Hello, everyone, my name is Heather Williamson. I’m the new Modernization Program manager for the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD). Since I started with WCD on April 1, 2021, I have been busy learning about all of the great work the division does!
Now, a little about me…I’ve worked in the workers’ compensation field for the past eighteen years, starting as a workers’ compensation insurance defense paralegal. In 2013, I went to work for the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. After three years, I became a stipulated settlements examiner before being promoted to deputy director of the Process Improvement and Oversight Division. As part of this role, I assisted in leading the paperless Integrated Claims Management System and worked to remove social security numbers from that system. I later led a complete overhaul of Georgia’s Electronic Data Interchange Claims Program and helped set up a portal for customers to access claims and employer coverage data. This position was a great fit for me and allowed me to continue to build my excellent customer service skills, as well as providing opportunities for me to provide outreach, training, and education to staff and our external stakeholders.
I’m so excited for the opportunity to use my previous knowledge and experience to ensure WCD is successful in its Modernization effort.
The workers’ compensation system can be complicated, and I want to make it as simple as possible to navigate. But, I can’t do it without your help and input. Together we can work to simplify many processes and make things easier. I’m here to help, so please contact me with questions, concerns, or general feedback about WCD’s Modernization Program.
February 18, 2021, update
The WCD Modernization Program continues to move forward. The 2020 meetings with stakeholders brought to our attention a number of opportunities for improvement and potential projects. Our leadership team has reviewed and prioritized these concepts along with the portfolio of pending WCD projects. We are now in the process of developing strategies for implementation of the selected process improvement projects.
Additionally, WCD is working hard to fill the Modernization Program Manager position. Several promising applicants have completed their first round interviews. We look forward to introducing a new Leadership Team member soon to take the helm of the Modernization Program and lead us to many great things.
The WCD Modernization Program budget has been submitted and has been included in the governor’s proposed budget. We asked for two full-time information technology (IT) positions to assist with the process improvement projects. The next step is for the Oregon Legislature to review our request. Meanwhile, we have been working with our agency IT partners to put together the position descriptions for the two requested IT positions. We are hopeful our budget request will be approved; if it is, we will recruit for the new jobs as soon as possible and hit the ground running with our Modernization Program process improvement projects.
We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
January 6, 2021, update
In addition to all the changes we’ve made to our work environment in 2020, we continue to make progress with our modernization planning as well. The WCD senior leadership has reviewed Deloitte’s recommendations along with WCD’s list of active projects. The full WCD leadership team will be meeting in early January to prioritize all improvement projects and develop a strategy on how best to implement the necessary improvements. This will help WCD chart our modernization journey as we decide what project to begin and when based on the impact of each project and the resources we have available.
We will continue to share the progress of the Modernization Program along with any budget updates as soon as we learn more.
August 17, 2020, update
While the workplace continues to be a different world than we’re used to, the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division has continued to make progress with our modernization planning. Deloitte has finished their contract and delivered a plan for us to use as a guide as we move forward. Legislative guidance on our Modernization Program plans and resources will help establish our next steps. We are currently working with our state partners to articulate our resource plans and needs. The budget development process will take time and we look forward to sharing the outcome just as soon as we learn more.
June 19, 2020, update
Our virtual townhall meetings were a great success thanks to you, our partners. We had a wonderfully diverse group, including 97 participants representing insurers, self-insured employers, medical service providers, attorneys, and other valued contributors. We cannot thank our attendees enough for their participation and the wealth of experience they shared.
click here to view the presentation describing our future state vision, which was developed using ideas that surfaced during the townhall meetings and earlier focus groups. We’re excited about your insights into WCD’s practices and how we can use this information to create a cohesive system that is more responsive to stakeholders.
Thank you for your commitment to helping the WCD Modernization Program!
Please contact Olivia Xiong-Vang with any questions at 503-947-7830.
April 30, 2020, update
Join us for WCD Modernization Virtual Town Hall Meetings on May 20 and May 21
In January, we developed a survey soliciting feedback on WCD services and how we might improve. Since that time, we have been meeting with customers, partners, and WCD staff to gather additional information. This includes information about how we interact with each other, pain points, and suggestions for the future. The feedback and material we received was informative and helpful. The division has partnered with Deloitte Consulting to help us analyze the information and to develop an architecture roadmap and program plan for moving us to our future state. Deloitte is already hard at work and would like your feedback on their analysis and thoughts. We have set two virtual town hall meetings that you may attend. Below is the video conferencing information for both sessions. Feel free to pick one to attend. We would love to have your involvement and participation in planning our modernization.
Ask questions or share input about WCD’s modernization at either of these town-hall meetings:
Virtual town hall meeting, Wednesday, 5/20/2020: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Join by Telephone
Dial: US: +1-669-900-6833 or +1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 924 9686 8819
Virtual town hall meeting, Thursday, 5/21/2020: 11:00 a.m.to noon
Join by Telephone
Dial: US: +1-669-900-6833 or +1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 989 5431 3129
If you’re not able to attend feel free to email your thoughts and feedback to
We also would like to announce that Cecily Warren, WCD’s modernization program manager, has accepted a new position and will be leaving the modernization team. If you have any questions regarding WCD Modernization, please direct them to
Olivia Xiong-Vang who is temporarily leading this phase of our modernization program.
April 21, 2020, update
Still working in the midst of COVID-19
It has been an amazing few weeks. The world as we knew it turned upside down and sideways. In February, we contracted with Deloitte, Inc. to assist us with planning our future. Deloitte was to assess our current business processes and software applications. They are to consider input from staff and external stakeholders on how we want to work and provide service. They will then provide a final recommendation on software services and technologies that will allow us to work more efficiently and effectively with you. With the social distancing directives, it became a risk that Deloitte wouldn’t be able to validate business processes and talk with staff to get the necessary information to develop a recommended future state. However, using remote connecting technology, the work in this phase of Modernization has continued. One incredible accomplishment: Since the beginning of their engagement, we have held more than 60 workshops, both business and technical, the vast majority remotely, through this dramatically changing environment. To hold that many came with dedication and support by all.
This new way of working has reinforced that we need a successful Modernization Program. In particular, we need more and easier electronic communication. We have changed a few of our internal business processes already to work more electronically as staff have been moved to working remotely. More can, and needs to, be done in streamlining information flow.
We are finishing the workshops during the week of April 6. In May, we will begin hosting townhalls meetings to share thoughts on the future and getting some initial feedback before delivering final recommendations to the Division. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we will have a thoughtful and comprehensive roadmap to get there. Please look for invitations to the townhalls.
If you have any questions about where we are or what we are doing, please don’t hesitate to send us an email at