WWCP Faculty

WWCP sessions are taught by a selection of these and other volunteer faculty selected for their experience and knowledge of the Washington workers' compensation system:


Krishna Balasubramani

Krishna Balasubramani joined Sather, Byerly & Holloway, LLP in 1996 and became a partner in 2000. Prior to joining the firm, Krishna was a pro tem Administrative Law Judge for the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board. He also worked at SAFECO Insurance and Stoel Rives, LLP. Krishna is admitted to practice in Oregon and Washington. He assists employers and insurers in Oregon and Washington with workers’ compensation and employment related matters. Krishna defends employers in connection with workers’ compensation, OSHA and general employment matters. He works closely with human resource managers, loss prevention managers, safety directors and claims adjusters to manage pre-litigation situations or to handle the litigation.

Subjects/Courses: Legal, Claims Management, Complex Claims Management

Lloyd Brooks, WWCP

Lloyd Brooks is the Professional Development and Member Services Director for the Washington Self Insurers Association. He has over 25 years of Washington workers’ compensation experience including the creation and oversight of a claims management team.  He currently serves on the Department of Labor and Industries IME Business & Labor Advisory Team and in 2009, was appointed by the Director of The Department of Labor & Industries to serve a five-year term on the Retro Advisory Committee.

Subjects/Courses: Workers' Comp 101

Julie Busch, MS, CDMS

Ms. Busch is a co-owner of Strategic Consulting Services, the state's largest vocational rehabilitation firm. She holds as Master's Degree in Organizational Psychology from Central Washington University, and has over 20 years of experience providing vocational assessment, rehabilitation planning, job analysis and expert testimony in Washington State. She provides vocational rehabilitation services to workers covered by Washington's State Fund and self-insurance, as well as federal workers' compensation systems such as the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

Subjects/Courses: Vocational Rehabilitation/Return to Work

Lee Caton, PT

Lee Caton, PT, is Chief Operations Officer for Peoples Injury Network Northwest (PINN). After graduating from the College of St. Scholastica with a Bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology and a Masters degree in Physical Therapy, he worked in private outpatient orthopedics with development and receipt of a patent for biomechanical analysis of the human body. Lee now oversees PINN’s clinical and business operations. His primary focus is ensuring our clients and referral sources receive the best industrial rehabilitation possible. In addition, he has extensive continuing education in Advanced Functional Capacity Evaluations.

Subjects/Courses: Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy & Industrial Rehabilitation

Dennis Chong, M.D.

Dr. Dennis Chong is a physiatrist in Seattle, Washington and is affiliated with Swedish Medical Center - Cherry Hill. He received his medical degree from University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Subjects/Courses: Medical Management and Complex Medical Conditions

Edward Dagher, M.D.

Dr. Dagher is an Olympia-Washington based physiatrist, and is a board certified specialist in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Operating the Center for Musculoskeletal Evaluations, Dr. Dagher specializes in non-surgical solutions for sports, spine, and occupational injuries. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada School of Medicine, with residencies in Internal Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has been in active clinical practice since 1998.  

Subjects/Courses: Medical Benefit Management and Complex Medical Conditions

Linda Forsberg, WWCP

Linda Forsberg is a Senior Claims Specialist with Starbucks Coffee Company since 2016.  She holds a AIC & WWCP certificate and is on the WSIA Board of Regents.  She has over a decade of successful experience working with employees, employers and vendors. Her claims philosophy has always been partner-focused, proactive, ethical and collaborative.  She enjoys the outdoors and all the activities that includes, her new grand babies and family outings.

Subjects/Courses: 

Chris Fowler

Chris started her career in the administration of workers’ compensation claims at Todd Shipyards on their self-administered Federal Longshore program. From there she moved to Washington State claims administration for self-insured employers, handling claims for a variety of employers throughout Washington state. She has participated as a trainer for the Washington Self-Insurers Association for Claims I – IV and other curriculum and has maintained her certification to administer claims as granted by the Department of Labor and Industries throughout her career. Chris became a supervisor in 2010 and an account manager in 2017.

Subjects/Courses: Complex Claims Management and Wage Calculations

Gary Franklin, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Franklin is Medical Director for the Department of Labor & Industries and serves as a Research Professor in the Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Neurology, and Health Services at the University of Washington. Educated at Franklin and Marshall College, Dr. Franklin graduated from medical school at George Washington University and holds a Master's Degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley. He is board certified in Neurology, and is known for his groundbreaking work in developing guidelines for opioid dosing for chronic pain.

