Training

Kristin J. Anderson — vocational reviewer, Workers’ Compensation Division
Kristin Anderson is a vocational reviewer in the Medford field office of the Workers’ Compensation Division since 2006. Before joining the Workers’ Compensation Division, Kristin worked for the Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Program for 18 years as a regional business manager, office manager, support services supervisor, and foster care payment specialist. Before that Kristin worked at the Oregon State University’s International Agriculture Department in Personnel and Payroll management. Kristin’s area of expertise is vocational consulting.

Lorrie Baker — compliance specialist, Workers’ Compensation Division
Lorrie Baker, who joined the Workers’ Compensation Division in July 2014, is the compliance specialist for the division’s Worker Leasing Program. Lorrie has a background in employment law. Before coming to the division, she worked as an employment paralegal in the private sector and as a civil rights investigator with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries. Lorrie is a certified paralegal and has a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University.

Nancy Baldwin — CES, LCCE
Nancy Baldwin is a certified cancer exercise specialist and health educator with more than 20 years in the health and wellness industry. A featured speaker, group facilitator, and community outreach educator, she has devoted herself to the health, well being, and support of patients and their families.

Barbara Belcher — Audit Unit manager, Workers’ Compensation Division
Barbara Belcher is the manager of the Workers’ Compensation Division’s Audit Unit. She worked for Oregon OSHA for seven years before joining WCD in 2010. Barbara spent eight years in the finance industry before joining state government in 2003.

Dr. John R. Braddock — medical director of Majoris Health Systems
Dr. John Braddock did both his internship and medical school studies at the Oregon Health & Science University. He is has been a board-certified emergency physician since 1974 and practiced emergency medicine from 1974 to 2005. He has been a practicing occupational medicine physician since 1987. For several years he was the medical director and CEO of Cascade Occupational Medicine Physicians, Inc. (also known as COMPI). John is the first twice-elected past medical staff president of Legacy Meridian Park Hospital. He is a past member of Oregon’s Medical Advisory Board regarding workers’ compensation and a past board member of the National Association of Occupational Professionals. He currently is the medical director of Majoris Health Systems.

Kathleen (Katie) R. Bruns — vocational reviewer, Workers’ Compensation Division
Katie Bruns is a vocational reviewer in the Salem office of the Workers’ Compensation Division. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Oregon. Before joining the Employment Services Team, Katie worked as an auditor for the division for four years and as a claims examiner for two years for Liberty Northwest Insurance.

Christopher Clark — policy analyst, Workers’ Compensation Division
Christopher Clark is a policy analyst supporting the division’s Audit, Employer Compliance, and Self-Insurance Units. Chris has a master’s in public administration from the University of Washington.

Lauren Danahy, RN, CCM, LNCC, CCHP
Lauren Danahy has 20 years of diverse nursing experience. She first realized her passion for working with injured workers while working in Occupational Health at Intel Corporation. Lauren’s independent practice was conceived during her senior capstone project in MBA school in 2009. She worked for a large national carrier providing nurse case management services but dreamed of having her own practice. WNCG was fully launched in January 2014. Lauren has been published in peer review journals and is a regular contributor to the American Association of Legal Nurse Consulting Journal.

Andrew Ellis, Ph.D. – director of rehabilitation, Progressive Rehabilitation Associates
Andrew Ellis earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with specialty training in health and rehabilitation psychology at the University of Kansas. He subsequently completed a two-year residency in medical psychology at Oregon Health & Science University. For the past 16 years, he has worked at PRA as the clinical director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center, the leading post-acute brain injury rehabilitation program in the Pacific Northwest. In this position, he has overseen and actively participated in the rehabilitation programs of more than 500 brain injury survivors.

