PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- On a routine stop at the supermarket in November 2006, Leah Freesmeier fell to the ground, hitting the left side of her head on the cement floor and leaving her with a severe injury to her brain. The injury left her with language and hearing impairments, aphasia and right cranial nerve/facial palsy. She doesn't remember falling, or most of the three weeks she was in the hospital, but she does remember the rehabilitation she went through that enabled her to return to her job as a customer support specialist.
"I was lucky to have CIGNA during this ordeal," said Freesmeier. "Not only was the company great at assisting me with the overwhelming process of understanding the various administrative aspects I had to take care of, but my rehabilitation counselor worked very closely with me to ensure I had the best care possible to enable me to get back to work, which was my ultimate goal."
After intense physical and speech therapy, Freesmeier worked with a CIGNA vocational rehabilitation counselor and was ready to return to work six months after her injury. CIGNA's vocational rehabilitation counselors are educated and skilled in helping individuals with disabilities make career plans, learn new skills and face their fears. They understand and anticipate these fears and provide support, education and resources to overcome them.
Freesmeier's CIGNA vocational rehabilitation counselor began the
process of helping her plan her return to work. This included assessing
factors that could potentially impact the success of her return-to-work
plan and determining how some challenges could be reduced or avoided
altogether. Additionally, the counselor worked with all of Freesmeier's
treating physicians to facilitate easing her back into the workplace. Based
on their recommendations, the counselor worked with the local state
rehabilitation agency to arrange for Freesmeier to be accompanied by an
onsite coach for the
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