Iowa Workers' Compensation Advisory Committee Annual Symposium

Des Moines, IA US
June 13, 2024 to June 14, 2024


The cost to attend is $295.

Click here to register.

For questions, please email Deanne Reiter at



Stay ahead of the curve and ensure you are up-to-date on the latest changes in the world of workers’ compensation at IWCAC’S 62nd Annual Symposium! Stay informed on the legal updates, emerging trends , and how they may impact you.

Hear from expert speakers and panelists as they discuss the latest cases, medical resources, and best practices for employers, nurses, insurance, medical, and legal professionals while being able to network with other industry leaders and professionals in the field.


Thursday, June 13, 2024
8:15 amPresident's Message and Welcome
8:30 am

Agency Case Law Update

Gregory M. Taylor, JD, Cutler Law Firm

  1. Review the independent medical examination (IME) claim "Poe v. Capital Express, Inc/IA," where the benefit was forfeited for refusing to attend an IME. 
  2. Explain how a claimant must establish an actual risk caused by their work activity for causation. 
9:15 am

Return to Work/Suitable Work Strategies Panel

Kathryn R. Johnson, JD, Kidd Laflin Kilburg Johnson

  1. Demonstrate how an employer can get an injured worker back to work promptly and safely.
  2. Explain how transitional work can improve overall well-being.
10:15 amBreak
10:45 am

Pain Management: Current Trends and Challenges in Workers' Compensation

Phillip Essay, MD, Innovative Pain and Spine Specialists

  1. Review the history of pain management as a specialty.
  2. Discuss the cost of chronic pain and pain treatment to the economy.
  3. List 2-3 common pain treatments.
11:45 am

Agency Update

Joseph S. Cortese, II, JD, Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner

  1. Review agency updates.
  2. Identify new developments within the Iowa Division Workers’ Compensation.
  3. List legal and medical updates within Iowa Workers’ Compensation.
12:00 pmLunch
1:00 pm

Identifying Risk Factors for Common Injuries in the Workplace/Application of AMA Guidelines

Roger Kuhfahl, PT, CEAS II, CEES, Athletico Physical Therapy

This talk is designed to provide guidance and strategies for identifying and quantifying workplace musculoskeletal disorder risk factors. Once identified, this objective information can assist in other aspects of a work-related injury. It can assist in the rehabilitative phase of recovery, the return-to-work process, providing quantifiable information for causation, and the functional capacity evaluation process. 

1:45 pm

Mental Health and the Workplace

Rachel Fletcher, LISW, Iowa Specialty Hospital
Alexis Morgan, LISW, Iowa Specialty Hospital

  1. Discuss the prevalence of mental illness in adults.
  2. Review mental illness and its impacts on the workplace
  3. Identify effective ways to support mental health needs in the workplace.
  4. Discuss the impact of mental illness on recovery.
2:45 pmBreak
3:15 pm

Long COVID aka Post-COVID Conditions aka Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS CoV-2 Infection

Patrick G. Hartley, MD, BCh, BAO, MPH, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Christopher Iverson, MD, MBA, MPH, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

  1. Describe COVID variants.
  2. Explain Long COVID symptoms.
  3. Identify mechanisms of Long COVID and explain treatment options.
4:00 pm

Panel: Ethical Dilemma Dealing with Patients

Charles Mooney, MD, MPH, Iowa Specialty Hospital
Lisa Olson, RN, BSN, OHARA Managed Care
Jill Shugart, BSN, MHA, OHARA Managed Care
Micki Slykhuis, OHARA Managed Care
Erin Williams, Marsh McLennan Agency

  1. Identify and manage the influences and pressures behind ethical choices.
  2. Describe the impacts of unethical behaviors.
  3. Explain the basics of the Code of Professional Conduct for Case Managers.
  4. Locate the full text on the Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC) website.
  5. Delineate CCMC’s Code of Professional Conduct of Ethics.
5:00 pmAdjourn
Friday, June 14, 2024
8:30 am

