many sports activities, including hand cycling, skiing, camping, fishing, sailing and even hot-air ballooning. In addition, outings are scheduled 3-4 times a week to places such as movie theaters, shopping facilities, sports events, and restaurants – an unlimited plethora of choices demonstrating what can be possible after a catastrophic injury. During these outings, patients are also indirectly educated on transportation issues, accessibility, and caring for themselves in a variety of situations.
According to a patient, the Craig staff has an intuitive sense for discovering hidden interests and talents, or what a patient’s interests were prior to their injuries. This discovery, combined with engineering, adaptive technology, and help from our community and business partners, makes nearly anything possible – just possible in a new and different way.
Last Saturday’s patient outing began with a trip to Centennial Airport to experience flight in a small plane with a tour of the front range. As five people in wheelchairs rolled into the terminal, they were greeted by staff from Jeppesen in bright green t-shirts, and a spread of food comparable to a cruise ship buffet. They were introduced to the Jeppesen team and given an overview of day’s event, as their faces reflected a seesaw of trepidation and elation.
When they rolled out on the tarmac to three planes lined up especially for them, the stage was set, with their family members clicking cameras in time to the staccato of chatter from the control tower. A Colorado blue-sky with a warm breeze showcased the Rocky Mountains, still capped with a crown of snow. Staff from Jeppesen carefully chose the best plane for each patient, and working with the Craig Therapeutic Recreation staff, safely assisted them in making the transfer from their wheelchairs into the planes. Engines started, propellers turned, and as each plane individually taxied out to the runway, the smiles grew even brighter -- not only on the faces of the patients, but also on the faces of the pilots – a shining badge exhibiting the simple love for what they do.
It takes a team willing to invest their time and themselves in careful planning and practice to successfully and seamlessly pull off such an endeavor. Special thanks to Centennial Airport, Denver Jet Center East, and especially, to Mark Van Tyne and his professional, compassionate team for their patience and attention to detail in making all of this work to result in an unforgettable experience for all of us there to witness it.
Jeppesen CraigFlight Mission
At Jeppesen there are no limits to the horizons, heights and depths of our passion…for flying…for sailing…for enabling safe and efficient transportation all around the world. CraigFlight Missions are a way for us to share our passion for flight with the patients and alumni of Craig Hospital of Denver, as they continue to soar with no limits…to their drive…their ambitions…and their accomplishments.
Craig Hospital has been ranked for 22 consecutive years by US News and World Report as a top ten rehabilitation center. We see patients from all 50 states and several foreign countries. www.craighospital.org To donate to the Therapeutic Recreation Program, www.donate.craighospital.org
Photo Credit: Mary Bonner. All rights reserved.
Craig Hospital staff was honored to attend the 2012 Induction Ceremony for the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame. Our good friend, Richard Burton, exemplifies the unwaivering, tenacious spirit of those we have the privilege to serve every day. We congratulate and applaud his remarkable accomplishments.
After spending many years attending races at Englewood Speedway and Lakeside Speedway, Richard Burton’s racing career began in figure eight and demolition derby racing when he built his first cars in 1969. In addition to winning many demo derbies in his early years, he also won two Figure Eight Season Championships in 1977 and 1978. His 1978 season featured 14 main event wins in a row, and 16 out of 20 main event wins overall. He also won the 1978 championship by a 1,100 point margin.
In 1978 and 1979, Richard and his grandfather, Harold Brady “76,” both won major awards from the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame. The awards were given to Richard for “Top Oval Track Driver” and Harold Brady for “Mechanic of the Year.”
When Englewood Speedway closed, Richard made the move to Lakeside Speedway where he again handily won a Street Stock Track Championship. He was then asked to drive for Wes Padgett and Big Bill Johnson in the sportsman cars at Lakeside Speedway and Colorado Springs International Speedway.