Subjects/Courses: Medical Benefit Management, Chronic Pain, Disability Prevention

Ben Gagne, WWCP

Ben Gagne is a member of WSIA’s Industrial Insurance University Board of Regents.  Ben has worked for the City of Spokane as a State Certified Claims Administrator administering the City’s self-insured workers’ compensation claims for 20+ years.  As a WWCP holder for the past 10 years, Ben has been on the Board of Regents for the last 5 years.  Ben holds a masters’ degree from Eastern Washington University’s School of Public Administration.

Subjects/Courses:

Ryan Guppy

Ryan Guppy leads Return to Work Partnerships, within Washington's Insurance Services Division. As Chief of this program, Ryan is charged with ensuring the Washington State Fund designs, purchases, and effectively uses innovative work disability prevention programs to provide workers with state-of-the-art services customized for their unique return-to-work and vocational needs, and to partner with employers, medical providers, vocational providers, and public agencies to focus resources on best practices for supporting return-to-work opportunities. Ryan is a vocational provider, Certified Disability Management Specialist and trained in the Progressive Goal Attainment Program. He is currently a member of the Disability Management and Return-to-Work Committee of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) and past president of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals – Washington Chapter.  In 2017, he was awarded the Governor’s Leadership in Management Award.

Subjects/Courses: Vocational Rehabilitation/Return to Work
Michael Harris, Ph.D.

Dr. Michael Harris received his Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Psychology from the University of Idaho and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Washington State University. He has been a Licensed Psychologist since 1983. Dr. Harris’ experience, research, training and lecturing covers a varied range within Behavior Medicine and has an emphasis on interdisciplinary treatments of individuals with chronic pain and other disabling biopsychosocial conditions. He joined the Pacific Rehabilitation Centers interdisciplinary medical rehabilitation staff in 1991 as a psychologist and is currently the Chief Operations Officer, Clinical Director, and Director of Outcomes. He also serves as an officer on the Pacific Rehabilitation Centers Board of Directors. Dr. Harris is an Advisor to the Western Washington COHE Alliance of Western Washington, serves as the secretary of the Washington Pain Interest Consortium, has served on numerous workers’ compensation committees and is a member of many national and international pain, health and psychology associations. Presentations and lectures during the past decade have focused on assisting health care groups and payers maximize the benefits of interdisciplinary Behavior Health interventions in reducing disability and enhancing wellness.

Subjects/Courses: Psychology, Pain Management, Disability Prevention

Cynthia Hudson, WWCP

Cynthia Hudson is a Claims Team Lead with Sedgwick with over 13 years of experience in Washington state workers’ compensation. She currently serves on the IIU Board of Regents. Cynthia holds both the WWCP designation and a Washington state self-insured claims administrator certificate.

Subjects/Courses:

Lesley Hull, WWCP

Leslie Hull is a Senior Claim Examiner for Penser North America, Inc. In addition to managing the company's workers' compensation program for clients of her office, Leslie provides daily oversight of the claims examiners in her office. She is responsible for staffing, training, processes, customer service, and quality control, as well as assisting her claims team with technical, legal, investigative, and vocational issues. 

Subjects/Courses: Wage Calculation, Claims Administration

Kevin Kincade

Kevin Kincade has been in Washington workers' compensation for over twenty years. He was hired at Johnston & Culberson, Inc. in 1992 as a Staff Assistant and became a Claim Supervisor in 1997. In 1999, he was hired by Gallagher Bassett to be their Seattle Branch Manager. In 2004, Kevin was hired by Berkley Risk Administrators to be the General Manager of their Seattle office. In January of 2013 Kevin was hired by Eberle Vivian to be a Supervisor and an Account Manager. Kevin has extensive experience in handling claims, overseeing proper claims-handling of others, and working with the Department of Labor and Industries to resolve audits of self-insured clients.

Subjects/Courses: Complex Claims Management

Niriksha Malladi, M.D.

Dr. Malladi is a physician, speaker, writer, clinical instructor, and consultant. She is the Medical Director of Pacific Rehabilitation Centers, responsible for overseeing quality and safety of medical care in the Center’s programs. Dr. Malladi serves on the Physician Advisor Panel for the Center of Occupational Health & Education (COHE) of Western Washington, and is on the American Pain Society Selection Committee for the Centers of Excellence Awards. She has previously been on the Board of Directors at Pacific Rehabilitation Centers, Medical Director with Paradigm Management Services, involved in developing opioid policy guidelines at a State level, and a mentor to medical and surgical residents on the topic of chronic pain management. She is a board certified Physiatrist who specializes in the non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal, pain and spine disorders and has expertise in the multidisciplinary treatment of chronic pain. She sees patients with musculoskeletal disorders, nerve pain, myofascial pain syndromes, chronic pain, spinal disorders and work-related injuries. She has researched and published on interdisciplinary pain management, interventional approaches to pain, and electrodiagnostics. 

