2022 Webinar Series

Guest Speakers

Lorena Payne headshot

Lorena P. Payne, PT, MPA, OCS

Lorena P. Payne has worked with individuals and groups for the prevention and treatment of work-related injury for more than 30 years. She promotes healthy work habits in diverse settings, including health care, auto manufacturing, steel production, food processing, light manufacturing, ranching, construction, the service industry, and office environments. She completed her physical therapy education at Northern Arizona University in 1983, holds a graduate degree in public health administration from Grand Valley State University, and has been a board-certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy since 2000. She teaches occupational health physical therapy at the University of Montana. She has served in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as president of the Occupational Health Special Interest Group and president of the Montana chapter. Through volunteer work in under resourced areas of Ecuador, Lorena assists individuals with physical limitations to gain access to and involvement in meaningful work.

Lori Deal headshot

Lori Deal, PT, DPT

Lori Deal has worked in the occupational health arena for over 20 years. Her roles have included injury prevention and ergonomics consultation, physical therapy, disability accommodations, and return-to-work consulting for individuals and organizations. Her roles have focused on healthcare operations, quality improvement, and program development. She works with employers and professionals in and outside of healthcare to optimize healthcare services, with a focus in occupational health. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Biomolecular Science at Berry College in Georgia, and her master's and doctoral degrees in Physical Therapy at Pacific University in Oregon. She has served in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as nominating committee member and chair, in the Occupational Health Special Interest Group (OHSIG) and currently serves as one of the Oregon state liaisons to APTA for the OHSIG.

Michelle Despres headshot

Michelle Despres, PT, CEAS II

Michelle Despres is the Vice President of Business Development at One Call a leading provider of workers’ comp care management services. Michelle serves as a clinical liaison among payers, providers, and One Call’s internal teams, helping to strategize to continually improve return-to-work results. Michelle’s physical therapy expertise for the injured worker population includes on-site services, functional capacity evaluations (FCEs), work hardening, work conditioning, post offer employment testing, employer based initiatives, and ergonomic assessments. Nationally, Michelle provides customers with a clinical perspective on their physical therapy claims and delivers continuing education credit seminars on many physical therapy, ergonomics, and rehabilitation topics. Thought leadership includes presentations at RIMS, NWCDC, APTA Combined Sections Meeting and many other conferences around the country. Her work has been published in several publications including Public Risk, National Underwriter Property & Casualty and Workers’ Comp Magazine. Michelle’s knowledge has also been featured by multiple media outlets including: Good Morning America, Scripps Media News Stations, Parents Magazine, and USA Today.

Steve Allison headshot

Steve Allison, PT, DPT, CME

Dr. Allison is the Chief Executive Officer at Functional Capacity Experts, LLC located in Bossier City, Louisiana. He has a doctorate degree in PT and is a certified medical examiner for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and has been licensed to practice physical therapy for 29 years. Dr. Allison has focused his private practice to the sub-specialty areas of job analysis, essential job function validation, functional employment testing, functional capacity evaluations, disability management, and transitional work program development. He has presented both nationally and internationally about FCEs, job analysis, and post-offer and fitness-for-duty functional employment testing. He is currently serving as the Vice-President of the Occupational Health Special Interest Group for the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (AOPT). He served as the lead author of the FCE best practices guideline adopted by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in April 2018. He has also authored and/or contributed to other articles and post-professional continuing education monographs related to FCE, job analysis, and medical fit for duty. His more recent research activity is related to heart rate responses, rating of perceived exertion, and the use of work tolerance circuit testing in FCEs to validate a patient’s ability to safely perform functional activities over durations as defined in the ORS published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics under the U.S. Department of Labor. Steve has worked as an expert witness in claims related to workers’ compensation, personal injury, and disability discrimination (EEOC). He has been recognized in various federal courts and district courts in Louisiana as an expert in FCEs, job analysis, and orthopedic physical therapy.