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IAIABC Ombuds Training 2023

Thursday, August 10, 2023
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (CDT)


Event Details

Established by the IAIABC Dispute Resolution Committee, this Ombuds Training provides a unique opportunity for IAIABC members and non-members to learn what ombuds do across jurisdictions and leave with applicable insights and expertise you can take back to your organization. Many skills that ombuds use are universal, so whether you are an ombud yourself, work with ombuds, or are just interested in what they do, this training is sure to be impactful. 

The standard registration rate of $80 per person is available July 1 through August 8. 


We are pleased to have experience and knowledgeable speakers facilitate this program:

Lori D'AngeloLori D’Angelo

Ombudsman, Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission

Chair of the Dispute Resolution Ombuds Subcommittee

Lorraine D’Angelo joined the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission in January, 2021.  She is the first Ombudsman after the General Assembly created the position to improve outreach to interested stakeholders.  Ms. D’Angelo practiced law for over twenty years, handling                                                     both administrative law and workers’ compensation cases.                                                     She obtained a broad range of professional experience                                                             representing employers, insurers, and injured workers in                                                         workers’ compensation claims.

Amanda HallaAmanda Halla

Ombudsperson, Jane Austen Society of North America

Amanda Halla is the Ombudsperson for the 5,000 member Jane Austen Society of North America. She holds a Master of Arts in Intercultural Relations, with a concentration in crisis conflict resolution. One of her prior jobs was working                                                                with law enforcement in Tucson, Arizona as a National                                                              Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) certified Crisis                                                          Interventionist. Her on-scene field work included death                                                            notifications, crisis interventions with crime victims and                                                            witnesses, natural disaster victims, mental health welfare                                                        checks with police, next day group crisis interventions and                                                      phone follow-ups with witnesses of mass casualty scenes.

Jay HicksJay Hicks

Ombudsman Attorney, Tennessee Bureau of Workers' Compensation

Jay is a licensed attorney in Tennessee and after law school he began work as a plaintiffs’ attorney. His practice concentrated primarily on representing injured employees in workers’ compensation disputes. Jay began working as mediator for the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in August of 2015 and became the Bureau’s                                                     first ombudsman attorney in August of 2017.

Samuel CastilloSamuel Castillo

Ombudsman Bureau Chief, New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration

Samuel Castillo began working as the WCA’s Ombudsman Bureau Chief on January 10, 2022, and comes to the agency with over 25 years of management experience. He has worked with the Governor’s Commission on Disability and                   in human resources, at a nonprofit.  Born and raised in                           southern New Mexico, he is bilingual in Spanish. Through it                 all, he seeks to serve, and he looks forward to continuing                       that work by providing the workers’ compensation                                   community with ready access to helpful information. 

John AmorosoJohn Amoroso

Associate Ombudsman, Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission

John has spent most of his career in education and academia. He has worked for various other state agencies and spent a significant amount of time in public service. John has been with the Virginia Workers Compensation Commission for less than two years.   

Caitlin BreitbachCaitlin Breitbach

Small Business Ombudsman, Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division

Caitlin has worked as the Assistant Small Business Ombudsman for Workers Compensation since 2019. In addition to working as an ombudsman, she is also part time with the Preferred Worker Program.  Prior to her                                                                           appointment, Caitlin worked at the Building Codes Division                                                   as a policy analyst and training coordinator, and at the                                                             Department of Administrative Services as a policy analyst                                                       specializing in performance metrics. She has a Bachelor’s                                                         degree in business administration with a minor in human                                                       resources, and a Master’s degree in organizational                                                                       leadership.

Barbra AndersonBarbra Anderson

Ombuds for Oregon Workers,  Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division

Barbra was named the new Ombuds for Oregon Workers in January 2023. Prior to this new role, she spent 23 years in various positions throughout the Workers’ Compensation Division including: office specialist in the Investigations and                                                  Managed Care Organization Program; Reimbursement                                                              Specialist in Self-insurance, Registration, and                                                                                Reimbursements (SIRR); and ultimately moving into                                                                  managing that same unit. She held other management                                                            positions over the next few years including Field Audit                                                              Manager, Employer Compliance Manager, and Employment                                                    Services Team (EST) Manager.

For More Information:

Samantha Collier
Samantha Collier
Education Services Manager IAIABC (608)410-2217


All times in Central Daylight Time (CDT).

10:00 am - 11:00 am

Dealing with Unauthorized Practice of Law

Panelists: Lori D’Angelo, Jay Hicks, Samuel Castillo

Moderator: Barbra Anderson

This will be a moderated panel discussion of how three jurisdictions view the unauthorized practice of law and how Ombuds in each location can avoid it.

11:00am - 11:30am

Dispute Resolution with Employers

Delivered by Caitlin Breitbach

After this session, participants will have a better understanding of how to handle difficult conversations with business owners. Participants will learn active listening skills, provide useful feedback, de-escalate the conversation, and learn how to cultivate trust.

11:30am - 12:30pm

Lunch Break

12:30pm - 02:00pm

Clients in Crisis

Delivered by Amanda Halla

This interactive session will start out with a discussion, and then participants will have the opportunity to role play interacting with clients in crisis in order to cement their understanding of the topics listed here:

  • What is the definition of a crisis mindset? How is it different from the very serious situations Ombuds are “used” to seeing in their practice?

  • How to tell if a client is in crisis? 

  • How to determine if their crisis might include suicidal or homicidal thoughts? Where to go from there - mandatory reporting?

  • Ways to differently utilize the skills you already possess for the best outcome with your client in crisis.

Participants will leave this session with the ability to recognize when a client is in crisis versus when a client is struggling with difficult emotions or situations. Participants will know which of their current tools are best to use in a crisis situation and how to best proceed compared to “normal” protocols. They will also leave with an understanding of where to gain additional skill training and certifications if they would like to increase their capacities in active listening and crisis intervention models

02:00pm - 02:15pm


02:15pm - 03:00pm

Setting Expectations for What Ombuds Do

Delivered by Jay Hicks

Ombuds encounter numerous challenges when assisting self-represented litigants. At their core, these challenges often involve the expectations self-represented litigants have for the services they will receive from an ombuds. This presentation will focus on our role in setting appropriate expectations so we can deliver more effective services.

03:00pm - 04:00pm

Best Practices on How to Teach People

Delivered by Lori D’Angelo and John Amoroso

In this presentation, we are discussing how to explain things to people in a way that helps them understand the workers’ compensation process, what is happening in their case, and what options are available to them, so they can make more informed decisions about what they want to do.