Care, Finance and Insurance

1. Financial and Cash Assistance/Grants

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital (as well as all other Bronson hospitals) provide financial assistance services for patients unable to afford medical care. To read more about the financial assistance policy at Bronson, visit their webpage here.
  • Borgess Health provides financial assistance services for patients who are unable to pay for necessary medical services. With priority given to poor and vulnerable patients, Borgess Health’s financial assistance services include counseling, financial aid, outreach, fundraising, diversity and inclusion, and more.

2. Health Care

Health Care Centers

Bronson Health Care Group, headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a not-for-profit health care system that provides a range of clinical services to residents in Southwest Michigan. Below we’ve listed some of the Kalamazoo and Portage Bronson care services that may be particularly beneficial to patients affected by pregnancy complications, birth trauma, birth injury, cerebral palsy, infant brain damage and HIE, and related conditions.

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital: One of Bronson’s three main hospitals, Bronson Methodist Hospital, is located in Kalamazoo. Services available at Bronson Methodist Hospital that may be beneficial to patients affected by birth injury, pregnancy and delivery, developmental disabilities, and related conditions include critical care, home health, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, neurosciences, orthopedics, pregnancy and childbirth, nutrition, rehabilitation, respiratory care, surgery, and testing & imaging.
    • Neuroscience Services and Programs at Bronson Methodist Hospital have been ranked among the top 5% in the nation for the past four years. Some of the specific conditions treated in the Neurosciences Department include brain hemorrhages, back pain, brain and spine trauma, epilepsy and seizures, stroke, and many others. Treatments include Botox injections, epilepsy evaluation and treatment, neurobehavioral health, neurodiagnostics, neurointerventional surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, pediatric neurosurgery and neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, stroke (ischemic and hemorrhagic) and TIA treatment, and support groups.
    • Bronson Neuroscience Center 
      • Bronson HealthCare Midwest Neurology , located in Portage, treats conditions including seizures, back pain, and other neurological injuries, disorders, and conditions.
      • The Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery Department is an excellent resource for children recovering from birth injury, birth trauma, cerebral palsy, intracranial hemorrhages, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), seizures and epilepsy, and related conditions. Pediatric neurological conditions addressed at Bronson Methodist Hospital include cerebral palsy, congenital disorders, developmental delays, epilepsy, hydrocephalus, movement disorders, muscle problems, pediatric stroke, seizures, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, and more.
    • Bronson’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Department is the only high-risk pregnancy center in Southwestern Michigan. Specialists address and treat obstetrical, medical, surgical, and genetic needs, consult mothers with high risk pregnancies and obstetrical complications, and provide genetic counseling. Many patients at Bronson Maternal-Fetal Medicine include mothers with pre-term pregnancies, premature rupture of membranes (PROM), preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, maternal diseases and infections, multiple gestations, and more. Bronson Maternal-Fetal Medicine services are available in Kalamazoo at Bronson Women’s Service.
  • Bronson Children’s Hospital, located in Kalamazoo, is the only children’s hospital in Southwest and south central Michigan. Some of the many services and specialties available at Bronson Children’s Hospital include general pediatrics, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pediatric spasticity, surgery, intensive care, nutrition, rehabilitation, therapy, and more. The following services and clinics may be particularly beneficial to infants and children affected by birth trauma, birth injuries, cerebral palsy, and other developmental conditions:
  • The Newborn Pulmonary Multidisciplinary Clinic provides services for infants who require oxygen therapy at home.
  • The Neonatal Developmental Progress Clinic offers multidisciplinary clinical services to assess development and growth of premature babies after they are released from the neonatal intensive care unit. Services available at the clinic include speech screening, hearing screening, and motor and cognitive development evaluation.
  • Western Michigan University Medicine Clinics: Bronson Children’s Hospital partners with Western School of Medicine’s pediatric clinics in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Partnering clinics include Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Clinic, Pediatric Multiple Disabilities Clinic, and many others.
  • The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Bronson Children’s Hospital cares for patients with conditions including infections, respiratory distress, feeding issues, surgical needs, injuries associated with premature birth, and others.
  • The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Bronson Children’s Hospital provides services to children and adolescents with conditions including trauma, neurological problems, respiratory illnesses, surgical needs, dependency on mechanical support, and many others.
