August 10, 2022, update
The Modernization Program team has been hard at work these last few months. We would like to introduce the people responsible for all of the progress that WCD has been making.
Heather Williamson is the Modernization Program manager and provides day-to-day leadership for modernization efforts. Heather joined WCD for the opportunity to combine her experience in workers' compensation and technology to develop and implement a modernization program from the ground up. She shares, “I really believe in the amazing and impactful work that WCD team members do every day. I'm thrilled to have the chance to work with our team to plan, design, and build modernized technology solutions to better support this important work.”
Much of Heather’s work is centered around collaborating with everyone who is impacted by the work of the Modernization Program. She holds public meetings to gather input from external partners, meets with WCD staff and leadership to assess business needs, and partners with state information technology staff to create a plan that is feasible and sustainable. Heather has been working closely with DAS Enterprise Information Services, the assistant state chief information officer, senior IT portfolio manager, and oversight analyst to meet the oversight requirements as determined for our first project, Core System Implementation, and continue to make forward progress.
Outside of work, Heather enjoys yoga, hiking, watching college football (GO TROJANS!), and exploring Oregon with her family. This summer, her family was able to attend a few of the World Track & Field Championship meets in Eugene as well as the Eugene Emeralds minor league baseball games. “It's been a great summer for my family of sports fans!”
Olivia Xiong-Vang is the performance and project portfolio coordinator for WCD. She manages the project portfolio and provides project management guidance to the division, including the Modernization Program.
At WCD, Olivia ensures that projects align with division goals and provides resources, project tools, and leadership to the entire division. In the 2.5 years of being with WCD, Olivia has restructured how the division approaches, defines, and completes projects. She said, “Successful projects take planning and can be made more approachable and achievable with the right organizational structure and culture to support the work.”
Olivia also manages many modernization process improvement projects and is a strategic thought partner for the modernization program. When asked about modernization, she said, “I am most excited about the innovative ways modernization will enable WCD to serve its stakeholders to enhance their experience.”
Outside of work, Olivia enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and empowering the Hmong community through her outreach and education. She co-hosts a podcast that focuses on topics that impact the Hmong community. Guests on the show have talked about issues such as mental health, infertility, relationships, divorce and its impact on children, and most recently, sexual violence.
Jennifer Hlad provides change management structure to the Modernization Program. To do this, she looks at how people will be affected by changes within the program and determines the best way to communicate throughout projects. This includes providing updates about the Modernization Program and related projects through newsletter articles, social media, and GovDelivery email notices.
Jennifer works with both internal and external stakeholders to provide practical experience and trainings, ensuring those affected by the program have the tools they need to embrace change. Her goal is for everyone to be empowered through the entire modernization journey and ready when new services are launched.
Understanding how difficult it is to adapt to change is what drove Jennifer to join the Modernization Program team and provide change management leadership. “We all know change is inevitable, but learning new things and adapting our processes can be daunting,” Jennifer said. “I love providing tools and information to make these crucial changes as seamless as possible. One of the most important parts of change management is communication. We want our stakeholders to be aware of everything we’re doing and make sure they understand how the changes WCD is making directly benefit them and they have a way to provide feedback for new processes.”
Outside of work, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, watercolor painting, and photography. You can find Jennifer hiking and running on Oregon’s beautiful trails.
Together, Olivia and Jennifer have been teaching a Project Management training to WCD employees. They said, “There are so many projects we want to implement in the Modernization Program. With this training, our goal is to empower employees who are already experienced in workers’ compensation to take on those projects.”
March 31, 2022, update
The Modernization Program roadmap
A roadmap is a high-level, easy-to-understand overview of the important pieces of the WCD Modernization Program, outlining our program goals, deliverables, and milestones.
Purpose of the roadmap:
- It provides a high-level visual representation of the program’s strategic objectives and key milestones.
- It is a great communication tool that can be used to keep stakeholders informed at any point of the project lifecycle.
- It is a living document that is kept updated to reflect completion of milestones or other changes as needed.
The roadmap includes the initial five component projects under the Modernization Program.
The first component project under modernization is the core systems foundation/division services. This will be the foundational system that other business modules will be built upon. Project one also includes the implementation of the division services module, which includes the operational processes required to run the day-to-day activities of the division.
Next, project two focuses on the processes supporting the work of the following WCD program areas:
- Employer compliance
- Insurer registration
- Employer records
- Vocational provider registration
- Worker leasing
- Self-insured employer services
- Workers' Benefit Fund reimbursements
- Electronic document interchange (EDI) proof of coverage
Project two will kick off our portal expansion to include offering self-service options to our employers, self-insured employers, and insurers, which will allow them to interact with WCD staff members, as well as check, review, and submit information.
Project three focuses on WCD’s resolution of disputes between parties within the Oregon workers’ compensation system. This includes streamlining processes and improving the way we communicate and share information with our external partners. This project will also enable portal access for parties involved in the dispute resolution process.
In project four, WCD will be focusing on our processes for enforcement and registration and certification of medical providers. This project will also include processes relating to managed care organizations and independent medical examinations. This will complete our portal expansion to include access for medical providers to submit and access documents regarding the above.