Appellate Case Law Update

Micah C. Hawker-Boehnke, JD, Baylor Evnen Wolfe & Tannehill, LLP

  1. Review appellate case law updates.
  2. Describe how appellate case law affects the future handling of cases and medical issues. 
  3. Describe when the presence of alcohol or drugs is detected at the time of injury is presumed related to the employee being intoxicated and is a substantial factor in causing the injury.
9:15 am

Penalty "Do's and Dont's"

Rachael Neff, JD, Ball, Kirk & Holm, PC

  1. Review the penalty benefits outlined in Iowa Code Section 86.13.
  2. Describe the process in claim handling to avoid penalty claims
  3. Describe what not to do in claim handling that will expose you to penalty claims
  4. Discuss case law and how the agency handles penalty claims.
10:00 amBreak
10:30 am

Psychosocial Issues and Return to Work: Understanding Factors that Influence Return to Work Following Low Back Injury

Matthew Teijido, DPT, Athletico Physical Therapy

  1. Outline the timing of return to work following a work-related injury.
  2. Differentiate clinical flags and their roles on return to work (RTW).
  3. Discuss the importance of the patient alliance in return to work following a low back injury.
11:30 am

Second Injury Fund

Jonathan Bergman, JD, Office of the Iowa Attorney General
Sarah Timko, JD, Office of the Iowa Attorney General

  1. Explain how the Second Injury Fund is funded.
  2. Discuss what kind of settlement can be made with the fund.
12:15 pmAdjourn
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 9.75 IBON
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
06/13/2024 - 8:15am CDT
Event ends: 
06/14/2024 - 12:15pm CDT
Des Moines Marriott Downtown
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
United States


Mr. Bergman earned his undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and his law degree from the University of Iowa. After law school, he practiced with a small general practice firm and has been with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office since 2010, practicing exclusively in workers’ compensation defense.


Commissioner Cortese was a lawyer in private practice for over 30 years before his appointment. Before becoming Commissioner in 2015 (reappointed in 2021), he practiced workers’ compensation law at the Des Moines law firm, formerly Huber, Book, Cortese & Lanz, where he was a partner. Commissioner Cortese received his Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and earned his J.D. with honors from Drake Law School. He is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Polk County Bar Association, and Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys and was a founding member of the American Academy of ADR Attorneys.


Dr. Essay is a University of Nebraska College of Medicine graduate and has been in private practice as a pain management specialist in Lincoln and Omaha for the past thirty years. He is a national leader in neuromodulation (spinal cord stimulation) and has helped educate hundreds of physicians nationwide on the application and execution of spinal cord stimulation. Dr. Essay has provided expert testimony to the Nebraska State Legislature, district and federal courts, and US Congressmen on bills about pain.  He has also been a standards advisor for third-party payers regarding interventional spine treatment. Dr. Essay also has a medical-legal consulting business and has been an expert witness in several multimillion-dollar malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death cases. His work has facilitated industry and professional standards on pain and its treatment. 


Ms. Fletcher attended the University of Northern Iowa, where she received her undergraduate degree in Social Work. She then attended The Ohio State University, receiving her Master’s in Social Work in 2009. She currently works for Iowa Specialty Hospital in Clarion, Iowa. She started with Iowa Specialty Hospital in 2015 as a clinical social worker. In 2021, she took on the behavioral health team's coordinator role. Before working for Iowa Specialty Hospital, she was a clinical social worker for WellSource (Mental Health Center of North Iowa) in Mason City, Iowa, for six years. 


Dr. Hartley received his medical degree from University College in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Hartley completed his internal medicine residency training at St. Vincent’s Hospital and St. James’ Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Hartley then moved to Iowa, where he completed a pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. He subsequently completed a residency in occupational medicine and a Master's degree in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. He is a Clinical Professor in Internal Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa Colleges of Medicine and Public Health, respectively. Dr. Hartley is board-certified in occupational medicine.

