My mask is working very well. I was excited to get back to baseball without the fear of getting hit in the face and getting hurt. The process was very quick and efficient. I was amazed how strong and light my mask is. After getting the mask I went to play baseball right away and it did not affect my vision or my ability to play. Thanks so much for the mask!

Joey Caraccio
Traverse City, MI

Press Releases/News

State Champions!!

Congratulations to the Dakota Varsity Women's Volleyball Team and Coaches!

state champs

This past Saturday, coach Tracie Ferguson led the Cougar Volleyball Team to Dakota's first volleyball State Championship! The Cougars won every game and match during the tournament!! Congratulations on an outstanding season!!

A special 'congratulations' goes out to Tori P., who has been wearing one of our masks for nearly 2 years! Well done, ladies!

Athlete of The Month

Jacobson Selected as Ivy League's Co-Rookie of the Week

Jacobson earned Harvard's first Ivy League award of the season (photo Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Freshman defender Elizabeth Jacobson of the Harvard field hockey team was tabbed Ivy League Co-Rookie of the Week, the league announced Tuesday. The newcomer tallied the first assist and goal of her career over the last seven days. Jacobson shared the award with Brown's Alexis Miller, who also had a goal and an assist.

Jacobson started the week with an assist in Harvard's 4-1 win over Bryant Sept. 24. She sent a pass into the middle of the circle where Noel Painter redirected it into the goal to seal the Crimson's victory in the second half.

After contributing to Harvard's first Ivy League victory of the season, a 1-0 shutout of Brown Sept. 29, Jacobson scored her first career goal versus Quinnipiac Sept. 30. With Harvard trailing 1-0 in the first half, the Branchburg, N.J., native took a pass from Bridget McGillivray and sent it to the back of the cage to even the score. Jacobson wrapped her stick around the back side of a Quinnipiac defender on the right side of the cage, as McGillivray crossed the ball from the left to pull the Bobcat's goalie out of position and allow Jacobson to put the ball across the line. To watch video of the goal, click here.

The award is the first of Jacobson's career and Harvard's first Ivy League honor of the season. The last time a Crimson player had won a Rookie of the Week award was Oct. 25 of last season, when Noel Painter was chosen.


Q & A with Jeremy Murray, CO, OTL

Jeremy Murray is the director of orthotics at Michigan Hand and Sports Rehabilitation Centers (MHSRC), headquartered in Warren. The orthotics department, which Murray oversees, offers an array of orthotic services; however, his specialty is personalized protective facemasks. He has fit athletes from as far away as Russia, on individuals as young as four to as old as their mid 60s, and on all levels—from grade school, high school, college, professional, to adult recreational. While most of the masks he makes are for basketball and soccer, he has made them for cheerleading, baseball and softball, water and horse polo, martial arts, field hockey, volleyball, and more.

How did you become interested in O&P?

I pursued healthcare because of my sister, Hannah. During the birthing process she had the oxygen supply cut off to her brain (birth anoxia), which left her severely, multiply disabled. Her occupational therapist (OT) lived down the street from our home, and I shadowed her for several months. After working as an OT for a few years, I was able to work under the direction of Jerry McHale, CO, who introduced me to the orthotics profession. His knowledge of biomechanics, fabrication techniques, and attention to detail intrigued me. Further, as my patient load increased and their needs became more complicated, I found that it was not feasible to treat every problem without better exposure to a wider variety of materials and processes. I realized that as a certified orthotist I would be able to successfully treat a more varied patient population.

How has your career progressed?

I spent the first four years of my professional career working as an upper-limb rehabilitation specialist, using directmolded, low-temperature materials for patients in an outpatient, acute setting. Because of my exposure to MHSRC, I pursued and completed the educational and certification requirements to become an orthotist. Once certified, my career progressed rapidly from staff orthotist to director of orthotics in a little less than four years.

Please describe how you started creating facemasks for athletes.

I learned to make custom facemasks from Jerry McHale, who was the first person to use a custom facemask for an athletic purpose. In 1990, he fabricated a custom mask for Bill Laimbeer, who played basketball for the Detroit Pistons. The first facemask that I made was for Richard "Rip" Hamilton, who currently plays basketball for the Chicago Bulls. He has been wearing his since 2004.

What are your personal and/or professional goals?

To help make O&P a more nationally recognized and respected profession. I would also like to teach O&P at the university level. I can't think of anything more rewarding than being able to pass along the knowledge and techniques that I have developed.

What areas do you feel are currently the most underserved in terms of the O&P profession?

Upper-limb and arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There seems to be a lack of understanding of how to treat these patients. RA patients are underserved because O&P professionals lack the requisite education and rheumatologists underutilize O&P professionals. A little more education on the part of both the doctors and the clinicians could help these patients tremendously over the course of their lives.