Kalamazoo and Portage, Michigan Cerebral Palsy (CP) Resources - Health Care Centers
  • Borgess Medical Center is a 422-bed hospital located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Throughout this page you’ll read about the many programs and services offered at Borgess Medical Center, some of which include obstetrics and gynecology (the Borgess Birthing Center provides a range of labor, delivery, and care services to mothers and infants. Specific services and features include surgical suites, an intensive care unit, and more), surgery, counseling, critical care, dietary services, rehabilitation, neurology, and much more.
  • Borgess Rehabilitation Services provide a number of therapy programs and treatments for patients with a range of rehabilitation needs. To read more about the rehabilitation services offered through Borgess, please scroll down to our Kalamazoo and Portage Treatment and Therapy Resources section.
  • Borgess Orthopedics – Kalamazoo provides specialized orthopedic services for adults and children. Specific services that may benefit individuals with birth injuries include reconstructive joint surgery, hand surgery, knee surgery, shoulder surgery, rehabilitation, and foot and ankle treatments.
  • Borgess Neurology Services
    • The Borgess Neuro Rehabilitation Program, located in Kalamazoo, provides treatment, care, and rehabilitation services for individuals recovering from neurological injuries and illnesses.
    • Borgess Neurology, located in Kalamazoo, provides specialized clinical services for nervous system problems including brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and seizures, traumatic brain injury, cranial and peripheral nerve problems, muscular issues, and autonomic nerves.
    • Borgess Neurophysiology, located in Kalamazoo, provides diagnostic services for individuals with neurological illnesses, conditions, and injuries. Diagnostic procedures available at Borgess Neurophysiology include EMG, EP (evoked potentials), EEG, and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring (IONM) testing.
    • Neurosurgery of Kalamazoo is the Borgess service that provides surgical consultation and procedures for patients with neurological conditions, illnesses, or injuries. Certain conditions Neurosurgery of Kalamazoo surgeons treat include stroke, movement disorders, spasticity, hydrocephalus, disorders of the brain, neck, back, and nerves, and injuries to the spine, head, and nerves.
3. Western Michigan University School of Medicine
  • Western Michigan University School of Medicine provides a range of clinical services of potential benefit to patients affected by birth injuries, cerebral palsy, birth trauma, or labor and delivery complications. Western Michigan University School of Medicine sponsors the following clinics:
    • The WMed Medicine-Pediatrics Clinic provides clinical pediatric services including preventative care, hospital care, newborn and child care, behavioral medicine, and more.
    • The WMed Orthopedics Clinic provides services including shoulder and elbow disorder procedures, trauma care, spinal surgery and scoliosis treatment, pediatric and adolescent orthopedics, brace treatment, joint and tendon injections, foot treatment, and more.
    • Subspecialty Clinics: Western offers a handful of pediatric subspecialty clinics specifically tailored to certain conditions, illnesses, and injuries in children. The following subspecialty clinics are particularly beneficial to children affected by cerebral palsy, developmental delays, birth injuries, and birth trauma:
      • The Pediatric Multiple Disabilities Subspecialty Clinic is dedicated to providing care and consultation services to children with a range of disabilities. Patients at the Pediatric Multiple Disabilities Subspecialty Clinic have genetic, congenital, and developmental disorders across the spectrum and require care from specialists including pediatricians, orthopedic specialists, psychologists, speech, language, physical, and occupational therapists, orthotics specialists, social workers, and dieticians.
      • The Pediatric Behavioral Medicine Clinic provides services for pediatric patients with disorders of learning, mood, attention, emotion, and behavior.
      • The Pediatric Pulmonology Clinic provides clinical care for pediatric patients with respiratory issues. Patients include children and adolescents with asthma, airway issues, neuromuscular deficits, disabilities related to respiratory issues, ventilator needs, chronic lung disease, functional respiratory disorders, and other pulmonary disorders ranging from acute to chronic. A number of children who suffer birth injuries, complications, and trauma are affected by respiratory problems like these for the rest of their lives.

3. Insurance

  • Disability Determination Services (DDS): Kalamazoo houses one of the four Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices in the state of Michigan. Overseen by Michigan’s Department of Human Services, the DDS determines which Michigan residents are eligible for Social Security benefits (details about Social Security benefits are explained in further detail below). To contact the Kalamazoo Department of Human Services and Disability Determination Services office, call the area administrator at 1-800-829-7763.
    • The Social Security Benefits Program offers benefits to individuals with workability-limiting impairments. These programs are funded and sanctioned by the national government.
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides benefits to individuals with visual impairments, disabilities, or those over the age of 65. For Michigan residents, Supplemental Security Income financial benefits include state and federal benefits and vary by living situation.

