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IAIABC Ombuds Training 2024

Thursday, August 8, 2024
10:30 AM - 3:45 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 early registration rate of $89 per person is available June 17 through July 8. 

The standard registration rate of $119 per person will be available July 9 through August 7.


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

Lori D'AngeloLori D’Angelo

Ombudsman, Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission

Chair of the Dispute Resolution Ombuds Subcommittee

Lori D’Angelo joined the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission in January, 2021.  She is the first Ombudsman after the Virginia General Assembly created the position to improve outreach to interested stakeholders.  Ms. D’Angelo earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of                                                               Memphis in 1999.   She 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.  Ms.                                                       D’Angelo is certified by the Virginia Supreme Court as a                                                             mediator.  She is a member of the International Association                                                     of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, (IAIABC),                                                         and is the Chair of their Ombuds Subcommittee.  She is                                                           also a member of the International Ombuds Association,                                                         (IOA), and has passed the Certified Organizational Ombuds                                                     Practitioner (CO-OP®) Exam.  

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. 

Caitlin BreitbachCaitlin Breitbach

Small Business Ombudsman, Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division

Caitlin  Breitbach has worked as the small business ombudsman since March 2024  and previously was the assistant small business ombudsman and reemployment specialist on the Employment Services Team (EST) in WCD                                                       since 2019. Before her appointment, she worked at the                                                             Building Codes Division as a policy analyst and training                                                             coordinator for two years, and at the Department of                                                                   Administrative Services as a policy analyst specializing in                                                         performance metrics for three years.

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.

Anna MuellerAnna Mueller

Attorney Advisor, Tennessee Bureau of  Workers' Compensation 

Anna Pace Mueller is an Attorney Advisor with the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.  As an Attorney Advisor, she assists self-represented claimants by providing limited legal advice and procedural guidance.    She has also served as a mediator with the Bureau and as a  private attorney in Middle Tennessee. 

Lorra O'BanionLorra O'Banion

General Counsel, Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court

Lorra O’Banion is General Counsel for the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court. Lorra received her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law and is a current member of the Nebraska State Bar Association. Lorra is also a member of the IAIABC. She serves on the Board of Editors for Perspectives online publication; is currently a member of the Dispute Resolution Committee and Ombuds subcommittee as well as the Regulation Committee. 

Joe Cavalcante

Assistant Director of Public Info, New York States Workers' Compensation Board

Ombudsman and Advocate for Injured Workers Joseph Cavalcante is concerned with the health and sanctity of the New York workers’ compensation system. He helps employees access their benefits on the most complex workers’ compensation and Paid Family Leave claims, including all fatality claims. Prior to this position, he was a spokesperson, representing the NYS Workers' Compensation Board publicly and writing many of its publications. For the last 15 years, he has also been the Board’s primary liaison with the World Trade Center community.

Julie HeadJulie Head

Ombudsman, New Mexico Workers' Compensation Administration

Julie Head has over 30 years’ experience in the workers’ compensation arena, in such capacities as a workers’ compensation Adjuster, as well as a Compliance Officer, Manager and part-owner for a large occupational medicine  clinic.  Presently Julie serves as the Ombudsman for the State of New Mexico Workers’ Compensation                                Administration, where she helps Constituents in the                    Northwest Region of the State with the Workers’                          Compensation Act. 

For More Information:

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


All times in Central Daylight Time (CDT).

10:30 am - 12:00 pm

A Day in the Life of an Ombuds

Panelists: Anna Mueller, Lorra O’Banion, Joe Cavalcante, Caitlin Breitbach, Julie Head

During this session five different types of ombuds will share their perspectives about the unique work they do.  You will hear from an advocate ombuds, an employer representative ombuds, a non-ombuds representative, an ombuds from New Mexico, and an attorney ombuds.  Each will make a short presentation and then you will have an opportunity to ask questions of the 5 panel members.

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Lunch Break

1:00pm - 02:00pm

Expectations, Scope, and Starting a Practice

Delivered by Lori D'Angelo and Jay Hicks

Two people who have started an ombuds program discuss what they did, what they did not do, and what they wish they had done instead.  Whether you are just considering starting a program or have one established, this session will provide applicable insights you can take with you to your organizations.

02:00 pm - 02:30pm

Data Collection

Facilitated by Lori D'Angelo

What data should you collect in your ombuds department?  This session will be an open discussion headed by someone who is not an expert statistician and wants to know your opinion about what statistics you track, or think should be tracked, and why you think it is important, or not. Bring your own insights and learn from fellow ombuds across jurisdictions in this collaborative forum.

02:30pm - 02:45pm


02:45pm - 3:45pm

Ask Me Anything Panel

Panelists:  Jay Hicks, Samuel Castillo, Barbra Anderson, Caitlin Breitbach
Moderator: Joe Cavalcante

Join us for an insightful 'Ask Me Anything' panel discussion on Ombuds for Injured Workers. This is a great opportunity to learn about all the random things you may want to know about the role of an ombuds that no one ever includes on the list of topics for discussion. Go ahead, ask the question!