Subjects/Courses: Legal, Claims Management, Complex Claims Management

Jon Manthos, RN, WWCP

Jon has over 30 years of nursing experience. Jon has a strong background as a Nurse Manager, Regional Manager and Director in the field of Hemodialysis, Peritoneal dialysis, acute dialysis and home training. He has also worked closely with Nephrologists, Surgeons, and Internal Medicine Physicians in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii. He has worked as a Nurse Manager in Wound Care and Anticoagulation Management in an outpatient hospital setting. His experience as Manager of Quality Assurance and Physician Credentialing helps him to work closely with physicians.

Subjects/Courses: Medical Management and Complex Medical Conditions

Lisa Nelson, WWCP

Lisa Nelson has served as the office administrator and senior paralegal at Eims Graham since 1997. A certified Washington Workers’ Compensation Professional, Lisa is well versed in all aspects of the practice area and her expansive knowledge and superior organizational skills keep the firm functioning in top form. Prior to working with Eims Graham, Lisa underwent intensive training and honed her skills as a paralegal at a busy litigation firm. A key part of Lisa’s job is ensuring that every client receives the best possible representation. She plays a vital role supporting attorneys in a wide variety of complex casework, including conducting legal research, assisting employers with claims administration, preparing motions, briefs and memoranda, and communicating with clients, physicians and expert witnesses. Lisa is an active voice in the local professional workers’ compensation community. She has been appointed as Chairperson of WSIA’s Industrial Insurance University (IIU) Board of Regents and will represent the IIU as an ex officio member of the WSIA Board of Directors. Lisa also serves on WSIA’s Associate Members and Kids Chance Committees. Lisa has co-facilitated several Washington Workers’ Compensation Professional courses. She was previously recognized as a Certified Claims Examiner by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries and holds the distinction of serving as Past Secretary of the Executive Board of Professionals in Workers’ Compensation.

Subjects/Courses:

Lee Pyfrom

Lee is the has been the Safety Director with MacDonald-Miller since 2013. Prior to working at MacDonald-Miller Lee worked at the Department of Labor & Industries in various roles including, Regional Consultation Manager, Safety Compliance Supervisor, Safety Consultant and a Compliance Officer.

Subjects/Courses: Safety and Accident Prevention

Ann Silvernale

Ms. Silvernale’s practice is limited to the defense of employers, both self-insured and state fund under the Washington State Industrial Insurance Act, as well as defense of firms cited under the Washington State Industrial Safety and Health Act. Her practice includes advice to firms at the Department level and litigation before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, Superior Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. She also serves as a mediator for Industrial Insurance matters on appeal from Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals Decision and Orders to the Superior Court. Ms. Silvernale has been a frequent presenter at Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals Continuing Legal Education Seminars, as well as seminars sponsored by other organizations such as the Washington State Self- Insurers Association. During law school, Ms. Silvernale clerked for the Washington State Office of the Attorney General. After graduating from law school, she clerked for the Honorable Robert E. Dixon of the King County Superior Court. In 1986 she joined the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, where she served as counsel for the Department of Licensing, where her clients included the Medical Disciplinary Board, as well as the other various health care regulatory boards. From 1987 to 1990 she was an assistant attorney general representing the Department of Labor & Industries in matters before the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and in Superior Court. In 1990, she became an Industrial Appeals Judge with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and served as a trial judge until 2000. From 2000 through 2012 she served as a mediation and review judge until joining the Seattle office of Holmes, Weddle & Barcott in 2012. Ms. Silvernale is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.


Subjects/Courses: Legal

Cory Turner, CRC

Cory Turner is a CRC with over 21 years of experience in the vocational rehabilitation field in Washington State. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and holds a M.Ed., with an emphasis in Guidance and Counseling. For the last 15 years, she has developed her firm – Vocational Connections Inc – into a team of experienced counselors recognized for their integrity and professionalism and take pride in providing high quality services, ethical services to injured workers, third parties, and employers. She has been active as a member and participation on local Boards in the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, WSIA, the Vocational Technical Stakeholders Group, and has volunteered to participate in several groups to improve the quality of vocational rehabilitation in the State of Washington. Ms. Turner has experience speaking at L&I, WSIA, and IARP sponsored events over the years. She strives to help identify win/win solutions to difficult situations with pride, honesty and integrity.

Subjects/Courses: Vocational Rehabilitation/Return to Work

Gennia Wellington-Cheatham, WWCP

Gennia Wellington-Cheatham is the current Workers’ Compensation Manager for the self-insured self-administered workers’ compensation program at King County. She is celebrating her 20th year working in the workers’ compensation field. She is the proud bearer of the WWCP designation and WA State Self-Insured Department Claims Administrator certification.

Subjects/Courses: Wage Calculation and Claims Administration