In honor of Independence Day, Ametros will be closed on Monday, July 4th, 2022!

‘Adjusting’ to an Empathetic Resolution Model with Greg Hamlin

 

 

Greg Hamlin (00:00):

I really, really firmly believe that if you treat people right, and you do right, and you go the extra mile, good things come of that. And that you can get caught up in saving a dime and end up losing your arm. <Laugh>, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative> because of how you treated people.

Shawn Deane (00:18):

Welcome to It's Settled: The Ametros Podcast. Each episode, we're going to dig into the humanity in workers' compensation and insurance claims, exploring the stories of injured people and those who support them as well as the good work professionals are doing in the industry. And now I invite you to join me, Shawn Dean General Counsel of Ametros, and the host of It's Settled. Now it's settled. Let's get onto the episode.

Shawn Deane (01:02):

We're here with Greg Hamlin and the tables have turned, I guess, where you go from podcast host to podcast guest. So probably a little bit of a different dynamic for you, but I'm sure is equally as exciting and fun for you. So welcome, Greg. Really, really nice to have you and appreciate your time today.

Greg Hamlin (01:22):

Thanks Shawn. Glad to be here. It's gonna be a nice break to not have to be the one thinking of all the questions. So great. For those who don't know me, I'm the Senior Vice President of Claims for Berkley Industrial Comp. And I also do a workers' comp podcast called 'ADJUSTED.'

Shawn Deane (01:40):

And everyone in the industry loves it. And so do I. I'm a total fanboy of yours, so it's like my first celebrity guest on here.

Greg Hamlin (01:50):

<Laugh>

Shawn Deane (01:51):

We were talking right before we came on. I had a long flight, but I don't have you beat on the energy front because you have six kids. So I'm sipping green tea for the viewers at home. They can't see Greg has some exotic Monster drink happening.

Greg Hamlin (02:12):

I can't, you know, so my oldest is 17. I've got a daughter, that's a junior, she's about to be a senior. And then I have kids all the way down to three months old. So my sleep is a valuable thing and there's a lot of caffeine in my diet. Unfortunately...

Shawn Deane (02:26):

That's amazing. I don't know how you have time to do it. So for folks who may not know you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came into the comp world. Most of the folks I talked to and I would love for the script to be flipped, flipped a little bit, but most people I talked to say that comp found them that they didn't find comp and someday, hopefully, you know, 10, 20, 30 years from now, we can find that the next generation of folks, you know, they, they where they sought out comp, but how did you get involved in the industry?

Greg Hamlin (03:04):

So I would love to say that in first grade for my show, until I dressed up like an insurance guy, but I did not. <Laugh> So I actually worked for Indiana university while I was going to school there doing non-for profit fundraising and really, really enjoyed that. What I, what I loved about it is I always felt like I was able to make a difference because I knew I was raising money for scholarships so that people could get an education. And I believe that when you become educated or further your education, you're able to further yourself and help other people. And so I absolutely loved that. Did it for four years, all the way through school running a call center eventually. And during that time I met my wife and we got married and we actually had a baby while I was a senior in college.

Greg Hamlin (03:53):

And so if you can imagine you know, trying to have a young family while you're both students, we obviously knew we needed to like figure out the next thing. And so I sat down with the director of the IU foundation to talk about like, well, what would be my path here? And he's like, Greg, you've already got a baby man. Are you gonna have more? And I said, my wife jokingly says she wants 10. And he said, you gotta get outta here. So, he said 'take the same skills you've got and go to the career fair, find some business and get engaged in that.' And so that's exactly what I did. I went to a career fair at Indiana University, found Liberty Mutual. They trained me and I found what I found in comp that I loved in fundraising was again, I felt like I was making a difference and you're helping people, which is really what we do.

Shawn Deane (04:45):

So what was your career trajectory from then? Were you a claims handler? How did you sort of find your way?

