Monday, May 22, 2017

Hard and soft skills

Even my most seasoned executives often overlook the importance of including soft skills in their resumes, biographies, and profiles. This is your opportunity to share a bit of your personality and make your resume come alive! If you are looking for work, including soft skills will make you stand out from other candidates.  If you are looking to grow your network, land more clients or do more business, soft skills are what make the difference between you and a competitor.  Here is a straightforward graphic that spells out the difference between soft and hard skills. Both are equally important!

Mary Sherwood, MS, CDMS, CCM
Certified Disability Management Specialist
Landline: 302.644.1827 | Mobile:  410.444.1989 | Fax: 302.258.0856                                                
Let’s Connect: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog | Schedule Time
FYI:  We have Medical and Vocational Case Managers all over the US – if you have a need, contact us first!

If you haven’t already, please check out our niche products providing added value to employers and powerful tools for settlement!:  WorkPlace Solutions

I handle Delmarva Peninsula and the area immediately around the Chesapeake Bay, I work well with both defense and plaintiff attorneys and can handle any file in Baltimore or DC if requested – I never bill more than 2 hours travel.

Pat Highcove and Dane Crook are both based in Maryland and each have over 20 years of experience and excellent reputations with both defense and plaintiff attorneys.  Primarily they handle Baltimore and DC, but can do parts of Western MD, Southern PA, Northern VA, and Western NJ if needed.  Pat is a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, Dane is a Certified Disability Management Specialist.

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Workplace Solutions that work for everyone


As an employer or supporting professional, you naturally want to do all you can to resolve your workplace issues, claims or productivity concerns in a timely, cost-effective fashion. The good news is we are here to help!
We offer a range of services to help you address concerns in the workplace, not currently addressed by vocational rehab, EAP, or disability programs. Our experienced consultants can provide you or your workers with the information necessary to put your concerns to rest.
JOB READINESS TRAINING is an inexpensive and interactive job readiness guide along with a 4-week job readiness training program. Through this program, an injured worker who cannot return to work learns how to search for and apply to jobs, build a resume and cover letter, and learn interviewing skills to give them the knowledge they need to return to work after an injury or disability.
LABOR MARKET SNAPSHOT can be used to aid in settlement and may allow you to close your files without formal vocational involvement. This service can be used in conjunction with Job Readiness training to document the employer’s interest in returning the worker to the workforce.
TRANSITIONAL EMPLOYMENT provides assistance in planning for a return to work after an injury or disability (or other absence).  This customized program will achieve a safe and successful return to work.
CRITICAL INCIDENT STRESS DEBRIEFING: It seems that “Critical Incidents” are becoming more and more common, even in industries where there isn’t much-perceived risk involved. Naturally, employers may not be trained to help themselves or their employees when a catastrophic event happens at work or to a well-regarded employee.
SYSTEMATIC DESENSITIZATION can be requested when we are not the first called at the time of trauma, and it may be days, weeks, or months later when employers recognize that an employee is ailing. Our staff can intercede briefly to identify and remove obstacles that are interfering with productivity.
ERGONOMIC ASSESSMENTS keep workers where they should be - at work and being productive! Can also be useful tools in new hiring and with workers returning to the workplace following injury/illness.
ADA ASSESSMENTS help ensure the employer is doing everything possible to maintain compliance.
Tapping into these resources will further demonstrate the employer’s commitment and foresight of addressing concerns proactively and mitigating or avoiding claims. We work cooperatively with other companies, and work with the adjuster, assigned nurse case manager or vocational counselor to make sure they have the tools and resources needed to resolve their cases quickly. PROS is always available to assist you in any way possible.

Need help on a claim covered by a national carrier? No problem! We can tap into our network of trained consultants and are affiliated with national and regional vocational service providers. Still not sure if we can help? - just email or call to talk about it. Or, if you prefer, let's meet in person.