Lifestyle Resources

  • Kalamazoo, Michigan’s curb cuts: Kalamazoo, Michigan was the first city to install curb cuts for individuals with disabilities. Kalamazoo native Jack H. Fisher petitioned the City Commission to install curb cuts and side rails for the specific benefit of disabled veterans, and the city erected them immediately as part of a successful test program. To read more about the program, visit Steven E. Brown’s “The Curb Cuts of Kalamazoo: Discovering Our Unrecorded History” here.

1. Education

  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan provides various resources regarding special education, school-to-college transitions, education advocacy, and school-to-work transitions. To access these various Kalamazoo cerebral palsy and disability resources, visit the Disability Network of Southwest Michigan’s Youth Transition webpage here.
  • The Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency (KRESA) provides transition services to help disabled students and their families plan informed transitions through school and into adulthood. One area of transition includes post-secondary educational opportunities. Advisers from Kalamazoo RESA facilitate college visits and tours and provide information on financial aid, classes, internships, and post-secondary programs.
  • The Alcott Center for Cognitive Enhancement is a learning program headquartered in Richland, Michigan, a city seated in Kalamazoo County. The Alcott Center works to identify the causes of children’s learning difficulties and develop strategies for learning and education. Specialists at The Alcott Center for Cognitive Enhancement work with children with learning disabilities, poor grades, AD/HD, non-verbal learning disabilities, speech-language delays, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, central auditory processing disorder, memory impairments, brain injuries, sensory integration dysfunction, and other conditions and impairments affecting learning ability or academic performance. The program has another location in Grand Rapids, Michigan. To learn more, visit The Alcott Center’s website here.
  • Kalamazoo Public Schools Department of Special Education provides educational services to all students regardless of ability. For students with special learning or care needs, Kalamazoo Public Schools provides all necessary resources as mandated by state and federal education regulations. Kalamazoo Public School Department of Special Education is also partnered with Parent to Parent, the non-profit disability organization we discuss in further detail in our Parent and Family Resources section.
  • Comstock Public Schools (Eastern Kalamazoo Service Area) provides special education services for all students with disabilities and other special needs. Comstock’s Special Education Department collaborates with the Eastern Service Area of Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency (KRESA) and other community organizations to provide a continuum of comprehensive supports and services.
  • Portage Public Schools provides special education services for all students with disabilities and other special needs. To learn more about Portage Public Schools, visit their webpage here. To reach the director of special education, call (269) 323-5012.

2. Care

  • Reverence Home Health Care is an in-home care service offered through Borgess. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Reverence Home Health Care provides services including pulmonary care, fall prevention and home safety, mental health services, neuro-rehabilitation services (including physical, occupational, and speech therapy), orthopedic care, swallowing disorders therapy, vestibular and balance rehabilitation, and more.
  • Alliance Senior Day Care Services is a Western Michigan University Center for Disability Services program that provides care services for seniors with cognitive and/or physical deficits. The program offers social, recreational, rehabilitative, and medical activities and programs to promote all around well-being. Staff consists of social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, music therapists, social workers, and other medical professionals.
  • Family & Children Services provides a number of care services for individuals with disabilities. Care programs include Foster Care and Adoption, Case Management, Family and Community Treatment, Respite, and Community Living and Support Training. The Community Living and Support Training program focuses on developing social, life, and community skills in children and youth with developmental disabilities and/or emotional disturbances.

3. Employment

  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan’s Work Incentives Planning & Assistance Program helps individuals that receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) learn about work incentives and return to work programs. To learn more, contact the Community Work Incentives Coordinator at (269) 345-1516.
  • The Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency (KRESA) provides transition services to help disabled students and their families plan informed transitions into employment. Services offered through Kalamazoo RESA specific to employment include career exploration, work experience, job application help, interview skills training, resume building, job search counseling, and vocational skills training.