Dr. Hartley has over 20 years of experience in pulmonary and critical care medicine and 15 years of experience in occupational medicine, safety, and health. Before coming to UI Occupational Health, Dr. Hartley served 15 years as Medical Director of the UI Hospitals & Clinics Workers' Health Clinic. He continues to serve as Medical Director of the Firefighter and Police Officer Disability Evaluation Program and as Medical Director of the Occupational Medicine Clinic, both at the UI Hospitals & Clinics. He is also a pulmonary and critical care medicine staff physician at UI Hospitals & Clinics.

Dr. Hartley's expertise in job matching and functional evaluation leads to a more strategic approach to preventing and caring for work-related medical concerns.


Mr. Hawker-Boehnke specializes in litigation and Workers’ Compensation Law in Iowa and Nebraska. Mr. Hawker-Boehnke received his Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2019 with numerous accolades in trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, and academic excellence. Even before he passed the bar exam, he appeared in Federal Court, co-signed a brief to the Eighth Circuit, and was one of four students selected to argue a ‘mock’ case before the Supreme Court of Iowa and the entire law school.

Since graduating from law school in 2019, Mr. Hawker-Boehnke has successfully practiced Iowa and Nebraska Workers’ Compensation law. He handled three appeals to the Supreme Court of Nebraska within two years of graduating. While Mr. Hawker-Boehnke has exceptional experience handling cases on appeal, he has also been a force to be reckoned with in the Courtroom and at the settlement negotiation table. Mr. Hawker-Boehnke is passionate about keeping his clients informed and protecting their interests.


Dr. Iverson received his medical degree from the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. During medical school, he simultaneously earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Tippie School of Business. After medical school, he completed his residency in Occupational Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Dr. Iverson is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, offering injury care and medicolegal examinations in his clinic setting. Dr. Iverson also serves as the Occupational Medicine physician liaison to the post-COVID-19 clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.


Ms. Johnson received her law degree from Drake University. Recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the Workers' Compensation Law field for employers, Kathryn is a trusted partner and advisor to clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. As a Partner at Kidd Laflin Kilburg Johnson, she practices workers' compensation defense, specializing in risk mitigation, regulatory and statutory compliance, and Iowa workers’ compensation issues. She has successfully represented clients in all stages of litigation and appeal, achieving favorable outcomes and setting precedents for the industry.

With over 15 years of worker compensation experience, Kathryn has had the opportunity to speak at numerous conferences and seminars, sharing her knowledge and insight on navigating some of Iowa’s most complex and challenging legal issues. She is a member of the Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Attorneys and Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation. She has also served on the Polk County Juvenile Drug Court Board and the Iowa Association of Women Attorneys.


Mr. Kuhfahl has 25+ years of experience in physical therapy and an extensive background working in an industrial setting. He provides weekly on-site services at several companies, emphasizing early injury intervention, physical demand assessments of work tasks, transitional return to work, and ergonomic evaluations. He has assisted in developing aggressive preventative programs emphasizing job assessments, job modification, education & training, ergonomics, and pre-shift conditioning. He has worked closely with engineers and safety personnel to develop successful functional ergonomics programs. He has developed and presented numerous educational and training programs in numerous industries. He has pursued additional educational training with a focus on Ergonomics.


Dr. Mooney is a board-certified Occupational Physician with over 35 years of experience and a consulting expert in Workers' Compensation Injuries. He holds a Master of Public Health from the Medical College of Wisconsin and a Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University's School of Medicine. He is currently the Medical Director of Occupational Medicine in the Iowa Specialty Hospital and Clinic System.


Ms. Morgan attended Buena Vista University, receiving her undergraduate degree in Social Work. She then attended the University of Northern Iowa, where she received her Master’s in Social Work. Ms. Morgan has been a Clinical Social Worker at Iowa Specialty Hospital in Clarion since May 2016. Before working for ISH, she worked as a hospice social worker and an in-home program manager with Wright County Public Health for ten years.