The original article was published here on http://www.oandp.com

Metro Detroit Mans Custom Masks Keeping Players in the Game

WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) — When athletes want to save face, many call one Michigan guy. He’s like a modern day Michelangelo in a high tech lab, and his creations are keeping players in the game. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers is not the first to sport a plastic facade to protect a broken nose. Richard “Rip” Hamilton, the former Piston, really put the mask on the map. “Rip’s got a little bigger problem. He’s broken his nose enough that, now at this stage, they’ve talked about doing more serious surgery to do a reconstruction there,” said Jeremy Murray.

Whether he goes to them or they come to him, when it comes to crafting a custom mask, Murray is the go-to guy. “I’m not the only person who does it. I do more then anyone else on earth, that’s for sure. I’ve made probably 550 or 600 in the last three years,” he explained.

At the Michigan Hand and Sports Rehabilitation Center in Warren, Murray is part artist and part orthotist. It starts with a plaster mold of the athlete’s face. he then employs some pretty heavy duty plastic. “It’s the same stuff they make bullet proof glass out of,” he said.

After just minutes in a 300 to 400 degree oven, the pliable plastic is placed over the modified face mold and, once it’s cooled, it’s time to carve the custom mask. each mask takes from 24 to 48 hours to create. however, it’s not just the elite athletes who know about playing through the pain. Volleyball is just one of the several sports 14-year-old Tori Pellerito was afraid to play again after breaking her nose.

“I was concerned to get hit in the face, and I didn’t want to go through surgery again. It was painful,” she said.

For an athlete on any level, a broken nose is a painful nuisance. “Of all the bones broken in the body, it’s the third most common bone to be broken. The other thing is that when you break your nose, you can still run. You can jump. You can shoot. You can do everything but get hit again,” Murray told us.

Just like the pros, Pellerito knew she could get back in the game with a little protection. “I feel like I don’t have to worry about getting injured as much, and I feel like if it hits me in the face, it’s no big deal and I can just play my game,” she said.

The masks actually go through impact testing at Wayne State’s ballistic laboratory to make sure they’re safe. The cost is anywhere from $500 to $1000.

Original HealthWorks Story by: Deena Centofanti @ Fox TV 2

Follow HealthWorks at: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/category/237893/healthworks-reports


Athlete of the Month

Beware the Mask: South Jefferson's Austin Stevens is picture of toughness

, March 16, 2012 9 a.m.

(Jim Commentucci/The Post-Standard)

The emergency papier-mache project began with a trip to Michael’s craft store to buy rigid wrap. Roy Stevens and his daughter, Austin, hurried home and cleared out a spot in the family living room to work. There, Stevens began the process of dunking the individual strips of plastic gauze in water and delicately placing them to form a mold. The subject was his daughter’s face.

 Austin Stevens
now wears the result of that project. It’s a protective mask that allows the South Jefferson High School forward to play basketball. Friday, Stevens will lead the undefeated Spartans (23-0) against Rochester Aquinas (15-8) in a semifinal contest of the Class B state basketball tournament. The 10 a.m. game is at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

 Stevens, who broke her nose and cracked two front teeth in a horrific accident during a game in late January, has returned with a vengeance. The 14-year-old sophomore is averaging more than 20 points during the playoffs and leads the Spartans in rebounding, averaging 7.5 a game. Stevens has been selected as The Post-Standard’s honor athlete of the week.

 “Her game has blossomed in the past month,” said South Jeff head coach Pat Bassett, who will hit the 300-win plateau if the Spartans win another state title this weekend. “She’s found this other level.”

 Stevens scored 27 points in a regional championship victory over Oneonta last week. She had 23 in a Section III playoff win over previously undefeated Westhill. Stevens did so playing with a plastic mask strapped to her face following a collision in a Jan. 24 game against Altmar-Parish Williamstown.

-- Watch the video interview with Austin Stevens

 Stevens said she dived on the floor for a loose ball. An opposing player accidentally fell on top of her, driving Stevens’ face into the court. She suffered a broken nose and cracked her front teeth.

 For Roy and Sydney Stevens, it was a horror show. Austin’s parents waited in the stands until an assistant coached summoned them. It was suggested they visit a hospital emergency room.

 “You’re just in shock,” said Sydney Stevens, Austin’s mother. “You try not to panic.”

 Roy Stevens said his daughter never cried until they got into the hallway outside the South Jeff gym. He said she worried about missing the Section III tournament. Instead, she missed a handful of practices and one game.

 Bassett said Stevens never changed her aggressive approach. She borrowed a plastic mask that Bassett’s son, Tom, used the previous season. At practice, Stevens drew a charge, causing Bassett to ask her if it wasn’t more prudent to take it easy. Stevens barked, “No!,” at her coach.