4. Housing

  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan’s Independent Living Support Services helps individuals with disabilities navigate the resources and materials necessary to live as independently as possible. The program covers topics including transportation, health care, housing, adaptive equipment and assistive technologies, and community-based living supports. To learn more about the program, call the Independent Living Services program at (269) 345-1516 x103.
  • The Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan is an organization that aims to eliminate housing discrimination in Kalamazoo and surrounding areas. The Fair Housing Center provides services including education, advocacy, and training in order to ensure all residents receive fair housing regardless of ability.
  • The Kalamazoo Regional Education Services Agency’s Transition Service Program is committed to providing the supports and resources necessary to ensure all disabled individuals receive fair and appropriate housing. To learn more about particular services, visit their webpage here.
  • Residential Opportunities, Inc. is a Kalamazoo agency dedicated to providing housing and residential supports to individuals with developmental disabilities. Services and programs include community housing, family services, respite services, and supported living for varying degrees of ability and need.

5. Transportation

  • Kalamazoo Metro Transit provides fixed-route, pre-arranged transportation services throughout the city’s urban center. For the more rural areas outside of downtown Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Metro Transit operates a dial-a-ride service. All transportation services comply with ADA standards.
  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan oversees two disability advocacy groups that ensure handicapped residents receive proper public transportation services. To read more about these advocacy groups (the Kalamazoo County Tag Team and Friends of Transit for Kalamazoo County), visit our section on Legal Information, Resources, and Advocacy under the “Organizations, Support, and Awareness Information” segment.
  • The Care-A-Van Kalamazoo Metro service is a shared-ride transportation service that provides affordable transportation to patrons with special needs. The Care-A-Van commutes to medical, educational, vocational, social, and personal destinations.

6. Adaptive Equipment & Assistive Technologies

  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan, located in Kalamazoo, provides a range of assistive technology resources. On their webpage, you’ll find links to assistive technology providers in the area, financial assistance resources, and referral services.
  • Ramp Up Program: The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan sponsors the Ramp Up Program, an initiative dedicated to promoting freedom, access, and independence for handicapped people by building ramps. With financial assistance from the Greater Kalamazoo United Way, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, private donors, and the Van Buren County United Way, the Ramp Up Program allows handicapped residents in and around Kalamazoo to have greater community access and involvement.
  • Lending Hands of Michigan, Inc. provides medical equipment, adaptive equipment, and assistive technologies to residents in Kalamazoo County and surrounding areas. Equipment includes walkers, canes, chairs, adaptive seating, toilets and accessories, personal grooming supplies, dressing aids, transportation chairs, pediatric equipment, and much more.
  • Wheelchair and Handicap Ramp Cost Guide: This online resource provides information estimating the cost of installing handicap ramps across various regions in the United States. Learn more about material options, customization, uses and installation details here.

7. Accessible Playgrounds

Differently abled children in Kalamazoo, Portage, and surrounding areas can enjoy the following two accessible playgrounds in the area:

  • The Upjohn Park, located at the intersection of Lake and Walters Streets in Kalamazoo, Michigan features smooth surfaces for easy, safe wheelchair access.
  • The Playground at Ramona Park (on 8600 South Sprinkle Road, Portage, Michigan) also features smooth surfaces perfect for individuals with wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility equipment.

Organizations, Support, and Awareness Information

1. Foundations and Charities

  • The Michigan Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired aims to increase the independence and well-being of Kalamazoo residents with visual impairment. Services include residential supports, support groups, training and workshops, rehabilitation, and habilitation.
  • The Bronson Health Foundation is a Bronson Health Care Group philanthropy initiative. Donations and support for the foundation help improve Bronson’s facilities and technology, maximize financial resources, and drive research.  To read more about the specific programs and campaigns available through the Bronson Health Foundation, visit this webpage.

2. Disability Organizations

  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan is a non-profit disability organization dedicated to promoting the well-being of individuals with a range of disabilities in the counties of Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren. Located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the Disability Network of Southwest Michigan provides services including assistive technology assistance and loan, advocacy, peer counseling, disability informational resources, referral services, support groups, nursing facility transition, social security benefits counseling, return to work services, independent living supports, travel training, workshops on disability language and etiquette, ramp building, staff training and presentations, and more.
  • The Arc Community Advocates for Persons with Developmental Disabilities is the local Arc branch in Kalamazoo County. This non-profit organization provides a range of services to residents living with intellectual and developmental disabilities—some specific services include systems advocacy, individual and family advocacy, pooled amenities trust, “After I’m Gone” planning, and workshops and training. The Arc works with various agencies and organizations to provide access and referral services to members of the community at local, state, and national levels.