After running a season at Colorado National Speedway on the dirt, he returned to compete at Colorado Springs International Speedway, driving his own limited late model. During that season he also ran at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb. and at Big Country Speedway in Cheyenne, Wyo.
He returned to race at Colorado National Speedway when it was paved in 1989. He ran in the Sportsman Division in a Don Wilson built chassis. After finishing in the top five two straight years, he got his third track championship in 1993. Richard also drove a Grand American Modified for Darrell Smith where he finished in the top six. He continued to run at that track and in 1994, he moved to the Late Model Division. He was selected “Sportsman of the Year” from 1995 to 1997. In 1999, driving for Jim Newland and Tony Unrien, he won the “Challenge Cup” in the Late Model Division and the coveted Late Model Championship. He then moved to the Truck Division, driving for owners Alan Carter and John Shaw. In 2006, while driving his own truck, he won his sixth track championship. He continued to race in the Truck Division where he was battling for another championship, but his season ended before the final week of the 2009 season.
On September 9, 2009, Richard was seriously injured when he was struck by lightning. After several months of rehabilitation, he battled his way back and returned to the track in time to watch and spot for his grandson, Matthew, who competes in the truck Richard was driving. Richard wants to return back behind the wheel, but if he cannot, he will continue to be a part of automobile racing in some capacity.
In Richard’s 40 years in racing, he has won 6 track championships, recorded 31 top 10s and 23 top fives, and had 31 perfect attendance seasons. In over 700 main event starts, Richard has recorded more than 130 main event wins.
Richard has also run in several NASCAR Touring Division races, and he also participated in the World Figure Eight Championships in Islip, NY and in Saugus, Calif.
Richard has driven for some great owners, including Jim Newland, Tony Unrien, Alan Carter, John Shaw, Darrell Smith and Larry Craver. He has had the opportunity to crew for some of the best, including Rick Carelli, Don Wilson, Roger Avants, Kevin Clark, and Chris Eggleston, among others. His crews have been mostly family members including his wife of 41 years, three children, grandchildren and very close friends. Two of his crew members won the True Value Gold Wrench Award.
Richard’s proudest moments have been being a part of the Englewood Speed Pledge program to make our streets safer. He did this along with Roger Avants, Roger Mitchell and Nancy Peterson. This has included school visits and many hospitals trips to visit sick and hurting children. His goal was to make them smile and give them and their families hope. This is more important to him than any achievements possible on any race track.
Technorati Tags: Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame, Craig Hospital, Induction Ceremony, J.C. Agajanian Award, Jerry Van Dyke Memorial Award, John Bandimere, lightning, NHRA, Racecar, Rehab, Rehabiliation Hospital, Richard Burton, SCI, spinal cord injury, TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury
| | | | | |
Posted: 03 Jan 2012 06:35 AM PST
A New Measure of Subjective Fatigue in Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury
Fatigue (a feeling like you are often physically and/or mentally exhausted) is an issue for many people who have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Our previous research into health related issues after brain injury have shown that fatigue is related to problems with emotional, social participation, physical/fatigue, and cognitive or thinking challenges.
Purpose of this Study:
The goal of this study is to evaluate a newly developed TBI-related fatigue questionnaire.
What Happens During this Study:
After an initial collection of demographic information is complete, you will be asked to participate in one interview (that will involve several assessments or questionnaires). The demographic information collected will include things like age, education level, living and working status, and medical history. The initial collection of demographic information, which may be done at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center or by telephone, will be followed by the interview. Each interview is approximately 1 hour long and may be done at your convenience. The interview is made up of multiple choice questions related to fatigue and other health-related quality of life areas.
You will be paid $25 for participating in the interview.
Potential Risks and Discomfort:
There are no known risks associated with your participation in this study. Discomfort may be experienced only to the extent that some of the questions may be of a more personal nature and that the interview may require up to 60 minutes of your time.
You may withdraw at any time.
