2017 Oregon/Southwest Washington Chapter Meeting: Oct. 18

DMECChapter News

Taking Care of Business & Employees: Robotic Surgery, Virtual Care, Balancing Work & Caregiving, Perspectives of Physical Capacity (Fit-for-Duty), and Mental Health in the Workplace

Meeting Overview

October 18, 2017 | 7:30 am-4:00 pm PT

Spend a full day with experts in the fields of robotic surgery and virtual care as we explore the impact on work productivity when employees are caregivers. Discover the work hardening process, the impact physical impairments can have on an employee’s mental health, and how the new Washington state paid leave laws, workers’ compensation, and the future of paid leave is altering the landscape.

Learning Objectives

  1. Gain an understanding about robotic surgery, and how virtual care is being used in workers’ compensation claims.
  2. Explore strategies you can use to support employees as well as self-care techniques to help employees better manage their stress.
  3. Identify how job descriptions support work hardening. Hear about a patient’s experience with the work hardening process, and learn how physical impairments impact an employee’s mental health.

Join us for our final meeting as we close out the DMEC Oregon/Southwest Washington chapter.

DMEC members receive discounts on DMEC chapter meetings. Log in to your DMEC account prior to registering to receive member pricing


  • Dr. Blake Osmundsen, Medical Director, Legacy Health  
    Dr. Osmundsen is the Medical Director for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery for Legacy Health, an Assistant Professor of OB/GYN at OHSU, and the Site Director for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship at Legacy Health. Dr. Osmundsen is also a Physician Research Associate at the Legacy Research Institute, where he researches mathematical modeling of risk prediction for adverse surgical outcomes. Dr. Osmundsen attended the University of UC Berkeley, Medical School and Tulane University; he did his residency at Harvard University. When Dr. Osmundsen, the father of twins who recently graduated college, is not working, he enjoys mountain climbing, mountain biking, and urban chicken farming.
  • Kara O’Connell, Telehealth Assistant Department Administrator, Kaiser Permanente  
    Kara O’Connell is a Telehealth Assistant Department Administrator for the Kaiser Permanente Northwest region. Her current focus is on the deployment of video visits across Primary Care, Specialty Care, and Behavioral Health. She has worked for KPNW for 12 years and has held roles in Human Resources, Regional Administration, and Primary Care operations. Kara has an extensive background in patient experience and communications with both her undergrad and graduate degrees obtained from the University of Oregon. She is an unabashed Duck fan and you will see her touting the yellow and green most Fridays throughout the Fall. In her personal time, Kara is often found playing with her two young children, and enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
  • Chris Kafka, Director of Occupational Health, Kaiser Permanente  
    Chris Kafka is the Director of Occupational Health for Kaiser Permanente in the Northwest, and he also serves as the regional lead for expanding Telehealth in Specialty Care. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Mr. Kafka served as a senior consultant in the Information Management practice of RGP, a global professional services firm. Prior to RGP, Mr. Kafka held a variety of senior leadership roles with growth companies in the Biomedical Devices, Internet Services, and Financial Services industries. Mr. Kafka began his career working in Information Technology at Morgan Stanley and has also held positions with the UBS AG and Coopers & Lybrand. Mr. Kafka holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and a BA in Economics from the University of Washington.
  • Alisa Blum, MSW, Principal Consultant, Alisa Blum & Associates  
    Alisa Blum, MSW, is Principal Consultant at Alisa Blum & Associates, a training, consulting, and coaching company. She has worked with public agencies, non-profits, law firms, engineering, and technology companies to improve communication across the generations, enhance management skills, and help teams work together more effectively. She co-directs AIM for Organizational Health, incorporating mindfulness tools to manage stress and improve conflict resolution. Prior work experience includes positions as a clinical social worker and training director.
  • Sharik L. Peck, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Maximum Function Physical, Therapy  
    Sharik L. Peck, President and Owner of ErgoSpeck, Inc., is the developer of Rezzimax Therapy tools, and techniques for those in chronic pain. He is a certified Physical Therapist, Rehabilitation Counselor, CEAP, CEAS, Functional Capacity Evaluator, Functional Job Analyst, and Ergonomic Trainer. Sharik earned his B.S. in Physical Therapy, and his M.S. in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, from Utah State.
  • Rebecca Watkins, Sather Byerly & Holloway, LLP  
    Rebecca joined Sather, Byerly & Holloway, LLP in 2004 after being admitted to the Oregon State Bar. Prior to beginning a law career, Rebecca worked in the cognitive research field, and with individuals with developmental and/or behavioral disabilities. Rebecca’s law practice focuses on employment litigation and appellate representation. She provides consultation to employers, assisting in policy development and decision making. Rebecca defends employers before the EEOC, BOLI, the Workers’ Compensation Board, and in state and federal courts.


7:30-8:00 am Registration, networking, and continental breakfast
8:00-8:15 am President’s welcome
8:15-9:15 am Presentation: Robotic Surgery
9:15-10:15 am Presentation: Virtual Care – What is it? How it’s Being Used in WC Claims and Future Models
10:15-10:30 am Break and networking
10:30-11:30 am Presentation: Balancing Work & Caregiving: Strategies to Support Employees
11:30 am-12:30 pm Lunch and networking
12:30-1:30 pm Presentation: Fit-for-Duty Physical Capacity – Work Hardening, Job Descriptions, and the Patient’s Experience
1:30-2:30 pm Presentation: Mental Health: Fit-for-Duty, How Physical Impairments Impact Mental Health
2:30-2:45 pm Break and networking
2:45-3:45 pm Legal Updates: WC, WA Paid Leave, and the Future of Paid Leave
3:45-4:00 pm Closing comments and prize giveaways


The following CEUs will be offered for this event. Please pick up CEU forms at the end of the meeting.

  • CPDM: 6
  • CLMS: 2

CLMS Logo_RGB_PNGExclusively offered by DMEC, the Certified Leave Management Specialist (CLMS) program is the only professional designation of its kind that provides interactive, hands-on training to ensure your programs effectively comply with state and federal leave laws. Learn more about the CLMS program.


Kaiser Permanente Town Hall
3704 N. Interstate Ave.
Portland, OR 97227

Free parking is available onsite.

Registration Fees

Your registration for this chapter event includes breakfast and lunch. Please register by Oct. 13. 

Registration Fee
DMEC members $130
Nonmembers $145

DMEC members receive discounts on DMEC chapter meetings. Log in to your DMEC account prior to registering to receive member pricing. Not sure if your organization is a member? Use our online form to verify membership and sign up as an individual under your company’s membership.


Meeting Partner

Kaiser Permanente Logo