3. Research Initiatives

  • Borgess Research Institute: Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo sponsors the Borgess Research Institute, a research organization dedicated to researching, advancing, and innovating the fields of neuroscience, trauma, internal medicine, and more. Specialty areas include neurology, neurosurgery, trauma, surgery, women’s health, and many others. Specialists work directly with conditions including, but not limited to, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, and stroke.

4. Support and Informational Groups

  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan’s Referrals and Disability Services Program provides guidance, resources, and counseling services for individuals in the community with disability-related questions. To contact the Referrals and Disability Services department, visit their webpage here or call (269) 345-1516.
  • Disability Voting Help: The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan provides information on disability voting. To learn more about disability voting, reference this wonderful Disability Network resource here.
  • Disability Network Support Groups: The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan facilitates the follow support groups:
    • The Divine Divas support group is open to women living with developmental disabilities in Southwestern Michigan communities. To learn more about the group and its meeting times, contact Cindy Gray at (269) 985-0111.
    • The Brain Injury Survivors Group is a support group that welcomes adults with various brain injuries. As a chapter of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, the Brain Injury Survivors Group facilitates group discussion on a range of topics, hires speakers, and arranges outings. To learn more, call (269) 345-1516 x120.
    • The Spinal Cord Injury Support Group is a support group for individuals with a past spinal injury. The group is hosted by All American Roll Models—to learn more about the group, call (269) 345-1516 x115.
    • Other Disability Network Support Groups: A number of other support groups are available throughout Southwest Michigan—to learn more about support groups that cover conditions such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, stroke, aphasia, respiration, depression, and epilepsy, visit the Disability Network of Southwest Michigan’s Support Group Services page here.
  • The Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency (RESA) provides a range of transition resources designed to help disabled individuals learn about adult living. Specific informational services include home rental and purchasing information, voter registration, budgeting and financial planning, meal preparation skills, home care skills, and related skills training. The County-Wide Transition Team is a group of individuals from around the community who help young disabled residents plan their transitions into adulthood.
  • The Arc Community Advocates of Southwest Michigan provide a variety of workshops and training courses for individuals with disabilities and their loved ones. Training courses Transitioning to the Real World, The Basics of Self-Advocacy, Rethinking Guardianship, and Getting the Most from the IEP.
  • Bronson Health Care Group sponsors Bronson Positivity, and online forum devoted to gathering and publishing positive, inspiring, and supportive personal stories from past patients and their families. To read positive stories, learn about the program, or to share your own, visit the Bronson Positivity page here.

5. Legal Information, Resources, and Advocacy

  • The Arc Community Advocates of Southwest Michigan’s Systems Advocacy services are dedicated to influencing the broad laws and policies that affect individuals with disabilities. Advocates address issues, support individuals with disabilities, and provide educational opportunities designed to promote beneficial policies.
  • The Arc Community Advocates of Southwest Michigan’s Individual and Family Advocacy services works to positively influence and shape laws and policies related to special education, disability human services, and other lifestyle aspects. To learn more about the Arc’s Individual and Family Advocacy services and to read about past projects, visit their webpage.
  • Advocacy Services for Kids (ASK) is a non-profit organization in Kalamazoo that provides support, training, and advocacy for children living with mood, mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders.
  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan’s Disability Rights Advocacy services are based out of St. Joseph and Kalamazoo and provide advocacy to individuals throughout Southwest Michigan. Disability rights advocates provide training on individual advocacy, disability rights and laws, complaint filing, special education advocacy, systems advocacy, and more.
  • The Friends of Transit for Kalamazoo County promotes safe, accessible public transit services for individuals in Kalamazoo County. To learn more about the group’s greater missions, values, and meetings, visit their webpage here.
  • The Michigan Council for Exceptional Children, the Michigan chapter of the National Council for Exceptional Children, is a special education advocacy group dedicated to influencing the laws, regulations, and policies that affect the quality, delivery of, and practice of special education. Beyond advocacy services, the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children works to promote community education and leadership. The Council is headquartered in Portage, Michigan.
  • The Disability Network of Southwest Michigan also oversees the following three primary advocacy groups:

6. Family and Parent Resources

Treatment and Therapy Resources

1. Interdisciplinary Therapy Programs

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital’s Rehabilitation Services include acute care, home health rehabilitation, outpatient care, skilled nursing rehabilitation, and more. Patients living with or recovering from birth trauma, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, and related conditions and injuries may benefit from the following programs and services:
    • Acute Care rehabilitation services include neurological therapy (for injuries such as stroke or head injury), occupational therapy, orthopedic rehabilitation, pediatric rehabilitation, physical therapy, and speech-language therapy.
    • Outpatient rehabilitation includes aquatic rehabilitation, cognitive re-education, comprehensive swallow studies, hand therapy, neurological rehab, occupational therapy, pediatric rehabilitation, pelvic floor therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, spine therapy, vestibular (balance) therapy, and more.
    • The Bronson Pediatric Rehabilitation Program provides rehabilitative treatments and exercises for patients ages birth through 13. The Pediatric Rehabilitation Program treats conditions including cognitive difficulties, developmental delays (such as cerebral palsy), motor difficulties, neurological disorders, orthopedic injuries, sensory disorders, speech and language delays, swallowing and feeding impairments, and traumatic brain injuries. Services and treatments include aquatic therapy, gait training, home program instruction, physical therapy, occupational therapy, oral motor retraining, sensory integration, and speech-language pathology.
  • The Bronson Children’s Hospital Pediatric Rehabilitation Program provides rehabilitation and therapy services for pediatric patients from the age of birth to 13 with a range of clinical needs. Conditions addressed and treated include cognitive impairments, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, motor difficulties, neurological disorders, orthopedic injuries, sensory disorders, speech and language impairments, swallowing and feeding issues, and traumatic brain injuries. Specific rehabilitation services and treatments include aquatic therapy, gait training, home program instruction, physical therapy, occupational therapy, oral motor training, sensory integration, and speech-language pathology.
  • Borgess Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Services offer a number of different technologies, options, and therapy programs for patients with various rehabilitation needs. Specific rehabilitation services and programs offered through Borgess Medical Center include aquatic rehabilitation, cognitive re-education, dysphagia (swallowing) therapy, functional capacity assessments, gait analysis, hand therapy, job coaching, pediatric rehabilitation, orthopedic rehabilitation, speech-language therapy, spine and back rehabilitation, pain management, vestibular disorder therapy, and more.

2. Physical Therapy

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital’s Physical Therapy program uses exercise and training programs to increase balance and coordination, diminish joint and muscle pain, improve strength and endurance, and increase independence and movement among patients. Some of the many services and treatments available at Bronson Physical Therapy include aquatic rehabilitation, kinesio-taping, manual therapy, neurological rehabilitation, pediatric rehabilitation, spine therapy, stroke rehabilitation, and more.

3. Recreational Therapy

Animal Therapy

  • The Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center provides special needs individuals with the opportunity to participate in horseback riding classes. Located in Augusta, Michigan (a city in Kalamazoo County), the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center works with individuals with mental and emotional impairments, visual and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, at-risk children, and a number of other conditions. Specific programs available through Cheff include Therapeutic Riding, Hippotherapy, Veterans and Seniors, Summer Camps, and Volunteering.
  • Bronson Children’s Hospital and Bronson Methodist Hospital facilitate the Pet Therapy Program, a program that brings therapy dogs into pediatric and adult hospital rooms to promote happiness, healing, physical activity and rehabilitation, speech therapy, and overall wellness.

Sports Therapy

  • The Michigan Blind Athletic Association (MBAA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing competitive and recreational athletic opportunities to visually impaired individuals. Located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the MBAA offers a number of activities throughout the year. Specific programs include goalball, bowling, tandem cycling, and more.
  • The Kalamazoo Wheelchair Tennis Association is an adaptive tennis team based out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. The team provides handicapped residents in Western and Southwestern Michigan the opportunity to exercise, practice and compete tennis, cultivate skills and hobbies, interact with others, and more.

Aquatic Therapy

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital and Bronson Children’s Hospital provide aquatic therapy services and programs for adult and pediatric patients with a range of rehabilitation needs.
  • Borgess Health’s Aquatic Rehabilitation program takes place at Kalamazoo’s Borgess Health & Fitness Center. The program accepts patients with a wide range of rehabilitation needs and provides therapy treatments including Ai Chi, Burdenko, BackHab Walking Program, Bad Ragaz, and Sports Training.
  • Agility Physical Therapy, located in Kalamazoo, provides aquatic therapy programs and services for patients with a range of rehabilitation needs. Common diagnoses treated in Agility’s Aquatic Therapy Program include post-operative rehab for upper and lower extremities, degenerative joint and disk diseases, extremity fractures, chronic pain, neuromuscular disorders, prenatal and postpartum needs, spasticity, and more. Aquatic therapy programs aim to increase range of motion and flexibility, improve strength, increase balance, and promote endurance.