Jennifer Flood — Ombudsman for Injured Workers, Department of Consumer and Business Services
Jennifer Flood has been the Ombudsman for Injured Workers since August 2005. Jennifer and her staff serve as independent advocates for injured workers, providing information and assistance to ensure workers understand their rights and responsibilities. Jennifer has been with the Department of Consumer and Business Services since 1978. Before her Ombudsman position, Jennifer was the manager of the Workers’ Compensation Division’s Field Audit Unit for nine years and a benefit consultant for seven years.

Heather F. Grogan — vocational reviewer, Workers’ Compensation Division
Heather Grogan is a vocational reviewer in the Medford field office of the Workers’ Compensation Division. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, has been a certified rehabilitation counselor since 1990, and is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers. She has attended numerous ergonomic training programs through Oregon OSHA and the University of Washington. In addition, she has 17 years of experience as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, assisting injured workers return to gainful employment. Heather’s area of expertise is worksite modification. She has provided modifications for industries as varied as farming, education, food preparation, construction, truck driving, ship building, and health care. She has extensive knowledge and experience in analyzing job tasks and how they relate to a worker’s physical limitations.

Greig Lowell — project manager, Workers’ Compensation Board
Greig Lowell is a project manager for the Workers’ Compensation Board. He began his assignment in June 2014, after 12 years as a member of the Workers’ Compensation Board. He has more than 27 years of workers’ compensation experience. From 1986 to 2002, he worked as a claims supervisor and manager for Safeco, EBI, and Personnel Source/Comp Source. He has also served as president of the Oregon Self-Insurers Association. He is a frequent speaker and has provided the appellate update at the annual OSB Workers’ Compensation Section meeting during the past six years. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Jerry (Jerry) P. Keene – founder, Oregon Workers’ Compensation Institute
Jerry Keene is an attorney licensed in Oregon and Washington who enjoyed a 30-year career as lead appeals counsel for the workers’ compensation defense firm of Reinisch Mackenzie, P.C. and its predecessor firms before semi-retiring to pursue his life-long goal of establishing an institute devoted to the improvement of the workers’ compensation system and the laws that govern it. Both as a teacher and as a legal advocate, Jerry is known for his distinctive presentations that blend wit and enthusiastic advocacy with a comprehensive knowledge of the case law, statutes, and rules. His knack for explaining complex workers’ compensation issues in clear, understandable terms has gained him a reputation for effectiveness in the classroom and in the courtroom. Jerry graduated from the University of Oregon in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and history. He obtained his law degree from Northwestern University before returning to practice in Oregon. Jerry founded the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Institute as both a training organization and a solo law and consulting practice. He continues to offer claims examiner training courses and specializes in appeals representation and legal services to Oregon and Washington employers, insurers, and third-party administrators.

Tim Kessel — worksite modification consultant, Workers’ Compensation Division
Tim Kessel is a worksite modification consultant for the Preferred Worker Program and also specializes in the Employer-at-Injury Program. Tim began working with the Preferred Worker Program as a re-employment specialist in 1994 before becoming a worksite modification consultant in December 2005. Before joining the Workers’ Compensation Division, Tim spent 10 years in sales and retail management.

Erick Kountz — training and development specialist, Department of Consumer and Business Services
Erick Kountz is a trainer for the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Before joining the agency in 1999, he wrote, produced, and appeared in radio and television spots and still continues to do so today. He refers to his creative trainings as “edutainment” and is currently helping the Workers’ Compensation Division to produce creative video trainings for its many customers. Erick has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Portland. In his spare time, he spreads his motivational messages and inspired insanity at his PostivelyTwisted.com website.

Brian Nease — worksite modification consultant, Workers’ Compensation Division
Brian Nease is a worksite modification consultant and lead worker for the State of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division’s Preferred Worker Program. He provides employment assistance and hiring incentives to injured workers and their employers throughout the state of Oregon. Before his work within the Preferred Worker Program, Brian spent the previous eight years providing workforce development for employers and vulnerable populations in Clackamas County. Before his work with Clackamas County, Brian spent 10 years in business management.

