Origami Rehabilitation provides support for children and adults suffering from developmental, neurological, orthopedic or mental health conditions. The organization is planning to open a second location in downtown Lansing.
This new location offers the same outpatient services as the original Origami Rehabilitation Center in Mason.
Since 1997, Origami has provided care to thousands of people diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy and more. The purpose of opening a second rehabilitation center was simply to widen the organization’s reach and allow it to treat more patients in need.
Tammy Hannah, president and CEO of Origami, started working with the organization in college. She had to work there for 16 weeks before graduation. Now, about 20 years later, Hannah runs the place.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Hannah said. “It’s been packed full of great rewards.”
The organization has grown significantly over the years. When Hannah first started there, Origami only served 16 patients at a time. The organization started as an exclusively residential rehabilitation center but eventually began offering outpatient services.
“It’s grown and evolved into a much larger organization that has a much more diversified population,” Hannah said. “That’s exciting. Because now we offer help to people who may not have received it.”
In a way, the COVID pandemic is responsible for the existence of Origami’s new satellite location. Hannah began thinking about expanding the organization’s original campus back in March of 2020. But that plan would have cost too much.
Still, Origami was receiving more calls than it could handle. Patients were being turned away.
“That didn’t feel too good,” Hannah explained. “So we started thinking that a satellite clinic could solve our capacity issue.”
She also pointed out that the new clinic opens up access to care. Now residents of DeWitt, Charlotte and Grand Ledge don’t have to go far to find help for their neurological issues.
Hannah said that helping a patient achieve a sense of normalcy can have a ripple effect. The patients’ families also get involved in the rehabilitation process. Watching them see a loved one get better is one of her favorite parts of the job.
“Our work doesn’t just affect the people we serve,” Hannah said. “It also affects their family members. The environment at Origami is so family-oriented and relaxed. We all watch people change right before our eyes. It’s very rewarding.”
At Origami, progress tends to happen slowly. Rather than becoming impatient, the staff and patients have learned to look for and celebrate the small things. Recovery can take a long time, so every little step matters.
“Just being able to have someone sit up on the edge of the bed, rather than laying down all day,” Hannah said. “That is worth celebrating.”
Hannah knows what it’s like to watch someone get better. Her brother had cerebral palsy. From a young age, she observed the life-changing effects of occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.
Working at Origami during her college years, Hannah was reminded of how wonderful it is to watch someone’s life change for the better.
“Someone comes to us maybe from a traumatic car accident or from the hospital; they’re not walking, they’re not talking. Maybe they’re not even able to feed themselves,” Hannah said. “With our help, we get them back to doing what they love and being as independent as they can.”