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Monday, April 18, 2016

Monika Dabrowiecka is wrapping up a Job Placement case that was originally referred for a Labor Market Survey. The case was re-opened 7 months later for placement services.

The Injured Worker (IW) was employed as a direct service provider at a not-for-profit requiring heavy lifting in a rural area outside of Champaign, IL.  She had sustained a lower back injury that resulted in a multi-level lower back fusion and was released to sedentary-light work with lifting not to exceed 15 lbs and to be able to change positions every 30 minutes. The IW was a high school graduate and was computer literate. This case was referred 2 ½ years post the date of injury.

The IW was very apprehensive about the Job Placement process and needed extensive Job Seeking Skills Training along with supportive/motivational counseling due to self image issues. The IW had a past remote work history in the areas of customer service, food service, and retail and in the hotel industry. She needed a great deal of prompting to follow-up with employers after interviewing.

Monika was able to keep the IW focused and within 3 months she secured a full-time front desk clerk position at a local hotel. The IW is being paid $1.00 more than her pre-injury wage, and has full benefits after 90 days of employment. The approximate cost for the handling of this case was $7,800.00.

The entire Vocational Team at TRIUNE Health Group would welcome the opportunity to help you on your next case.

Let us show you what we can do!
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Leida Woodham recently closed the file of a primarily Spanish speaking Injured Worker (IW), who had many years employed as a union tool cutter and grinder. He had worked for the same employer for 27 years and had 9 years of education in Mexico with no computer skills. The IW was originally referred for a Vocational Assessment and Labor Market Survey. At the time of referral, the IW was 4½ years post-injury to his right shoulder and lower back (2 ½ years post MMI). Two shoulder surgeries were completed as part of his treatment and he was released to work at a modified light-medium duty range.

Despite the language barriers, the IW was believed employable in the $10 to $11 per hour range and this was confirmed by the completed LMS. A Rehabilitation Plan was developed and Job Seeking Skills Training (JSST) was completed. The IW noted repeatedly that he understood his responsibilities as part of the agreed to Rehabilitation Plan. An e-mail account was established for the IW and it was noted that his adult children had expressed a willingness to access it for him and to assist him in the job search process.

Despite the IW's stated willingness to be an active participant in the job placement process, and his family's initial openness in assisting him, the situation rather quickly fell apart. Leida became much more active on the file choosing to meet with the IW twice weekly to assist him with internet applications (completed on his behalf with his approval and assistance), to review his e-mail account that he never opened, and to encourage him to network and to job search on his own. He was offered ESL classes and entry level computer classes and failed to enroll in either despite the fact that all of the information was provided to him. There were a total of 11 meetings scheduled and 9 were completed given that the IW cancelled the other 2. The expectations of 25 employer contacts per week were reduced to 4 and, even with this, the IW made only 3 contacts during the entire period. He did not follow up on the leads provided to him, made no follow-up calls on the applications submitted on his behalf, and refused to utilize public transportation when he developed personal transportation issues. Efforts to involve the IW's attorney to resolve the problems were not fruitful.

This file was closed for obvious, non-compliance reasons at an approximate cost of $9,700.00. We prefer to assist people in going back to work, but have no issue in documenting the lack of effort for those that choose not to embrace the effort on their own or with assistance.

The entire Vocational Team at TRIUNE Health Group would welcome the opportunity to help you on your next case.

Let us show you what we can do!
Wednesday, April 6, 2016


Mary Schmit recently closed a case in which a 57-year-old delivery truck driver ended up returning to his pre-injury position. The Injured Worker (IW) had sustained several right knee injuries over many years. In October 2014, the IW was advised he needed a total knee replacement. The IW had not met the physical requirements of his job and was released with a 50-pound lifting restriction.

Mary received the case for Job Placement and completed an Initial Assessment, provided Job Seeking Skills Training, and Rehabilitation Plan Development. The IW desired to return to the union delivery position he had held for over 30 years. He was faced with the prospects of a RTW at a position paying less and with reduced benefits. He was able to secure a full-duty release to RTW after continuing rehabilitation on his own, and did return to the employer of record. He reported that he was grateful for the assistance provided and for the support he felt for his ultimate goal to return to work at his former union job. This file was open for roughly 4 months, at a cost of under $2,500.00.

While this is not the typical success story, the support and encouragement provided to this IW allowed him to ultimately RTW at a position that he wanted, and at no wage loss, which could have been a very real possible outcome.

We at TRIUNE Health Group welcome the opportunity to assist you with a file.