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Work Comp Today

Providing biopsychosocial care in a therapeutic community for those who need it most.

Healthcare Institute Drives ‘Specialized Care’ for Workers’ Compensation Industry:

Patients with chronic pain, PTSD, drug addiction, and brain injuries targeted

A three-pronged approach by a transdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals is raising the bar for patients hurt on the job.

Data and case studies compiled by Institutes of Health (IOH) show specialized evidence-based biopsychosocial care delivers ‘exceptional’ patient outcomes when applied by a transdisciplinary team. Particularly patients living with chronic pain, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sleep disruption, prescription drug addiction, and brain injuries.

Patients also express more accountability for their behavior with multiple providers present, Neurocognitive Specialist, Dr. Kathleen Turner said.

“Sometimes they will minimize or exaggerate their symptoms when I meet one on one, so it’s helpful to have a voice present that can encourage a reality check,” she added. “It’s also helpful to co-treat when patients lack insight. They get to hear the information from different voices.”

Made up of healthcare professionals from a variety of disciplines, a transdisciplinary team at IOH utilizes a biopsychosocial model to consider the biological, psychological, and social factors to better understand health, illness, injury, and associated disability.

According to IOH, most healthcare is delivered by independent providers in specific disciplines, particularly in workers’ compensation settings. The transdisciplinary approach enables better communication and synthesis between varying disciplines while administering the most integrated care.

Medical Director Dr. Heechin Chae, MD, said, “Transdisciplinary practice can look very similar to interdisciplinary practice on the surface. However, in a transdisciplinary setting, the typical barriers and silos that exist between disciplines are transcended and there is a true and substantial sharing of the rehabilitation process where the team works in a much more integrated manner on the same goals until the patient demonstrates carry-over and a change in behavior.”

In contrast, “each discipline in an interdisciplinary setting defines its own separate goals and although communication between disciplines occurs, integration is still somewhat fragmented compared to a transdisciplinary model,” Chae continued. This can overwhelm the patient who is already experiencing the biopsychosocial vortex.

Addressing illness and injury from a biopsychosocial model requires the evaluation of multiple domains of function, which leads to more informed transdisciplinary treatment, IOH said. The process allows providers to adequately address patients’ functional deficits while reinforcing lifestyle modifications and improving self-management techniques, ensuring sustainable outcomes.

“In a combined treatment session, a psychologist like me can work directly with patients during their cognitive training sessions,” Neurocognitive Specialist Dr. Shelby Moreira said.

I regularly do treatment sessions and groups with speech-language therapists when working with brain injury patients,” she continued. “Clinicians genuinely value the impact of each other’s disciplines and regularly reinforce to the patients the impact that various disciplines have on healing, recovery, and outcomes.”

IOH’s list of rehab resources includes medical providers, psychologists, neuropsychologists, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, aquatic therapy, clinical nutrition, and therapeutic use of art and music.

Institutes of Health logo (hor)
About the Author
Joe Toppe Author

Joe Toppe

Syndicated Business Journalist

Joe Toppe

Joe Toppe is a syndicated business journalist who graduated from Kent State University’s School of Journalism and is a Senior Business Reporter for Capital.com out of London. He has written and been featured on Fox Business, MSN (US), MSN Money Canada, the New York Post, Yahoo Finance, Green Entrepreneur, Innovation & Tech Today, and many more.
Dr Katherine Turner bio

Dr. Katherine Turner

Director of IOH Academy
Behavioral Medicine | Neuropsychology​

Katherine Turner, PhD

Dr. Katherine Turner is the director of the IOH Training Academy, a senior mentor, and works at the intersection of behavioral medicine and neuropsychology. In her clinical role, she specializes in the areas of chronic pain, brain injury, and Post-traumatic stress. Dr. Turner received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Brain Development Imaging at San Diego State University (SDSU) before moving into teaching and academic advising. Dr. Turner has taught at SDSU for 15 years and has won several awards during her tenure.

Dr. Heechin Chae

Medical Director

Heechin Chae, MD, FAAPMR, IFMCP, CLCP

Dr. Heechin Chae is Medical Director of IOH, and Senior Mentor of the IOH Academy. He is quadruple certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, and Functional Medicine. Dr. Chae is a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia, and he completed his postgraduate training at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Shelby Moreira bio

Dr. Shelby Moreira

Forensic and Neurocognitive Specialist

Shelby Moreira, Psy.D.