Ana Pace — worker leasing compliance specialist, Workers’ Compensation Division
Anna Pace joined the Workers’ Compensation Division in February 2016 and currently works as a licensing compliance specialist within the Worker Leasing Program. Ana has a background in workers’ compensation and personal injury fields. Before joining the division, she worked at the Department of Human Services, Personal Injury Liens Unit, where she recovered funds for the State of Oregon’s Medicaid Program. Before pursuing a career in public service, she was a litigation paralegal in the private sector for more than nine years. Ana has an undergraduate degree in law from the I.T.E.S.M., Campus Monterrey, Mexico.

Troy Painter — senior auditor, Workers’ Compensation Division
Troy Painter is the senior auditor for the Workers’ Compensation Division’s Audit Unit. Troy worked in various roles in Oregon’s workers’ compensation industry for 13 years before joining WCD, where he has been a performance auditor for another 13 years.

Lou Savage — administrator, Workers’ Compensation Division
Lou Savage recently returned to Oregon after spending two-and-a-half years providing consulting and training on law reform issues to attorneys in North Africa and the Middle East. A member of the Oregon State Bar, he has spent his career working on consumer and business issues in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors. He served as Oregon insurance commissioner from 2012 to 2013 and directed legislative activity for the Department of Consumer and Business Services as the senior policy advisor from 2003 to 2012. Before joining the state, Lou served as director of Multnomah County Legal Aid and state director for Oregon Congressman Ron Wyden’s office. He also spent 10 years in private law practice. Lou has a law degree from Lewis and Clark College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon.

Dan Schmelling — claims supervisor, SAIF Corporation
Dan Schmelling is a claims supervisor at SAIF Corporation. Before working for SAIF, Dan worked as a field auditor and manager of the Benefits and Certifications Unit in the Workers’ Compensation Division and as the senior assistant ombudsman for injured workers in the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Dan has also worked as a claims adjuster for an insurance company, as well as a claims adjuster and claims supervisor for a third-party administrator.

Kay Thrash — senior field investigator, Workers’ Compensation Division
Kay Thrash is currently the senior investigator for the Employer Compliance Unit (ECU) of the Workers’ Compensation Division. In 26 years with ECU, Kay has worked and filled many roles, including investigating injured worker claims; providing education on workers’ compensation insurance requirements through testimony in contested cases; presenting educational seminars; and leading training classes, in addition to training and mentoring new members of ECU. Kay has spent her entire professional career in public service. Before joining ECU, Kay was a police officer and a paramedic.

David Waki – ombudsman for small business, Department of Consumer and Business Services
The Office of the Ombudsman for Small Business was created in 1990, as part of the package of reforms to Oregon’s workers’ compensation system. David Waki was appointed to the position in 2005. His background includes working in field and home office capacities for regional and national insurers. He also worked for the Oregon State Lottery as a regional manager. David also owned and operated a small business employing six workers before selling the business after five years. The office of the Ombudsman for Small Business is a two-person office that problem-solves employer issues related to premium calculation, audit disputes, coverage questions, claims, and policy provisions. The office also conducts outreach and education so that stakeholders can make informed sound business decisions and remain in compliance with their legal obligations.

Robert (Bob) Wilson — president and CEO, WorkersCompensation.com
Bob Wilson is a founding partner, president, and CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, based in Sarasota, Fla. He has presented at seminars and conferences on a variety of topics related to both technology within the workers’ compensation industry and bettering the workers’ compensation system through improved employee and employer relations and claims management techniques. He is the author of “From Bob’s Cluttered Desk,” a blog repeatedly named as a top workers’ compensation blog by LexisNexis. Additionally, he was named one of the “50 Most Influential People in Workers’ Comp” by the SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference and authored a featured point-counterpoint debate with John Burton on the future of workers’ compensation in the most recent IAIABC Journal. With an extensive business management and human resource background, Bob brings a strong employer and corporate voice to the workers’ compensation arena. Known for an extraordinary sense of humor, his presentations provide entertaining and practical advice for people managing claims and those “picking up the tab.”