Who is Eligible to Participate:
You must have had a traumatic brain injury (i.e. hit on the head, concussion, knocked out) that required you to seek medical attention. Mild, Moderate and Severe Injuries are all included in this study. Further, you need to wait at least six months after your brain injury to start this study. You must be 18 years or older. You need to be able to understand and communicate in English. You must be able to provide documentation of your injury. Informed consent and HIPPA forms will be mailed to you to complete.
Who is Sponsoring this Study:
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education.
Who is Responsible for this Study:
Jeffrey Englander, MD
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
Whom Do I Contact If I’m Interested in Participating:
Paul Carufel (408) 793-6431 or (800) 352-1956
Technorati Tags: Craig Hospital, Craig Hospital, Craig Rehabilitation Hospital, Fatigue, Jeffrey Englander MD, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Research, Research Study, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury, U.S. Department of Education
| | | | | |
What do you think of when you see "Holiday Buffet" listed on a hospital menu?Maybe something to acknowledge the holidays, something apart from the standard, daily menu routine with a few cute decorations thrown in for good measure...
At Craig Hospital, it's not what you'd ever envision it to be, for at Craig, the patients are not passing aquaintances whose faces might be recognized a week later by the healthcare staff who treated them. Craig patients become family. They're here for extended periods as they recover and relearn how to rebuild their lives following a catastrophic brain or spinal cord injury. Their families are integrated into all aspects of care and rehabilitation as they embark on a new path of discovery.
The Craig buffet is a labor of love by the "team" of department directors,executive staff and board members, for they know that a hospital is the last place anyone wants to be for the holidays--so they bring the holidays to those patients and their families who would rather, but are unable to be, home.
Decorations are ordered months in advance by Wendy Gordan. The team spends the entire day and well into the evening transforming the cafeteria into a sparkling haven complete with tablecloths, trees, wall hangings, and low lighting. They also help prepare a truly special menu:
As they don their aprons, and step into formation, they remarkably meet the challenges of creating a home atmospere and making each person they are fortunate to serve, feel very special.
Tom Balazy, M.D., Medical Director, Craig Hospital
Guest Bloggers: Andrea Kuskie and Sydney Kuskie
I wanted to give everyone an update on Sydney since it has been almost a year now since her accident. Considering what Sydney has been through she is doing amazing. Thanks to Craig Hospital’s high school teacher and volunteer tutors Sydney is on track to graduate in May with a 4.0. She is applying to colleges which offer medical programs as she wants to be a nurse anesthetist.
Sydney has always been extremely athletic- playing soccer since Kindergarten, snowboarding since 2nd grade, and wake boarding since 8th grade. Unfortunately she will not be able to participate in any of these sports so she has taken up weight lifting and golf.
The part of Sydney’s brain that had the most damage was the part that controls her emotions. Before the accident Syd was extremely outgoing and very funny. She has become much more quiet and introverted, she would rather hang out at home then go out with friends or to school sporting events. The biggest challenge for her has been trying to figure out who she is now and where she belongs.
Through all of this Syd has remained extremely positive and when you ask her what the worst has been she will tell you nothing, “more good has come from the accident than bad”. She is truly an inspiration and through this ordeal wants to help other families that are or have been in similar situations, please see the attached letter. I feel that by Sydney putting together this fundraiser for Craig Hospital is a huge step in the right direction towards her healing process.
Everyone has been so generous to Sydney and I and so kind and caring. We appreciate your continued thoughts, prayers, and friendships.