Finally, project five focuses on the implementation of claim reporting via electronic document interchange. This be will be a large effort and a change to our overall claim reporting process. We look forward to sharing more information regarding this effort in the coming months.
We will continue to provide information and updates about our roadmap and projects as the WCD Modernization Program progresses. We will also include many opportunities for stakeholders to provide input on the program and its initial five component projects. Look for more articles soon and follow us on social media at #WorkersCompWednesday to stay in the know.
January 27, 2022, update
The Modernization Program is excited to share some more information about a previous division initiative that we are absorbing under the modernization program umbrella. This modernization project will continue the implementation of a full-service business intelligence (BI) tool that will enable WCD to use data to make operational decisions and manage staff performance so the agency can be more responsive, proactive, and customer focused. This project builds on and formalizes the work completed by WCD in the past few years to better manage internal performance data. Our goal is to increase our focus and to prioritize by making it an internally-focused modernization project. Data retrieval in our current systems is difficult and requires significant time and effort from agency technical resources. BI tools help prepare staff performance data for analysis so leaders can create reports and access data visualization dashboards. The results give leaders the power to accelerate and improve decision making, increase operational efficiency, quickly access key performance measures, and identify opportunities for improvement.
We will kick off this modernization project in February, 2022. We look forward to sharing more information about our progress in the coming months. As always, please contact Heather Williamson with any questions or to learn more:
January 5, 2022, update
Ringing in the new year with Modernization Program progress
As we begin a new year, the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) is taking this opportunity to tell you about some of the modernization process improvement projects we are working on. In 2021, WCD selected four projects for division improvements as part of the Modernization Program. Each of the projects is now in various stages of planning and execution. Our goal is to complete all four of these projects in 2022. Since each of the modernization projects will affect our external partners, we encourage you to read the project summaries below to learn what changes you can expect in the coming months:
Project one: Allowing insurers to receive reports electronically
Over the years, the workers’ compensation industry has moved toward a primarily electronic reporting process. Given this industry trend, insurers have requested that the division explore electronically sending reports as opposed to mailed paper reports. Reports sent in an electronic format allow our stakeholders to use the information contained in the report more effectively. For example, electronic reports allow for data to be copied and downloaded into stakeholder systems so stakeholders can identify and obtain missing information or to investigate a reporting issue. Currently, WCD paper reports do not allow for these benefits of electronic reports. Also, information contained in the reports cannot be integrated into our partners’ systems. During this project, we will determine the best way to provide reports electronically to stakeholders. We will use the Quarterly Claims Processing and Performance (QCPP) report as a pilot to document this new business process. The QCPP is a report that is published by our audit unit to outline insurer performance with respect to claim reporting. Moving forward, we will also document this process and provide recommendations to the WCD Leadership team for how best to transition additional reports into an electronic format in the future.
Project two: Streamlining communications to injured workers and employers
Input from you, our external partners, tells us that injured workers and employers sometimes feel inundated with communications during the claims process. With this project, we will review and analyze currently required notice language to determine if it is necessary and to evaluate the wording to improve readability with the goal of providing shorter notices and publications that are easier to understand.
Project three: Developing cross-training plans and collaboration tools
This project is an internal initiative to increase WCD’s institutional knowledge by developing strong cross-training plans throughout the division. The goal is to provide uninterrupted services and excellent customer service even during staff transitions. This project will also include research to identify the best way for our hybrid teams to collaborate as we incorporate more work into our permanent infrastructure.
Project four: Electronic document submission
This project is a joint effort between WCD and the Department of Consumer and Business Services Information Technology and Research Section and will be using the current portal. More details about this new process are still in development, but WCD will provide more specifics in future articles as the project evolves.
Your input matters!
We look forward to sharing more information about these projects and our other Modernization Program activities in the coming months. As always, please contact Heather Williamson with any questions or to learn more: WCD.Modernization@dcbs.oregon.gov
September 24, 2021, update
In our last update, I introduced myself to you as the new Oregon WCD Modernization Program Manager. In the past few months, the modernization staff and I have been hard at work beginning the planning phase of our Modernization Program. Here is a brief summary of our recent progress:
In 2020, WCD surveyed our external partners and formed focus groups to help us identify obstacles to modernization and opportunities for improvement. We then partnered with Deloitte to provide an overall assessment of our current system and offer recommendations for our Modernization Program solution. After receiving Deloitte's recommendations, WCD assembled a workgroup to evaluate the feasibility of each concept and what, if any, changes need to be made. Once the workgroup has finished this process, it will provide a program roadmap outlining how WCD should move forward with our Modernization Program. The program roadmap is a high-level, easy-to-understand overview of the important pieces of the program. It outlines goals and deliverables and provides a visual representation of the program's strategic objectives and key milestones. It is also a great communication tool that can be used to keep our internal and external stakeholders informed at each point of the program lifecycle.
We look forward to introducing our program roadmap to you soon! This will help you see how our modernization journey could impact you and what to expect as we move forward. WCD is very excited to complete the initiation phase. Once this important step is done, we will have a clear picture of how our modernization program will impact our internal processes and our external partners. We look forward to sharing this vision of the future with you soon.
May 27, 2021, update
Hello, everyone, my name is
. 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