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Session descriptions

State of the Industry Keynote Session (One hour of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 8–9 a.m.

Matt West, Interim Administrator, Workers’ Compensation Division

This opening session will discuss the division’s current state of technology and claims systems, the value of streamlining processes, and our future system objectives with our modernization program. Division leadership will provide an overview of legislative changes and progress toward the division’s strategic goals.

Workers' Compensation 101, Part One and Part Two (Two hours of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 9:15–10:15 a.m. (part one) and May 9, 2024, 10:30–11:30 a.m. (part two)

Jaylee Hlad-Mosgrove, Chief Assistant Ombuds, Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers
Dan Schmelling, Claims Supervisor, SAIF Corporation
Julie Stratton, Benefit Consultant, Benefit Consultation Unit, Workers’ Compensation Division
Rachel Cancino, Benefit Consultant, Benefit Consultation Unit, Workers’ Compensation Division

Tune into both sessions of this two-part class and learn the basics of the Oregon workers’ compensation system. Participants will follow the journey of a claim starting with filing to acceptance, and beyond. The sessions will also cover a brief history of workers’ compensation in Oregon, discuss claim timelines based on rule and statute, and best practices for all who are affected by workers’ compensation claims. Part one will provide an overview of:

  • Injury reporting
  • Occupational disease reporting
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Important timelines

Part two will provide an overview of workers’ compensation claim rights and responsibilities:

  • Once a claim has been filed
  • If the claim is denied
  • Treatment coverage
  • Time loss
  • Reinstatement rights
  • Appeal rights
  • Important roles and reminders

The Preferred Worker Program – Demystifying Benefits with a Case Study (One hour of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 9:15–10:15 a.m.

Christy Johnson, Reemployment Specialist, Preferred Worker Program, Workers’ Compensation Division

Industry experts will guide Oregon employers through understanding the Oregon Preferred Worker Program (PWP); explain who is eligible for the program; take them through a journey of the wide array of benefits provided by PWP for workers and employers; and show attendees how to access PWP benefits by hiring preferred workers. This class is a great way to learn all about this cost-saving program.

Discussing Our Culture: Intersection of Physical and Psychological Safety

May 9, 2024, 9:15–10:15 a.m.

Andy Rohner, Senior Safety Management Consultant, SAIF Corporation
Toni King-Byous, DEI Business Partner, SAIF Corporation

Our discussion will include foundational elements of culture and psychological safety. We provide examples of how our leaders’ responses to feedback affect our organizational safety and our employees’ willingness to participate in those efforts. We will provide an introduction to Human and Operational Performance (HOP) and the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify and discuss the foundational elements of workplace culture
  • Understand and apply the four stages of psychological safety to the workplace
  • Introduction to the Ansbro Safety Culture Spectrum
  • Introduction to Human and Organizational Performance (HOP)

FAQ with the Small Business Ombudsman

May 9, 2024, 10:30–11 a.m.

Caitlin Breitbach, Assistant Ombudsman and Reemployment Specialist, Small Business Ombudsman Office/Preferred Worker Program

The Office of the Small Business Ombudsman will walk Oregon employers through the many services the office provides, discuss common mistakes made by Oregon employers, and answer attendees’ questions. Come to this session ready to ask any questions you may have and get input from the experts.

Maximizing Worksite Productivity with Oregon WCD Return-to-Work Programs

May 9, 2024, 11–11:30 a.m.

Zoe Tacadena, Reemployment Specialist, Preferred Worker Program, Workers’ Compensation Division
Donita White, Reimbursement Specialist, Self-Insurance, Registration, and Reimbursements, Workers’ Compensation Division

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division return-to-work programs help employers maximize productivity using the Employer-at-Injury Program (EAIP). This class takes a deep dive into the program benefits including training, wage subsidy, worksite modifications, and ergonomic equipment. This class educates employers on how to think creatively about modified work duties for injured workers returning to work. The experts will help employers learn how to request EAIP benefits, what is needed, and when they’re due.