Some of you know my family and I personally but for those of you who do not here is my story. My name is Sydney Kuskie, I am a senior at Dakota Ridge High School. On December 13, 2010 I was pulling out of the High School parking lot to head home for lunch when I was t-boned on the driver side by another vehicle traveling at 45mph. I was transferred to Swedish Medical Center where over the next few days they discovered I had broken my pelvis in 3 different areas, my pubic bone, my sacrum, a rib, bruised my lung and my kidney, had paralysis on the upper left side of my body, and was bleeding on 5 different areas of my brain. Within 3 days of my accident I was fortunate enough to be transferred to Craig Hospital as an inpatient, which I called home for the next 2 months. I had numerous roommates whose families weren’t from Colorado. One of my roommate’s parents would fly in to Colorado to stay with their daughter, while the other would be home in Texas with their son. They would switch back and forth every few weeks. The dad had to quit his job so that he could take care of his daughter. Another boy my age was from South Dakota. His mom stayed with him for 6 months while his dad stayed back home to take care of his brothers. They would travel to see him every few weeks.
The majority of inpatients at Craig hospital ate the cafeteria food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; while I had the luxury of family and friends bringing me home cooked meals since they all lived in the area. It didn’t phase me as much then, but now I think about it and cannot imagine being thousands of miles away from my home with no family or friends to be by my side supporting me and bringing meals to help my mom out. Craig gave so much to my family and I and I want to be able to give back to them somehow. The best way for me to give back is to help those families from out of town. My goal is to raise money so that we are able to help these families pay for travel expenses, buy food at the local grocery stores, buy gift cards for restaurants and coffee shops in the area.
As a non-profit acute care and rehabilitation hospital governed by a volunteer community board of directors, the Craig family is dedicated to delivering the highest quality of catastrophic injury treatment available anywhere. The Craig foundation provides for members of their community to give hope to patients and their families. Because of the generosity of these donations my mom was able to stay by my side 24 hours a day 7 days a week for the next four months.
I am writing this letter in hopes that you or your company will become part of helping me help the families in need at Craig Hospital. They have given so much to my family and I and our community, I would like to help give back to them.
Anything helps. Your contribution is tax deductible. Please send checks made out to the “Craig Foundation” to: Sydney Kuskie, 10921 W. Brittany Dr., Littleton, CO 80127. I would like to deliver these to the hospital Friday December 30th.
Your support is greatly appreciated.
Craig Hospital Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization
Mary Bonner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenny Hosack: email@example.com
Englewood, CO, September 21, 2011. El Pomar recognizes individuals and organizations across Colorado that serve their communities with distinction. Since its inception in 1989, the Awards for Excellence program has provided nearly $5 million in grant support to more than 400 nonprofit organizations throughout Colorado. Honorees do not apply for the awards, but are nominated and selected by the Awards for Excellence Selection Commission.
The Spencer and Julie Penrose Award is given to the nonprofit that best exemplifies the commitment to service and excellence that Spencer and Julie Penrose sought to recognize and promote throughout the state of Colorado. Penrose Award winners receive $50,000 to support and grow the El Pomar mission, which is to encourage and promote the current and future well-being of the people of Colorado.
“It is an honor for Craig Hospital to receive the Spencer and Julie Penrose Award. The entire staff at Craig is committed to those we have the privilege of serving. They are the best at what they do and are continually raising the benchmark. Our patients inspire us to strive for excellence in all we do. We are rewarded by witnessing their remarkable outcomes following catastrophic spinal cord and brain injuries, as they return to home, work, school and the community--and back to the business of living,” says Mike Fordyce, President and CEO of Craig Hospital.
Craig Hospital www.craighospital.org is a non-profit, national rehabilitation hospital and research center that specializes exclusively in treatment and research of patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Craig treats patients from all fifty states and several foreign countries, and in 2011 was ranked in the Top Ten Rehab Hospitals by US News and World Report for the 22nd consecutive year. Craig is currently pioneering cutting-edge research, as well as advances in adaptive technology, and has just opened The Peak at Craig Hospital, a state-of-the art fitness center exclusively for people with varying degrees of disability.
Technorati Tags: Best, Colorado, Craig Hospital, Craig Rehabilitation Hospital, El Pomar, Excellence, nonprofit, Outstanding Non-Profit, SCI, Spencer and Julie Penrose Award, Spinal cord injury, TBI, Top Ten, traumatic brain injury
| | | | | |