Dr. Shelby Moreira is a forensic and Behavioral Pain & Trauma Medicine Specialist who works at the intersection of the four epidemics in the workers’ compensation system: Chronic Pain, PTSD, Brain Injury and prescription drug abuse. As part of an advanced transdisciplinary clinical team, she works in an evidence-based space that focuses on systematically reversing the common disabling trajectories of medical syndromes that have been resistant to or failed prior medical care and which contributes to over 80% of the cost of the work comp system.

A three-pronged approach by a transdisciplinary group of healthcare professionals is raising the bar for patients hurt on the job.

Data and case studies compiled by Institutes of Health (IOH) show specialized evidence-based biopsychosocial care delivers ‘exceptional’ patient outcomes when applied by a transdisciplinary team. Particularly patients living with chronic pain, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sleep disruption, prescription drug addiction, and brain injuries.

Patients also express more accountability for their behavior with multiple providers present, Neurocognitive Specialist, Dr. Kathleen Turner said.

“Sometimes they will minimize or exaggerate their symptoms when I meet one on one, so it’s helpful to have a voice present that can encourage a reality check,” she added. “It’s also helpful to co-treat when patients lack insight. They get to hear the information from different voices.”

Made up of healthcare professionals from a variety of disciplines, a transdisciplinary team at IOH utilizes a biopsychosocial model to consider the biological, psychological, and social factors to better understand health, illness, injury, and associated disability.

According to IOH, most healthcare is delivered by independent providers in specific disciplines, particularly in workers’ compensation settings. The transdisciplinary approach enables better communication and synthesis between varying disciplines while administering the most integrated care.

Medical Director Dr. Heechin Chae, MD, said, “Transdisciplinary practice can look very similar to interdisciplinary practice on the surface. However, in a transdisciplinary setting, the typical barriers and silos that exist between disciplines are transcended and there is a true and substantial sharing of the rehabilitation process where the team works in a much more integrated manner on the same goals until the patient demonstrates carry-over and a change in behavior.”

In contrast, “each discipline in an interdisciplinary setting defines its own separate goals and although communication between disciplines occurs, integration is still somewhat fragmented compared to a transdisciplinary model,” Chae continued. This can overwhelm the patient who is already experiencing the biopsychosocial vortex.

Addressing illness and injury from a biopsychosocial model requires the evaluation of multiple domains of function, which leads to more informed transdisciplinary treatment, IOH said. The process allows providers to adequately address patients’ functional deficits while reinforcing lifestyle modifications and improving self-management techniques, ensuring sustainable outcomes.

“In a combined treatment session, a psychologist like me can work directly with patients during their cognitive training sessions,” Neurocognitive Specialist Dr. Shelby Moreira said.

I regularly do treatment sessions and groups with speech-language therapists when working with brain injury patients,” she continued. “Clinicians genuinely value the impact of each other’s disciplines and regularly reinforce to the patients the impact that various disciplines have on healing, recovery, and outcomes.”

IOH’s list of rehab resources includes medical providers, psychologists, neuropsychologists, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, Feldenkrais, Alexander technique, aquatic therapy, clinical nutrition, and therapeutic use of art and music.

Institutes of Health logo (hor)
About the Author
Joe Toppe Author

Joe Toppe

Syndicated Business Journalist

Joe Toppe

Joe Toppe is a syndicated business journalist who graduated from Kent State University’s School of Journalism and is a Senior Business Reporter for Capital.com out of London. He has written and been featured on Fox Business, MSN (US), MSN Money Canada, the New York Post, Yahoo Finance, Green Entrepreneur, Innovation & Tech Today, and many more.
Dr Katherine Turner bio

Dr. Katherine Turner

Director of IOH Academy
Behavioral Medicine | Neuropsychology​

Katherine Turner, PhD

Dr. Katherine Turner is the director of the IOH Training Academy, a senior mentor, and works at the intersection of behavioral medicine and neuropsychology. In her clinical role, she specializes in the areas of chronic pain, brain injury, and Post-traumatic stress. Dr. Turner received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Brain Development Imaging at San Diego State University (SDSU) before moving into teaching and academic advising. Dr. Turner has taught at SDSU for 15 years and has won Teacher of the Year and Academic Advisor of the Year awards during her tenure.
Shelby Moreira bio

Dr. Shelby Moreira

Forensic and Neurocognitive Specialist

Shelby Moreira, Psy.D.

Dr. Shelby Moreira is a forensic and Behavioral Pain & Trauma Medicine Specialist who works at the intersection of the four epidemics in the workers’ compensation system: Chronic Pain, PTSD, Brain Injury and prescription drug abuse. As part of an advanced transdisciplinary clinical team, she works in an evidence-based space that focuses on systematically reversing the common disabling trajectories of medical syndromes that have been resistant to or failed prior medical care and which contributes to over 80% of the cost of the work comp system.