116 FRONT ST, UNIT 737, LEWES, DE 19958

PHONE 410.444.1989
FAX 302.258.0856

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Maryland Joint Task Force for Injured Workers Annual Conference

Maryland Joint Task Force for Injured Workers
Also sponsored by:
International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals     
& Coppin State University
The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

June 6, 2017
8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Medical Breakthroughs in Treatment and Technology have allowed more options to medical patients and options for our clients than ever before.  What are the benefits and drawbacks of parties employing the latest in treatment practices?  What are the challenges?  How do we improve the way we educate ourselves, the injured workers, employers, and adjusters? What about controversial treatments such as medical marijuana, opioids, and botox?  Employer, industry standards, client, and individual proclivities may impact our ability to focus on the Injured Worker and ensure they are returned to functional, working life.  Are we keeping up? How can we learn from each other? Other industries?  What makes sense?  We hope you will help answer some of these questions and more. PARKING LOTS G & H (Lot F - overflow).

CCM l CRC l CDMS l Mandatory MD WCC CEUs Confirmed. Request Documentation for POST APPROVAL for other Certifications from Mary Sherwood Sevinsky.


Practical information that is essential for Claims Adjustors, Nurse Case Managers, Vocational Counselors, Attorneys, Doctors, Therapists and everyone working with injured workers in the State of Maryland. FAX TO: Attention Donna Keegan 410.554.6849 if necessary.




Title (circle one): 

Workers Comp Professionals $50, Adjusters Free, Students Free

Send Checks to: Donna Keegan   2127 Stillwater Court Eldersburg, MD 21784

Questions or Accommodations:

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Registration, Breakfast and Visit with Exhibitors

Attendees will be asked to visit with each exhibitor to determine the scope of their service or practice and to ask them questions specific to their work or the attendee’s case needs.

8:30 – 9:00 AM         Welcome with an overview of the Conference theme and rationale for the importance of keeping abreast of constant changes in treatments, technology, acceptable practices. Special message from nationally recognized orthopedic surgeon, Dr. David Hanscom.

9:00 – 9:30 AM         Legislative Update William Levasseur Esq Recent WCC Legislation and Rules Mr.  Levasseur will provide a brief update on changes in the legislation about Maryland Workers’ Compensation and introduce our main speakers.

Community Service Presentations:   Ancillary programs that may augment work with Maryland injured workers                                        
Coppin State University – School of Professional Studies, Dr. Spry Welcome Message
Kid’s Chance               Patricia Highcove, MS, CRC, CVE, CCM

We Provide College Scholarships to the Children of Maryland's Seriously Injured Workers

Every year, thousands of workers are disabled by on-the-job injuries in Maryland.On average, about 50 workers in Maryland lose their lives every year. It is the families and the children who are many times forgotten when these losses occur. Kids’ Chance of Maryland, Inc. provides an opportunity for these children to pursue their education, reach their goals, and fulfill their dreams for the future.

Friends of Workforce Technology Ctr        Thomas D. Scheurich, M.S., M.G.A.
Friends was founded 31 years ago on Jan. 24, 1985. The Friends organization supports the mission of the WTC. Members of the Friends organization volunteer their time and talents to make life for students here at WTC a little better. We provide help, usually financial, for those extra needs that WTC cannot pay for. Funds raised go to augment Workforce Technology Center, in part, are used to:

- Emergency assistance for WTC students’ special needs (BGE, Auto Repairs)
- Recreational activities: community trips, leisure activities, student dances.
- New/replacement equipment: Big Screen TV, Exercise equipment.

9:30 AM – 10:00 AM     Break: Visit with Exhibitors and Refreshments

10:00 – 10:45 AM         Roy J. Film, PT, OCS, CEAS, FAAOMPT – Manual Physical Therapy

10:45 – 11:15 PM         Visit with Exhibitors and Refreshments

11:15 – 11:45 PM         A day in the life of Dr. Reichmeister, MD WCC Medical Director

11:45 – 12:00 PM         Allison Broadwater, St. Jude –  Prodigy Spinal Column Stimulator

12:00 – 12:45               Dr. Jason Brokaw – Medical Marijuana, Botox, and Opioids

12:45  - 1:00                 Closing remarks                                                            


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Maryland Joint Task Force ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017

Maryland Joint Task Force & Chesapeake Association of Rehabilitation Professionals in the Private Sector

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2017                                                      

Sponsored by:
International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals
& Coppin State University
 The College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

At Coppin State University Talon Center 
June 6, 2017
8:30 am to 12:30 pm

Description:  Medical Breakthroughs in Treatment and Technology have allowed us to offer more treatment options to medical patients and options for our clients than ever before.  What are the benefits and drawbacks of parties employing the latest in treatment practices?  What are the challenges?  How do we improve the way we educate ourselves, the injured workers, employers, and adjusters? What about controversial treatments such as medical marijuana, Opioids, and Botox?  Employer, industry standards, client, and individual proclivities may impact our ability to focus on the Injured Worker and ensure they are returned to functional, working life.  Are we keeping up? How can we learn from each other? Other industries?  What makes sense?  We hope you will help answer some of these questions and more.