Embracing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to Support our Employees and Customers

May 9, 2024, 10:30–11:30 a.m.

Jessica Jack, DEI Business Partner, SAIF Corporation
Toni King-Byous, DEI Business Partner, SAIF Corporation

Diversity is a reality. Inclusion, however, is a choice. When we authentically embrace DEI both personally and systemically, we create an environment of belonging for our employees and a workplace culture that boosts innovation and positions us to better understand and serve our customers. SAIF’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program just celebrated its 10th anniversary. In this session, we will share how SAIF’s DEI program supports enterprise strategy and provides participants with tools for building cultural agility – a key skill set that strengthens our organizations and enhances the employee and customer experiences.

First Payment of Time Loss (One hour of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 1–2 p.m.

Sara Kessler, Auditor, Audit Unit, Workers’ Compensation Division

The Workers’ Compensation Division Audit Unit leads claims processors and employers on a journey to a better understanding of the first payment of temporary disability compensation. This course will cover how to determine the employer’s knowledge of the claim and of disability. This progresses to when an employer should report a claim, or a perceived claim. This class is excellent for claims processors or anyone who wants to better understand first payment of time loss.

Recordables and Reportables, part one and part two (Two hours of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 1–2 p.m. (part one) and May 9, 2024, 2:15–3:15 p.m. (part two)

Bob Hamre, Senior Field Investigator, Employer Compliance Unit, Workers’ Compensation Division
Craig Hamelund, Education Specialist, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health

Bob and Craig will walk attendees through reporting requirements for workplace injuries, discuss who is a covered employee, and help you better understand first-aid requirements and criteria. This class will review reporting requirements for Form 801 and the OSHA 300 log. Presenters will talk about real-life scenarios to help participants determine how an injury or illness should be documented and understand retention requirements. This class is great for employers, safety committee members, human resource professionals, new managers, or anyone whose work touches the workers’ compensation process.

This two-part series will introduce these important processes:

  • OSHA 300 log
  • 801 form
  • Who is exempt
  • Understanding the definition of first aid
  • Location and retention of records
  • Understanding days away, restricted time, and transferred cases

Risk Rx: The Prescription to Lowering Your Driver's Risk Level, part one and part two

May 9, 2024, 1–2 p.m. (part one) and May 9, 2024, 2:15–3:15 p.m. (part two)

Andrew Crites, Vice President & CEO, Oregon Driver Education Center

This two-hour block will cover:

  • Three types of risk
  • Mindset matters
  • Overaccumulation of risk
  • Three basic driver actions
  • Five keys to lowering risk

Diving into the Medical Arbiter Process (30 minutes of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 2:15–2:45 p.m.

Sara Claessens, Appellate Review Specialist, Appellate Review Unit, Workers’ Compensation Division

This class will cover the role of the medical arbiter physician and what is involved in an arbiter examination. This class will take a deep dive into the medical arbiter process. Attendees will learn:

  • The purpose and process of a medical arbiter examination
  • The role of the arbiter physician
  • Components of a medical arbiter report and how the Appellate Review Unit uses the report

This class is vital for claims examiners and attorneys to learn more about this important facet of the workers’ compensation dispute resolution process.

Workers’ Compensation Dispute Resolution Process (30 minutes of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 2:45–3:15 p.m.

Cathy Ostrand-Ponsioen, Legal Issues Coordinator, Policy, Workers’ Compensation Division

Take a journey into dispute resolution, led by Cathy Ostrand-Ponsioen. Cathy brings more than 20 years of workers’ compensation policy experience, making her an expert in the field. When a dispute arises in a workers’ compensation claim, the process to resolve that dispute can be confusing. This class will provide an overview of the different dispute resolution functions of the Workers’ Compensation Division and the Workers’ Compensation Board, including administrative review, hearing, and board/director review. It will help attendees understand that the route a particular dispute follows depends on the specific issues in dispute.