Greg Hamlin (04:52):

Yeah, so I started out in national market workers' compensation, doing really large accounts. Like at that time it was Northwest Airlines and Sears, and then later UPS. So these were big, huge accounts, very demanding. And I did that for about six years and then took a promotion and moved my family to Cincinnati where I was a supervisor of a team at Ohio Casualty; Liberty had bought them. And so I went there, built out their team there and did some commercial liability too, which was a big change and then had the opportunity to go run the state fund in Kentucky's claims program Kemi. So that was I felt like each of those steps were huge growing experiences for me in new challenges in each place. And now I've been with Berkley Industrial Comp for almost four years now.

Shawn Deane (05:51):

Cool. So I talked to a lot of folks in the comp industry and I had this conversation specifically with Kristen Chavez, last podcast. And unfortunately it seems to be there's sort of a pervasive, overarching perception that is from the public. And frankly it's seeped into pop culture that workers' compensation is viewed in sort of two negative lights. It's either there is an employee who's trying to gain the system and they're trying to not work and just get, you know, a free ride or there's an employer/carrier side is just trying to deny benefits, trying to give someone a hard time, make it incredibly adversarial. And as we progress as an industry and if you work in the industry, we know, well, frankly, that's just not true, but there's been an increase in empathy and wanting to emphasize, taking care of an injured individual. And that's often what we talk about on the podcast, especially when we highlight injured individuals and their journey. I'd be curious to know if you agree with that sentiment, that sort of at least the outside world's perception and how you've seen that because you've been in the comp world for so long, how have you seen that change? And maybe some things that are going on right now where there's more of an emphasis on this empathetic model of claims handling and resolution.

Greg Hamlin (07:48):

Well, so I certainly would agree with you on I think there's a perception and some of that's real, some of that we've created for ourselves, right? In that you know, obviously we're not maybe all the state funds, but for sure, the insurance companies, you know, we are for profit and having come from non-for-profit, those are different types of ways of looking at things. But I don't think that they have to live in separate worlds. And I think that's, I guess, where maybe my mindset's a little different, maybe that has something to do with the background that I've come up through, but I really, really firmly believe that if you treat people right, and you do right and you go the extra mile, good things come of that, and that you can get caught up in saving a dime and end up losing your arm.

Greg Hamlin (08:38):

<Laugh>, you know, mm-hmm, <affirmative> because of how you treated people and a perfect example, and I'm comfortable sharing this one because you know when I was at the state fund, we took over a bunch of claims that were from a group fund that went under. So they don't even exist anymore. But the claims handlers at the time, when we took these claims, one of these claims, they had a compound cream, which you know, they mix a bunch of things together, put it in a cream, usually they're medications that can be taken orally. You would put it on a body part and they're awfully awfully expensive. And there's very little clinical data to show that they're helpful. So obviously our goal is to do right and try to find the right solutions for the person. And so I had worked with the adjuster to reach out and let's understand what the needs are, and let's find out if it's helping them and all of these kinds of things, and this injured worker said, "I'm gonna be honest with you,

Greg Hamlin (09:33):

when I had my injury, this medication was denied. I fought to get it approved. I'm not even using it. I've got a closet full of these things and I'm gonna fill it each month. And each month put it in my closet just to stick it to you because of how badly you treated me. Now, it wasn't our company, right? We took these over from somebody else, but sure. It was really clear to me that we had created not we, but the insurance industry for this individual had created a situation where she was totally ticked off and ready to prove to the world that she was gonna get hers. And I think it's really hard when we create those kinds of relationships to get good outcomes and it ends up costing everybody a whole lot more money. So I think we start with empathy.

Greg Hamlin (10:17):

We start with listening, we start with slowing down. I think the other problem is I think people there's a perception of, well, if I'm nice or if I'm listening and caring, then that also means that I'm a pushover. And you know, again, being a dad of six kids, if every time they did something wrong, I took their phone away and grounded 'em and did whatever other mean things I could think of to punish them. We wouldn't get very far. Right. And of course there are times that it's like, you gotta be serious about stuff, but you have to build relationships with trust and it's important.