CCM l CRC l CDMS l Mandatory MD WCC CEUs Provided. Request Documentation for POST APPROVAL for other Certifications from Mary Sherwood Sevinsky.

Practical information that is essential for Claims Adjustors, Nurse Case Managers, Vocational Counselors, Attorneys, Doctors, Therapists and anyone working with injured workers in the State of Maryland.

For more information, email

Saturday, July 23, 2016

How to deal with a work injury

     You are most likely a hard worker who wants nothing but to get back to work.  You may have been in the same job for a long time.  You may fear or have already been told that you will not be able to return to work in the same position. Ever.  What can you do?  What should you do?

     Fear is often at the core of most unexpected change and an unexpected work injury is no different.  During the initial phases of an injury medical treatment and your job security may be unclear.  The more you can do to clarify your situation, the better you can plan your next steps.

     So, what should you do if you have been laid off?

·                     Stay in constant communication with your employer - it is important that they understand that you want to come back to work as quickly as possible.
·                     Arrange all documents you receive in a folder in order of oldest to most recent.
·                     Keep a journal of all conversations and events - include dates, times, location, expenses, mileage, a summary of what was said or done.
·                     Ask questions and take notes of the answers - write the questions or concerns down as they come to you; you won't remember them at your next meeting.
·                     Take stock of the resources you do have - including your support system; make a list of resources you may still need.
·                     If you have been injured, understand your state's Workers' Compensation Laws.
Do you need an attorney?  A good attorney can help in almost any circumstance and most do not charge for an initial consultation - in most jurisdictions attorneys are paid on contingency (meaning only if you win your case), or from the funds that they are able to get for you.

Another emotion that often enters into the picture when someone is unemployed is grief.  Grief over the loss of:

·                     Function/Physical ability – It can be frustrating, scary isolating, difficult… there are no words that can really cover everyone’s experience if you have suffered a debilitating injury.
·                     Job - in our culture we frequently identify who we are by what we do; when faced with a job loss, it is common to mourn the loss of identity.
·                     Routine – As adults we structure our entire lives around our work schedule and can experience a deep sense of loss of security.

Men often express fear in the form of anger, as they are often not used to discussing emotions.  Women may withdraw and become depressed. The resulting relationship issues are, needless to say, are not necessarily beneficial to healing or the return to work process!

       Acknowledging and labeling these feelings goes a long way toward being able to discuss and work through them.  It can be a great relief just to have someone say “I hear you.” or “I know exactly what you are saying.” or “You have been through a lot.”  Just the validation of what you are feeling from another person can help so much.   What else can you do?  Grief often progresses through stages - not always in the same way, order, or time frames.  However, you may find the following helpful.  Revisit the next section periodically to assess how you are doing and to remind yourself of coping strategies!

Like any loss, a job loss often results in a feeling of grief. Eventually you must mourn the loss of the job and all that it provided: Security, money, self-esteem, status, identity, etc. If you are a new grad or are returning to the work force, you might be grieving the loss or change of a dream or expectation – “shouldn’t I have a job by now” is a common sentiment.

I like this model for dealing with loss. It is similar to the traditional model for understanding grief - the Kubler-Ross Model. But this model provides two additional, more positive stages.  Here is a link to the full model:  7 stages for moving BEYOND the grief. ( 

1.     SHOCK & DENIAL-
In this stage you will feel generally numb – this serves as a coping mechanism to protect you from what may be very overwhelming. If you have recently lost your job you may be unable to think about how you feel about that loss.  It may be difficult to imagine what you will do, and so forth. This stage keeps you moving forward physically and ensures you will meet all your basic needs. 