Appellate Update with the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board (One hour of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Lauren Eldridge, Interim Managing Attorney, Workers' Compensation Board
Heidi Havercroft, Senior Staff Attorney, Workers' Compensation Board

From broad-stroke case law principles to fine nuances in claims processing disputes, get caught up on all the developments of the past 18 months. This class will be an informative and fast-paced review of the most important and interesting workers’ compensation case decisions. Attendees will explore the history, reasoning, and effects of decisions issued by the Oregon Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Workers’ Compensation Board. Participate in the lively discussion after the presentation. You will learn the latest in course and scope, medical services, combined conditions, penalties and attorney fees, and other subjects. Apply your knowledge of ORS 656, OAR 436, and OAR 438 to the facts of the case, and learn about recent changes.

Claim Obligations for Employers and Providers (One hour of CEU – application pending)

May 9, 2024, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Mikaela Polk, Field Investigator, Employer Compliance Unit, Workers’ Compensation Division

In this class, taught by Workers’ Compensation Division Employer Compliance Field Investigator Mikaela Polk, you will learn what employers must do when a worker becomes injured. Furthermore, Mikaela will discuss what happens if an employer doesn’t want to file a claim or doesn’t acknowledge the injury. From the injury happening and the employer’s response to what medical providers must do, take a step into the shoes of an ECU field investigator with this new course.

Physical Therapy to Maximize Function to Reduce Time Away from Work and Costs of the Injured Worker

May 9, 2024, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Jonathan M. Kirsch, PT, DPT, CMPT, ATI Physical Therapy

In this class, Jonathan Kirsch will provide an overview of physical therapy’s role with the injured worker, highlighting its effect on successful return to work through active and functional care. Jonathan will also discuss the positive effect on the overall cost of care for injured workers through quick access to conservative care. This is a great class for all industry members who work with workers’ compensation claims.

Both Sides of the Bar Keynote Session (One hour of CEU – application pending)

May 10, 2024, 8:30–9:30 a.m.

Lauren Oda, Attorney, SBH Legal
Sydney Montanaro, Attorney, Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost
Kirsten Schrock, Resolution Section Manager, Workers’ Compensation Division

This keynote session is designed to provide attendees with a view from both sides of the legal bar. Panelists are Sydney Montanaro, an attorney with Thomas Coon Newton & Frost, who represents injured workers, and Lauren Oda, an attorney with SBH Legal, who represents employers. Kirsten Schrock, the Workers’ Compensation Division’s Resolution Section manager, will moderate. The dialogue will cover a range of current topics that affect the workers’ compensation system. Each panelist will share their views based on the experience of representing their clients. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear different perspectives as well as areas of common interest.

Claims Processing: Legislative and Rule Updates (30 minutes of CEU – application pending)

May 10, 2024, 9:45–10:15 a.m.

Matt West, Interim Administrator, Workers’ Compensation Division

The past 12 months have seen many changes to laws and rules specific to workers’ compensation claims processing. In this session, Interim Administrator Matt West will outline some of the changes to Oregon Revised Statutes and how they affect Oregon Administrative Rules. Matt will also discuss some of the legislative concepts impacting the Oregon workers’ compensation industry under consideration for the upcoming legislative session.

Language Matters (30 minutes of CEU – application pending)

May 10, 2024, 10:15–10:45 a.m.

Autumn Blake, Communications Coordinator, Communications, Workers’ Compensation Division

The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division has been hard at work updating its forms, orders, publications, and materials to reflect an inclusive and accessible culture. Join Autumn Blake, the WCD communications coordinator, as she discusses what changes the division has made and its approach to communicating with its customers. Come to this class ready to engage in a discussion about why these changes are important for all of us.

Total Worker Health Awareness – Part One

May 10, 2024, 9:45–10:45 a.m.

