New Mexico officer who overcame spinal cord injury takes top honor
Albuquerque, NM â€“ Nov. 1, 2017 â€“ Jeremy Romero survived a spinal cord injury, went back to work for the police department, and learned to walk again. And today, officer Romero is the 2017 Comp Laude Award winner.
Romero, whose story of determination and drive for independence has made national news and inspired thousands, received the highest award for an injured worker who made the biggest difference in the workers' compensation industry at the Comp Laude Awards Gala, Oct. 31 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, Calif.
Presented by workers' comp industry news site WorkCompCentral, the Comp Laude Awards are designed to recognize integrity, excellence and success in the field. Each year, nominations are received and reviewed by a panel of industry judges who make the final determination for honorees.
For Romero, the award is a symbol of his perseverance since surviving a devastating car crash while on duty three years ago. The injury left Romero near death and paralyzed from the waist down. After several back surgeries and months of intensive rehabilitation, Romero was still confined to a wheelchair and given just a five-percent chance of walking again.
With the help of Genex Services case management to navigate through the complexities of managed care and assistive technology, Romero became the first American worker injured in the line of duty to receive funding for an exoskeleton device.
After regular use of the exoskeleton, Romero can now stand and walk again and has been able to wean off opioids, antidepressants and hypertension medication. He has also regained mobility in his upper thighs. Romero is not only living a more productive life with his family, but is also running for sheriff of Guadalupe County, NM. If elected, he'll be the first sheriff in the U.S. with quadriplegia. His experience had been recently chronicled in the video, â€œThe Rise of a Real-life Robocop.â€
â€œJeremy's story showcases the triumph of the human spirit in his fight for survival, physical and psychosocial challenges of adapting to life after spinal cord injury and determination to walk again through the use of an exoskeleton device,â€ said Yvonne Guibert, Comp Laude conference organizer.
â€œWinning the Comp Laude Award is very rewarding,â€ said Romero. â€œIt's inspiring to come here and see other injured workers and people with mental and physical disabilities facing and overcoming adversities to move their lives forward. It's a team effort that involves case managers, medical personnel and other workers' comp professionals.â€
Also feted at the event was Beverley Brown, RN, CRRN, CCM, of Genex's Miramar, FL, branch, who was named to the Comp Laude Honor Roll for Case Managers. Brown, a recent winner of Genex's Heart of Case Management Awards, was selected for her diligence in discovering a patient had developed deep vein thrombosis from a non-work-related life-threatening clotting disorder.
Mark Pew, Senior Vice President of PRIUM, a division of Genex, was among the elite chosen for the Comp Laude Honor Roll for Industry Leader. Pew, who was presented with the distinguished Summa Comp Laude Award last year by WorkCompCentral, has been a driving force in the industry's efforts to manage the overutilization of prescription drugs, particularly opioids.
About Genex Services, LLC
Genex Services (www.genexservices.com) is the trusted provider of managed care services enabling clients to transform their bottom lines while enhancing the lives of injured and disabled workers. Genex is a managed care leader with more than 2,900 employees and 41 service locations throughout North America. The company serves the top underwriters of workers' compensation, automobile, disability insurance, third-party administrators and a significant number of Fortune 500 employers. In addition, Genex is the only company that delivers high-quality clinical services enhanced by intelligent systems and 360-degree data analysis. The company consistently drives superior results related to medical, wage loss, and productivity costs associated with claims in the workers' compensation, disability, automobile, and health care systems.
PRIUM (www.prium.com), a division of Genex Services, is a leader in the market for workers' compensation medical interventions through a collaborative physician engagement process encompassing evidence-based medicine, clinical oversight, and jurisdictional guidelines to ensure optimal financial and clinical outcomes. PRIUM's ability to secure higher agreement rates with physicians to modify treatment plans and ensure compliance is unmatched. The hallmark of the medical intervention company's success is to eliminate unnecessary treatment through a comprehensive approach that includes complex medical interventions, utilization reviews, and independent medical exams.