Posted by Linda Lynch
Rotarians gathered at the Lansing Center on a somewhat rainy Friday. John Dale Smith provided music and we ate lunch and chatted. It was clear that there is still lots of catching up with members we have not seen in so long!
 
President Sue called the meeting to order at 12:29. Monique Field-Foster gave the invocation, which was followed by the “Star Spangled Banner”. Lisa Smith made sure that those with guests could be heard, and President Sue noted that Nathan Triplett is in the process of transferring his membership to our club. Brenda Geoghegan was recognized as a new member with the presentation of her red badge.
 
Diane Sanborn let us know that Nancy Little has been hospitalized with a pulmonary issue, but is now recovering at home. Cindy Kangas was in a serious accident while travelling out of state. She is back in Michigan, but is experiencing some pain and is continuing to be treated for her injuries.
 
President Sue announced that dues will be increasing for the third quarter. Active members will pay $300 ($125 for dues and $175 for meals), while Active Exempt members and guests will pay $18 per meal when they attend.
 
Ken Beachler introduced our special music – Neil Mueller, Principal Trumpet with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Neil teaches at Central Michigan University and is married to Rev. Dr. Shawnthea Monroe of Peoples Church. He has played with major orchestras around the country and will be featured as 1/5 of a brass quintet at the July 27th Concert on the Lawn at the MSUFCU headquarters.
 
Neil opened with a couple of movements from “The Trumpet Shall Sound” by Handel and concluded with a couple of movements from a piece by the Russian composer Victor Ewald – a song and a march. In between, he proved himself to be very entertaining. Although he had been tapped just one day ahead of time, he was happy to be on the list of musicians to perform at Rotary. He is used to being in the back of the orchestra as trumpet players have the reputation of being ill mannered and loud (by his own admission) and is looking forward to being front and center for the concert on the 27th.
 
President Sue thanked Courtney Millbrook, who is not only our President Elect, but also Chair of the Month. John Cauley, as Chair of the Day, introduced Tammy Hannah, President and CEO of Origami Therapy.
 
Tammy has been with Origami for 21 of its 24 years. She was an intern in Occupational Therapy (after choosing Origami out of a hat) and was then hired as the first full time Occupational Therapist. Her brother, Jeff, has cerebral palsy giving her a front row seat to his challenges and the impact on her family. She also discovered that it gave her a good feeling to be helping people. This is her WHY.
 
Origami began in 1997 in Mason. They are located on Sandhill Road, between Okemos and Hagadorn Road. They are a 501(c)3 and partner with both Peckham and MSU. A satellite clinic was opened in west Lansing in June. Origami employs a holistic approach and works with over 30 interns every year.
 
The campus is 35 acres with walking paths and outdoor exercise equipment. Families, patients and employees all make use of the environment. There are both residential (Mason only) and outpatient programs.
 
There are two residential homes that accommodate 16 neurological rehabilitation beds, 6 assisted living beds and 6 private studio apartments. Residents must be medically stable and can transition from rehab through assisted living to semi-independent living.
 
Outpatient services are provided as single or multiple services. Day treatments are offered on a half or full day basis, providing respite for caregivers. The new satellite clinic includes a pediatric space with a climbing wall and sensory swing. All of Origami’s spaces are designed to heal.
 
Origami offers a wide range of professional and specialized services. Over 3000 individuals have been served. The latest changes to Michigan’s no fault auto insurance has led to significant access to care issues. As of July 1, providers have been forced to reduce their rates to 45% of their January 2019 rates. This change forces patients to file for bankruptcy to qualify for Medicaid in order to receive treatment. It has also forced providers to reduce the amount of care they provide and refuse those patients who require the most care. Origami is working to secure grants and fundraise to provide sufficient funding to continue operations.
 
Currently, donations cover only 1% of operating costs. Tammy is anticipating that grant funding could increase that figure to 2%. Additional funding from fundraising and grants will be mandatory if there is no fix to the rate adjustments mandated by changes to no fault auto insurance.
 
Therapies offered vary widely depending on the interests of clients. Examples of therapies offered include music, horseback riding, art and woodworking.
 
Like everyone else, Origami is experiencing staff shortages. Existing staff is also concerned about the effects of rate reductions.
 
Care transitions are delicate and depend on adequate support systems for the client. Training is provided for those who will be caregivers and home visits are conducted regularly. Home health agencies are also used to provide additional care. Step down can also occur within Origami facilities. Transition is particularly difficult if the client does not have a support system, or if they can’t be caregivers for whatever reason.
 
In response to a question about Jeff, Tammy shared that he has had physical, occupational and speech therapy and has been able to go from being unable to walk to walking with a cane. He inspired two sisters to embrace careers helping those with brain injuries and is doing very well.
 
In terms of the no fault auto insurance changes, Tammy encouraged us to contact our representatives to urge them to reverse the mandatory rate changes. Origami operates on a 6% to 8% profit margin, so clearly the rate change is not sustainable.
 
Currently 17 of 22 beds are filled in the residential programs. One client is being asked to leave because the require too much care. There are many patients looking for care, but Origami is employing a strict review of care required before accepting new clients.
 
President Sue thanked Tammy for speaking to our club and let her know that we would make a donation to our Foundation in her name.
 
Next week we will meet at the Lansing Center for our annual visit from our District Governor Rita LaMoreaux.
 
The meeting was adjourned right on time at 1:30.
 
Linda Lynch's email is:  linda.j.lynch@gmail.com