Katia M. Costa Black, PT, PhD, OHSU

Learn about the five key elements of Total Worker Health, a concept coined and supported by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Discover important takeaways on this increasingly relevant topic, including examples of how organizations are expanding their traditional safety programs to better support the health, safety, and well-being of workers. Course objectives include:

  1. Define Total Worker Health
  2. Identify and explain the five defining elements of Total Worker Health
  3. Illustrate how organizations can implement Total Worker Health

Top 10 Reasons for Disputes and How to Avoid Them (One hour of CEU – application pending)

May 10, 2024, 9:45 a.m.–10:45 a.m.

Nicholas Ring, Medical Reviewer, Medical Resolution, Workers’ Compensation Division
Lin Allen, Sanctions Representative, Sanctions, Workers’ Compensation Division

For anyone with a role in claims processing or dispute resolution, this class is a must! During this hour you will have an exclusive opportunity to learn directly from the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division Sanctions and Medical Resolution experts. The class will go into detail about the most common types of dispute requests and how to resolve them, as well as the most common issues resulting in sanctions and how to avoid them. This class will give the attendees an inside track on dispute trends and changes you can make to your workers’ compensation work processes to save time and money.

WCD Claim Submission Tips (30 minutes of CEU – application pending)

May 10, 2024, 11–11:30 a.m.

Olivia Brookman, Claims Research Specialist, Claim Records, Workers’ Compensation Division

This is a class claims processors cannot miss! This intensive session will walk attendees through how to complete a 1502 form, better understand and avoid delinquencies, walk you through proper document submission, and answer questions from the audience. This is your chance to learn from the professional claims research specialist, Olivia Brookman, about common errors and issues specific to 1502 form completion and submission. Come to this class with all your 1502 form questions.

801 processing and completing for insurers (30 minutes of CEU – application pending)

May 10, 2024, 11:30–12 p.m.

Keith Johnson, Claims Coding Trainer, Claim Records, Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division

During this class you will be guided through the completion of the 801 form by the expert. Keith Johnson is responsible for reviewing submitted forms for the Workers’ Compensation Division (WCD) and is familiar with all the common pitfalls. Keith will share how to avoid issues when completing, processing, and submitting 801s. Additionally, attendees will learn about common struggles the WCD Claims Unit faces when translating submitted 801 forms into the claims database. Get ready to learn all about proper form completion and how to get it right the first time.

Preventing chronic illness and disability in the workplace vis-à-vis the Total Worker Health Approach

May 10, 2024, 11 a.m.–noon

Katia M. Costa Black, PT, PhD, Oregon Health & Science University

In 2011, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health launched the Total Worker Health (TWH) program to advance research to practice implementation of integrated workplace solutions for health, safety, and well-being. This presentation will highlight how combining disease/disability prevention and management with promotion of workplace health, ultimately results in work retention, work-life satisfaction, and other outcomes that will benefit organizations and employees in the long term. This session will delve into several case studies that explain why and when the TWH approach has been successful, and attendees will have an opportunity to discuss how the current workers’ compensation system may facilitate or hinder the implementation of a TWH approach.

The Perspective from the Injured Worker

May 10, 2024, 11 a.m.–noon

Barb Anderson, Ombuds for Oregon Workers, Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers
Kate Suisman, Attorney, Northwest Workers’ Justice Project
Keith Semple, Attorney, Johnson, Johnson, Lucas, & Middleton

This interactive panel presentation allows you to hear individual perspectives from the workers’ compensation community. Barbra Anderson, the ombuds for Oregon workers, Keith Semple, a workers’ attorney with Johnson, Johnson, Lucas & Middleton, and Kate Suisman, a civil rights attorney with the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project, will talk candidly about their experiences, share stories, and guide attendees through the journey of the injured worker. This class will allow attendees to:

  • Hear about the challenges workers face during their claims journey
  • Learn from statements provided by injured workers
  • Better understand the rights and responsibilities of the worker

800-452-0288 (toll-free)
Jennifer Hlad: 971-719-6023

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