I chatted with Kristen Chavez recently and she was excited to talk about a conversation she had recently with one of several injured worker Comp Laude® Award winners from 2018.
Q. What’s been happening with you and the injured worker community?
A. I’m excited to share that Billy Parker, one of our 2018 Comp Laude® Injured Worker Winners, reached out to me recently to let me know that he is speaking at two upcoming safety events:
- Kentucky’s 35th Annual Governor’s Safety & Health Conference and Expo, May 6-9 in Louisville, KY. Conference details here: https://www.kentuckysafetyconference.org/round-1.html
- PPSA Annual Safety & Health Conference, June 23-26 in San Antonio, TX. Conference details here: http://ppsaconference.org
Q. Wow, Kristen, that’s really exciting! How does it make you feel to stay connected with past injured worker winners from Comp Laude® Awards & Gala?
A. Very humbled. It reminds me to be aware that everything can change in the blink of an eye. However, it is your attitude / mental outlook that sets the tone of your life and future experiences. I’ve met some extraordinary people who have suffered life-altering injuries, yet they find a way to persevere, succeed and now want to make a difference in the lives of others. It’s very moving.
Q. What do you think it is about Billy that makes his story special?
A. Well, he lost both of his arms in an industrial accident. While this would be devastating to most people, he has taken his personal “tragedy” and turned it into something positive — not only for himself, but others as well. He focuses on how he can help others by making them more aware of safety issues and hopefully avoid an accident and loss of life or limb. He says he wouldn’t change a thing about what happened to him. He shares his story with others and is now speaking at events focused on safety. When I come across people like Billy, it makes me realize that I have so much to be grateful for and that I should work harder to put issues that I’m dealing with in the proper perspective. It is so inspiring to know that Billy has truly figured out how to take life’s lemons and turn them into some sweet lemonade.
Q. How do you visualize sharing stories like Billy’s in the future?
A. As a media outlet, I hope to give injured workers a voice in the industry….I want WorkCompCentral to be a place where injured workers feel safe to share their stories, ask questions and share experiences with other injured workers who are looking for direction or support. I want to facilitate conversations in our industry that bring injured workers back into the center of the conversation. Also, to remind us that there are success stories in workers compensation. Like David DePaolo used to say… “There are good things happening in workers’ compensation every single day.” I hope to bring that reality to the forefront here at WorkCompCentral.
Q. What else is happening in terms of what you are doing to support injured workers?
A. Remember that WorkCompCentral offers free subscriptions to injured workers! Call 805-484-0333 and let us know you are an injured worker and we’ll get you set up with complimentary access. Also, there are some exciting things in the works that we’ll be announcing soon…new features designed just for injured workers, ways they can connect with each other and others in the industry. Stay tuned for more information on these new features coming soon.
And remember…nominations are still open for the 2019 Comp Laude® Awards & Gala — we extended the deadline. If you know someone like Billy who has a remarkable story to share, please nominate them ASAP! We’d love to recognize them later this year in Huntington Beach, CA.