Earlier this year David Held, a member of the HNNR Therapeutic Recreation team, began looking at Michigan’s popular outdoor activities as a unique recovery option for people overcoming brain injury. The result was the revival of the former Outdoor Recreation Program.
“For example, a man may come to our program and tell me he loves fishing, but can no longer participate in the sport because he can’t tie a hook or cast a line correctly. While this might be true, I can turn these limitations into opportunities. Helping him relearn how to manage a fishing pole not only gets him back on the lake, but also directly addresses his fine motor skills, visual scanning, situational awareness, and problem solving; skills that will carry over into his everyday life.”
Fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, mountain biking – the Outdoor Recreation Program flexes its activities to accommodate each participant’s personal interest and helps rehab patients get back outside doing the things they love. While small group outings may sometimes occur, David primarily works with patients on a one-to-one basis.
“To be referred to the program, each person must be evaluated and approved by their clinical team,” David explains. “I follow a very meticulous evaluation and training process. If there are gaps or concerns we continue training until these are overcome. Safety is always my primary focus.”
David has a lifetime of experience in golf, fishing, boating, hunting, hiking, and just about any outdoor activity you can think of – so, it’s no accident that David leads the program. With Michigan’s abundance of other natural resources, chances are high that he will encounter outdoor enthusiasts at Hope Network.
David has been with Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation for 13 years. He holds certifications in fly fishing and firearms instruction, has several Michigan Master Angler awards, and holds national record titles in target shooting.