I first developed interest in vocational rehabilitation following a car accident in 1988 that resulted in a burst fracture at C-5 and fractures at C6 and C7. After three weeks in intensive care units I was moved to inpatient rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), for about two months, where I learned to walk again. I had the chance to meet many inspiring people along this journey, including several nurses and a vocational counselor who encouraged me to go to college (and recently found me on Facebook!). I thought about becoming a nurse, but family and friends gently pointed out that I am afraid of blood, likely rendering nursing inappropriate.
My first job out of college involved providing vocational services to industrially-injured and ill workers in the State of Washington. While working full-time in this capacity I earned my masters degree. Twenty-one years later I still love this occupation and feel honored to work with the many great people that make every single day interesting. I continue to thrive on the nuts and bolts of managing my caseload, which consists of cases referred by Washington State Labor and Industries and self-insured employers; the United States Department of Labor; and plaintiff and defense attorneys representing individuals engaged in litigation related to workers compensation and civil matters. I bring my dog Jake with me to work nearly every day; he reminds me to smile and go for walks.
I first joined the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP) in 1995. I am currently a member of the Washington and Forensic sections of IARP. I am a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) with the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification; a Board-Certified Vocational Expert, Diplomate level (D/ABVE) with the American Board of Vocational Experts (ABVE); and a registered Forensic Vocational Expert (FVE) with the American Rehabilitation Economics Association (AREA).
I regularly attend the local and national conferences offered by the industry's professional associations. I served on the board of the Oregon chapter of IARP for two years, and have assisted in planning their conferences as well as ABVE's conferences. My hobbies include painting and drawing, music, dancing, reading, traveling, and having fun with my husband, daughter and grandchildren, dogs and cat.