Dr. Heechin Chae

Medical Director

Heechin Chae, MD, FAAPMR, IFMCP, CLCP

Dr. Heechin Chae is Medical Director of IOH, and Senior Mentor of the IOH Academy. He is quadruple certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, and Functional Medicine. Dr. Chae is a graduate of the Medical College of Virginia, and he completed his postgraduate training at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Cambridge Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

CARROT-SQUASH SOUP RECIPE

Our featured recipe is a soup made with carrots and butternut squash. It is easy to make and oh-so-tasty. It is a hearty, comforting cold-weather meal. And the best part? This soup is ready in less than an hour and requires minimal ingredients. Add extra garnishes like roasted pepitas or pine nuts to add some crunch and texture. 

An integral part of IOH is focused on nutrition. We teach patients the benefits of anti-inflammatory nutrition to lessen the effects of chronic pain. Patients learn how to prepare and cook nutritious meals together and how to shop and prep so they can make the same meals at home.

Did you know?

Science has proven that chronic, low-grade inflammation can turn into a silent killer that contributes to cardiovas­cular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions. The culinary team at IOH provides simple tips to patients to fight inflammation, reduce chronic pain, and stay healthy. Click the link below to review more delicious, healthy & easy recipes for everyday life. 

Exploring creative ways to move more

IOH clinicians and technicians offer a variety of creative ways to help patients increase activity and mobility by exploring ways to move that are both enjoyable and beneficial.

Did you know?

Incorporating movement into our daily lives profoundly benefits our physical and mental well-being. From enhancing flexibility and strength to boosting mood and cognitive function, increasing activity and staying active offers countless advantages. Creative approaches to movement, such as stretching to improve flexibility, walking to clear the mind, dancing for a fun cardiovascular workout, or engaging in aquatic exercises for low-impact resistance training, all ensure that staying active never becomes monotonous. Hiking in nature provides a scenic backdrop for exercise and connects us with the environment, enhancing our sense of peace and well-being. Activities can be tailored to individual preferences and fitness levels, making the journey toward health a personalized and enjoyable experience.

Art and Creative Therapy

PaintaPot IOH Valentines

Recently, IOH Riverside planned a lovely craft day for patients and offered a variety of crafts, including pot painting, watercolor cards, and fruit and floral bouquets! 

IOH staff enjoys exploring ways to help patients learn mindful activities that help them focus, engage with others, and improve their cognitive function!

Diana H - decorated flowerpot
Here is patient Diana with her decorated mosaic flower pot
Donut painting

Our creative arts therapy team celebrated IOH Patient Ross and his first time painting this amazing donut! It looks good enough to eat. 

Jenny Montenegro, IOH’s Art & Yoga Rehab Therapist, reported that Ross was pleasantly surprised to discover the mental health benefits painting provided him. He reported feeling less stressed and clear-headed after painting his lovely donut image. Great job Ross!

We are thrilled to share this amazing 5-star review from one of our patients at IOH El Centro!

These kind words fuel our passion for providing top-notch healthcare services for the Workers’ Compensation community. At Institutes Of Health, we strive to create a warm and informed environment from the very first step. Thank you for recognizing our commitment to excellence!

IOH El Centro Google Review

Community Engagement

Supporting Hazel's Hands and Dr. Tyrone Spears

Dr Clark Jennifer and Duane at Hazels Hands March 9
Dr. Clark Smith, Jennifer Johnson, and Duane Johnson recently attended Hazel's Hands annual luncheon

Recently, several IOH team members were honored to attend the sold-out, annual fundraiser luncheon for Hazel’s Hands, an incredible organization founded by Dr. Tyrone Spears. IOH was nicely represented, with Dr. Clark Smith, Duane Johnson, and Jennifer Johnson in attendance.

A special shoutout to our new team member, Jennifer Johnson, who did an extraordinary job delivering a 7-minute heartfelt speech about her experience supporting Hazel’s Hands. 

Hazel’s Hands is a charitable organization providing invaluable support to foster youths, at-risk teens, and children. The event was a testament to the community’s overwhelming support and showcased the transformative stories of individuals whose lives have been positively impacted. The team at Hazel’s Hands are true heroes, making a difference and spreading joy and much-needed support to these kids. We encourage you to learn more about this noble cause by visiting their website and discovering how you can contribute.

Photo credit: Fidiam Guerrero, Vice President of Sales at Optum | Pharmacy Benefit Management, Ancillary Services, and Managed Care.

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