What you can do: You should take this opportunity to breathe. Literally.  Keep a notebook with you during this, and the following stages. Write EVERYTHING down.  Write down the smallest thoughts and feelings as they come to mind.  Let yourself be emotional and feel.  The worst thing you can do is to block yourself off from your emotions. To refocus:  Keep a separate section for any positive thoughts or ideas that come to mind. You will find comfort in these as you move through the various stages.

2.     PAIN & GUILT-
Pain and heart-break are laced with guilt in this stage. You may relate this period to a lost love from which you suffered in the past.  Self-blame is common: You may feel that you are not worthy or must have deserved your current circumstance.

What you can do: Accept comfort and seek out others who care about you and/or who have had similar experiences. If you know of someone who is currently working through this process themselves - reach out to them.  To refocus:  Think about when you have experienced similar feelings – what helped?  What didn’t?  Repeat those things or techniques that are tried and true.

Anger is normal. You may reach this stage pretty quickly after a job loss, whether through lay-off, illness, injury or takeover. Accept this, express it, but be aware of how you do so – you may need the help of those closest to you during the next days, weeks, and/or months.

What you can do: If it helps, scream into a pillow or an empty field (if you have one available).  You may pound your fists on the bed or jump up and down in a tantrum if you are able.  Sometimes you just need to physically express your anger to get through it.  If you are a religious person, you might find yourself pleading with your higher power at this point.    To refocus:  Continue to write in your notebook (call it a journal if you want).  Ask yourself what you are angry about.  Return to the section of your notebook in which you wrote any positive ideas or thoughts for your return to work or just in general.

It is important for you to “feel” how you feel. You are likely to feel depressed and lonely. You are cut off from your normal social network. The bottom line is just the act of getting up, dressed, out to work every day, and  interacting with others gives you some social and emotional support that is felt missing at this point. You should allow these feelings, recognize them, and think about what support you need going forward.

What you can do: If you are feeling depressed or lonely, take this time to be alone and think about your current situation.  If you feel too lonely, seek out others who you respect and/or have a positive, supportive nature. To refocus: Take stock of your assets (literally and figuratively).  These may include your skills and abilities as well as your financial assets. 

Eventually you will find a rhythm in your recuperation and/or job search and networking and will feel some sort of calm and organization. You may flash back occasionally to feelings of guilt when you realize this. Understand that this is the first step in moving beyond your grief from the loss of your job and that it is entirely NORMAL.

What you can do: Have a goal, complete with time frame and steps that you can take toward that goal.  Make your goal more specific and meaningful than “Get a job.”   For example, will you settle for any job right now and then move on to find a better one?  Or, do you have the resources to spend several months to search for a job at a given level?  To refocus:  Write down your goal and when you want to achieve it (it can be modified if necessary). Develop a schedule (also in writing) that will allow you to reach your goal.  Review your schedule and goal daily.   

As you begin the upward turn, you will eventually be able to think about where you want to be and what type of job you might like to have. For many, this is the first time they have had the opportunity to consider what type of job they might like to do and/or what they ENJOY. Many note that the lay-off, downsizing, or job change was the best thing that could have happened because it forced them to look at what is out there relative to what they have to offer. 

What you can do: Keep writing in your notebook and re-evaluate your progress and which goals you want to keep on a weekly basis. What is working?  What is not getting you the interviews you need to get hired? Try to use a critical eye; if this is difficult, seek the help of a vocational or career expert or a mentor.

Eventually, you will be able to accept that you may not be the same exact person you were before your “loss”, but somehow you are the best you can be. You have made the most of what life has to offer. You are able to move forward, seeking and finding other employment opportunities. It isn’t easy, but it is possible, even if it doesn’t seem so right now. 

What you can do:  You will gain confidence and hope from your activity.  Stay organized and act on every lead as soon as possible without being overly hasty.  Note anything positive that happens during the day, whether or not it is job search related.  Make your plan for the next day so that you have something to look forward to.

You may not progress neatly through these stages, but most people will experience some level of each stage.  Treat this part of your life as a leg of a journey, secure in the knowledge that you will end up where you need to be.  Come back to this section periodically to assess where you are and remind yourself of coping tips.

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