Recently, we had the pleasure of talking to one of our members ─ Sheri Bowles, interim director of the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) ─ about how she came to know WCRI. In her role, Sheri serves as the administrative and executive head of the DIA, which strives to provide prompt and fair compensation to employees who sustain occupational injuries and illnesses, by ensuring injured employees receive appropriate medical care in a timely manner while balancing the needs of employers and insurers.
1) How did you first learn about WCRI?
I attended the WCRI Issues & Research Conference with my manager and several co-workers about 17 years ago when I was a senior workers’ compensation claims adjuster.
2) What value do you derive from being a member of WCRI?
The research is fact based and unbiased. Having access to the research studies and trend analyses that have been conducted over the years is extremely helpful. Also, the opportunity to engage with WCRI staff during webinars is insightful. Participants are given the chance to ask specific questions about the research findings presented. The thoughtful exchange with colleagues in the workers’ compensation industry is always a great learning experience. WCRI consistently provides information that is useful to those in the workers’ compensation industry.
3) What is your favorite WCRI study/research area?
Over the years my roles have changed, and my areas of focus have expanded. Therefore, it is difficult to choose a favorite because each study/research area has its own significance and can be helpful. However, my must reads are CompScope™ Benchmarks and Medical Benchmarks.
4) Can you describe a moment when WCRI’s research was really helpful?
There is no particular moment that stands out because I reference WCRI’s research on a regular basis because it is a reliable and trusted source. Staying informed about the current trends is necessary and I find that research that WCRI conducts allows me to do just that. With that said, WCRI was on the forefront of issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WCRI FlashReport Telemedicine: Patterns of Use and Reimbursement was informative and insightful during the early months of the pandemic.
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