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Hickonbottom, Lela

Lela Hickonbottom

M.S.N., M.B.A.

  • Affiliation: Special Tree Rehabilitation System

Lela Hickonbottom is a licensed Registered Nurse who completed her Bachelor’s in the science of nursing from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI in 2000. She has an eclectic clinical background which includes specialty experience as a critical care nurse in the medical and trauma-burn ICU setting. While earning her Master’s degree in Nursing and Business Administration in 2008, she was provided the opportunity to serve as the neuro-rehabilitation Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for Special Tree Rehabilitation System, with an emphasis on the care management of individuals with neurological diseases and subsequent disorders. Special Tree is a unique healthcare provider who delivers intense post-acute and long-term care to individuals with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, so a key contribution in the CNS role was her leadership as a primary developer of a proprietary medical acuity assessment scale designed to standardized anticipated nursing care for this population. The successful impact of this clinical tool has afforded her opportunities to present “Utilizing Medical Acuity to Frame Key Neuro-Rehabilitation Practices” to a number of professional organizations including the Brain Injury of America Business Practice College. Mrs. Hickonbottom holds membership to numerous professional organizations and currently serves as Special Tree’s Chief Nursing Officer. Additional clinical interest includes a passion for educating as evidenced by serving as a committed clinical professor for Henry Ford Community College.


Within the last 24 months, have you rendered, or in the next two years, will you render clinical services or support services (whether diagnostic, therapeutic, educational, case management, or similar) to persons with TBI or their family members and caregivers, as an independent professional or employee of a for-profit or not-for-profit organization?: I am currently employed as the Chief Nursing Officer for Special Tree Rehabilitation System. My current role requires that I oversee and on occasion work directly with individuals and their support systems diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries as it relates to clinical nursing related care. My workload accounts for approx 30% of my workweek taken up in this capacity. My compensation will not increase as a result of specific recommendations of these Guidelines.

Within the past 24 months, I or one of my “immediate family members” received personal compensation for the following: Chief Nursing Officer for Special Tree Rehabilitation System. Healthcare delivery for individuals requiring neuro-rehabilitation with specialization in traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

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