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 more 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-five 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 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. I served on the board of the Washington chapter of IARP for three years, including in the role of President .
My hobbies include painting and drawing, music, dancing, reading, traveling, and having fun with my husband, daughter and grandchildren, dogs and cat.