Art Therapy

  • Bronson Children’s Hospital facilitates the Art Therapy Program for pediatric patients with a range of health and rehabilitation needs. Mental health professionals, therapists, and trained specialists help patients express themselves, ultimately lowering stress levels and feelings of helplessness, helping kids gain confidence and problem-solving skills, cultivating self-expression and personal interests, and encouraging them to work on personal wellness.
  • Bronson Methodist Hospital provides the Music Therapy Program to address the emotional, cognitive, physical, social, and spiritual needs of all patients and their loved ones. Certified music therapists utilize songwriting, singing, instruments, and movement to enhance patient comfort, reduce stress, elevate mood, increase communication, and provide other positive experiences for patients during their hospital stays.

Special Needs Camps

  • Kalamazoo and Portage, Michigan Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Special Needs ResourcesThe Michigan Blind Athletic Association (MBAA) in Kalamazoo oversees the Michigan Sports Education Camps, which are dedicated to promoting athleticism, personal fulfillment, recreation, and social interaction between young, visually impaired members of the community. The MBAA oversees a junior camp, a senior camp, and state games throughout the month of May.
  • The Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center in Kalamazoo County offers summer camps to anyone with special needs. Campers may choose to attend the Cheff Camp, the  Read and Ride camp, and Camp Pegasus for Girls. To learn more about these special needs summer camps in therapeutic riding, visit the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center’s webpage here.
  • Sherman Lake YMCA summer camps provide special needs children with inclusive camping experiences. Located in Augusta, Michigan, Sherman Lake YMCA is a close drive for families in Kalamazoo and Portage. To read more about the specific camps and activities offered at Sherman Lake YMCA, visit their webpage here.

4. Occupational Therapy

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital’s Occupational Therapy Program includes activities of daily living training, adaptive equipment assessment, cognitive re-education, hand and wrist therapy, a low vision program, neurological rehabilitation, orthopedic rehab, pediatric rehabilitation, sensory diet assessment, vestibular rehabilitation (balance therapy), and more.

5. Speech and Language Therapy

6. Stem Cell Therapy

  • Michigan Blood’s Cord Blood Bank of Holland has two umbilical cord blood donation collection locations in Kalamazoo. OB/Gyn physicians and midwives collect umbilical cord blood during deliveries from both Borgess Medical Center and Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. To learn more about cord blood donation, stem cell therapy, and related topics, visit the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Donation Foundation here.

7. Complementary and Alternative Therapies

  •  Bronson Children’s Hospital Pediatric Nutrition Program provides inpatient and outpatient nutritional assessment and counseling for infants, children, and adolescents. Specialists address and treat a number of diagnoses affecting nutrition including prematurity, failure to thrive, obesity, developmental delay, thermal or traumatic injury, dependence on parenteral or enteral nutritional support, and more.
  • Bronson Vicksburg Outpatient Center is located in Vicksburg, a city south of Portage and Kalamazoo. Nutritional services are provided at this location for patients with a range of conditions and dietary disorders, some of which include swallowing disorders, feeding problems, malnutrition, failure to thrive, obesity, and more.
  • Borgess Medical Center offers massage therapy and hypnotherapy for patents with a range of clinical, rehabilitation, and lifestyle needs. Patients with cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, spasticity, and other conditions caused by birth trauma and birth injury commonly choose to complement more traditional forms of treatment and therapy with alternative medicine forms such as massage therapy and hypnotherapy. Complementary and alternative medicines such as these often help to lessen pain and anxiety while improving mobility, cognition, and well-being.
  • Geib Movement and Wellness, located in Portage, Michigan, is a children’s Anat Baniel Method (AMB) rehabilitation center that provides ABM treatment and therapy programs to children with cerebral palsy, Autism, genetic disorders, developmental delays, learning disabilities and ADHD, scoliosis, and other conditions and special needs.

8. Behavioral Therapy and Emotional Counseling

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