Ms. Neff is an attorney at Ball, Kirk, & Holm, PC., where she practices personal injury litigation, workers’ compensation, and family law, including divorce and child custody. Before joining Ball, Kirk, & Holm, Ms. Neff worked for an insurance defense firm in Cedar Rapids for five years, handling workers’ compensation cases for employers and insurance companies. Ms. Neff graduated with high honors from Drake University Law School and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa.


Ms. Olson is the Director of Case Management for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. She began her nursing career after earning her RN degree from Dakota Wesleyan in 2008. She furthered her education by obtaining her  BSN from Western Governors University in 2023. Joining OHARA in 2012, Ms. Olson brings a wealth of experience from her nursing journey, including orthopedics and neuro-acute care roles at Sanford USD  Medical Center and Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. 


Ms. Shugart has been a dedicated workers' compensation nurse case manager at OHARA Managed Care for six years. Jill completed her Master of Science in Nursing-Healthcare Administration from Clarkson College in 2015. Her nursing journey encompasses diverse experiences, including working in the kidney transplant and urology unit, the maternity unit, and the trauma, ortho, and neurosurgery unit at Unity Point Methodist Medical Center before working at OHARA.


Ms. Slykhuis started her workers’ compensation career with OHARA as a Telephonic Case Manager in 2000. Micki advanced her knowledge and position by dwelling on every aspect of OHARA, including field case management, telephone case management, team lead, director of case management, and business development. She now serves as OHARA’s president and CEO. Her extensive background brings a unique perspective to all aspects of claim and business management. Micki specializes in strategic program development and implementation. Her hands-on approach fuels her passion for transparent communication and a collaborative culture.


Mr. Taylor graduated from the University of Illinois with a focus on psychology and business. Thereafter, Mr. Taylor moved to Iowa City and attended the University of Iowa College of Law, where he participated in multiple Moot Court teams and was a finalist in Iowa’s arbitration team. He graduated from law school in 2011, a full semester early, to get a head start on his legal career.

Since working at Cutler Law Firm, Mr. Taylor has successfully represented clients in cases ranging from workers’ compensation claims to motor vehicle accidents and slips and falls. He has spoken at numerous seminars and training sessions and takes pride in the knowledge and advocacy he brings to his clients. He is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, the Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, and the Iowa Association for Justice. 


Dr. Teijido is a physical therapist and Athletico Physical Therapy clinic manager in Silvis, Illinois. Dr. Teijido graduated from Des Moines University with a doctorate in physical therapy. He completed his Orthopedic Residency at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Arizona, and his Fellowship training in Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapy at Bellin College in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Dr. Teijido is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Science Degree through Bellin College.


Ms. Timko earned her undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of Northern Iowa and her law degree from the University of Iowa. She has been with the Iowa Attorney General’s Office since 2013 and practices exclusively in workers’ compensation defense.


Ms. Williams is a Senior Claims Consult with Marsh McLennan Agency. With over two decades of experience in the insurance industry, Ms. Williams applies her in-depth understanding of claims to reduce pain points for clients. When an unfortunate workplace accident occurs, a claim must be filed. Ms. Williams works with clients and claims administrators to ensure claims are handled timely and accurately. Her acumen allows her to navigate the complexities of claims and work towards favorable outcomes for all parties involved.


  • Nurse: Des Moines University Medicine and Health Sciences is Iowa Board of Nursing approved provider #112. This activity has been reviewed and approved for 9.75 continuing education contact hour(s). Nurses must attend the entire session to receive credit. Partial session credit is prohibited and will be forfeited.


The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only. It is not a substitute for a healthcare provider's independent medical judgment regarding diagnostic and treatment options for a specific patient's medical condition. 

Available Credit

  • 9.75 IBON


Please login or Create an Account to take this course.

The cost to attend is $295.

Click here to register.

For questions, please email Deanne Reiter at