 “I didn’t care,” she said. “I had to keep playing.”

 Roy Stevens began investigating custom masks. He turned to Jeremy Murray, who has designed protective masks for NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Rip Hamilton. That led to the Stevens making a mold. He slathered a coat of Vaseline on Austin’s face, then placed one strip at time over closed eyes and her swollen nose. The process took more than an hour. It took another half-hour to dry.

 “My dad is pretty creative,” Austin said. “He handled it well.”

 They shipped the mold to Murray. A week later, the clear, hard-shell mask made of Vivak — a co-polyester compound — arrived via overnight shipping at the family business in Adams, a barber shop. After some adjustments with the straps, Austin was good to go.

 “When I’m happy, I play better,” Stevens said. “When you get on the court, its all business. I don’t like to sit back and watch. I like to stick my face right in there.”

 Bassett said Stevens has become a more polished finisher around the basket. It has made the Spartans more formidable and taken pressure off South Jeff’s other big gun, guard Amanda Roberts.

 “When you watch her play and the passion that she plays with, you can only admire a kid like that,” said Westhill coach Sue Ludwig. “The night we played South Jeff, we had no answers for her. She’s become the heart of that team.”

 On Monday, Stevens had a root canal for one of her front teeth. She practiced that afternoon. That kind of toughness is a reason South Jefferson hopes it can win a third state championship banner for its school gymnasium.

 Stevens said she feels a personal responsibility to add another title because of the school’s tradition. She’s mentally ready, toughened by the experience of her injury and the attention wearing a mask brings. Some fans have chanted “face mask” at her. Stevens doesn’t care and finds the attention, “kind of cool.” Bassett calls Stevens one of the toughest kids he’s ever coached.

 “My team has kind of lacked a voice,” Bassett said. “Austin has stepped into that role. You hear her voice all the time. It’s almost like its becoming her team.”

Staff writer Donnie Webb can be reached at 470-2149 or dwebb@syracuse.com

Oakland Press

Jeremy Murray is the mask maker
The Oakland Press recently wrote a feature about Murray and the masks that he has made through the years.

Jeremy Murray, certified orthotist and licensed occupational therapist in the Orthotics Department of Michigan Hand and Sports Rehabilitation Centers, is quite busy during the high school and college basketball seasons. Although the department offers a wide array of orthotic services, they are best known for their personalized protective face masks.

Read the entire article here

Reid Priddy Comes To Visit MHSRC

US Indoor Volleyball team captian and Olympic Gold Medalist, Reid Priddy, recentely travelled to MHSRC to have a custom facemask made. As an outside hitter, he was injured while making a block during training. He is currently playing professionally for Zenit-Kazan in Russia and was in need of a custom mask to allow him to return as soon as possible.

The US Men's Indoor Volleyball team took home the Gold at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. We will be cheering on Reid and the rest of his team as they go for the GOLD again next summer in London. Follow his return to the court at:

USA Volleyball

Good luck to Reid and the rest of Team USA!!



Newcastle United striker comes to MHSRC

I've worked with patients throughout the US and all over the world, but we recently had an opportunity to work with Newcastle United Football Club to help take care of their injured striker, Shola Ameobi.

Team doctor, Paul Catterson, had this to say after the trip-

     "A very professional service was provided by both Jeremy and Shellie. This began with initial phone calls and emails right through to the initial consultation and final production. We were made to feel most welcome from the moment we arrived. We were also very impressed by the speed of production and the attention to detail, clearly Jeremy is a perfectionist and this is reflected in the final product. Most importantly the player feels comfortable with the outcome and now has the required confidence to play at the highest level."

Thanks to Shola, Dr. Catterson, and Newcastle United FC for such an amazing opportunity! Read more and follow Shola's return to the pitch at:

Read About It Here

More Here

Featured Magazine Article

The Man Behind the Mask

Detroit Piston Rip Hamilton made it famous.  Now Jeremy Murray is receiving orders from around the globe.

Read the cover story from the Exemplar below.

View the cover here

Read the article


Launching of customfacemasks.com

Welcome to Michigan Hand and Sports Rehab Centers offical orthotics lab website. My name is Jeremy Murray and I am the guy who makes the masks (and everything else that comes out of here!).

This website was created to make it easier for you to find us. In the last few years there has been an increased demand for people to obtain custom facemasks for athletic use.

We are pleased to be in the forefront as a fabricator/supplier of custom masks. Pioneered by Jerry McHale in the 1980's for protection of a facial fracture, masks are finding increased application for many types of facial injuries, thus allowing athletes of all levels to maintain their active lifestyles.

Along with facemasks, Michigan Hand and Sports Rehab Centers has a fully functioning orthotics lab. From facemasks to foot orthotics, arthritis to zygoma fractures, we are ready to serve all your orthotic needs!

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