Shawn Deane (10:56):

Yeah, for sure. What, what about the ways you've seen how we as a claims industry interface with injured individuals because comp is a statutory creature. Yep. That's different in all 50 states, that's often presented in. And I'm a lawyer by background and I've seen a lot of communication from claim handlers to injured individuals and it's very formalized and it's very boiler plate and oftentimes complicated to digest for a layperson. Have you seen things change in that arena too? Because I'm just thinking about the empathetic sort of resolution model that seems to be adopted. Like not only is it in the way we have a conversation with an individual, but it's also the way we engage them. And oftentimes it's in writing.

Greg Hamlin (12:02):

Yeah. And I think we have to remember for most of our injured workers, they have not been through something like this before. And a lot of them do not have college educations, at least a lot of the ones we insure, our blue collar workers, hard workers, smart guys. But you know, before I got into worker's compensation, all of these statutes were confusing to me. So if you can imagine someone who has had no experience to it with it, that's really frustrating. And so one of the things we did, and this was actually one of the adjusters on my team suggested this, is let's take a look at our letters and our communications and let's rewrite them, let's start with empathy. And then let's explain the process as best as we possibly can so that they understand our goal is to get you the benefits that you're entitled to.

Greg Hamlin (12:58):

That's our goal. And to do that, we need cooperation on these pieces. And so we make sure we tell them right from the start, one that we understand that they were hurt, that we understand it's frustrating. And then, then we walk through. So we wanna make sure that you're getting your checks timely, and to get that we need your work status. So if you can help us with that and provide that, that will ensure that we get your benefits to you timely. So we go through each of these things, whether it's direct deposit, so you don't have to wait on a check. You know, I think what I keep doing with my adjusters is saying, okay, put yourself in their shoes and imagine you didn't get the check. Like, imagine if we get paid Friday, if we were getting paid today and it didn't show up, there's not a lot of people who wouldn't be upset. Right. So, you know, I don't think that those are hard things to think about, but somehow when you're doing it every day, we can kind of almost become callous to the fact that these people have families and lives when they're trying to take care of those things. And most people are really trying to do the right thing.

Shawn Deane (13:58):

Yeah. I, I agree. And it seems like we've already landed on the theme of empathy and helping people. And I think that is really critical, hopefully it's critical to all generations, but it seems to be especially important to the younger generations as they come up and are selecting their career paths. It seems like altruism is just big and important to them. And I'm so thankful for that. I'm four kids less than you, but you know, I'm with you there. And I hope my children select career paths, that where they are driven by a desire to make a difference in people's lives. And unfortunately, I think the other misperception about the industry is that it's someone in a business casual, drab attire in a dimly lit room. It's artificially lighted at an old metal desk with an antiquated computer, with a catheter rate tube monitor and just typing away. And it's just purely administrative. And if that perception is held by a younger generation, they're probably not gonna want to try to explore careers in insurance. Because I mean, you jokingly at the beginning, someone came in and did a career day and if you probably guessed how they dressed, they'd probably look like how I describe it. So, what do you think are some ways to change that perception within the existing team structure we have with younger adjusters? How do you sort of get 'em out of that? I don't know if rut is the best word, but just change, change the model there.

Greg Hamlin (16:11):

That's a great question. I think we have to start with understanding. We have to do a better job of clarifying what our, why is. Cause I don't think we do a very good job of that. So if we tell kids that are coming out of college, that your, why is to create ROE, think about that. That's not really a driver for somebody out of college. Okay. Right then we're gonna have a hard time, one getting them engaged, two, retaining them. Now, going back to my example at the university, my why every day was I knew no matter how hard it got, I was trying to raise money so that somebody could get an education. And then with that education, hopefully their life would change. So that was a great why. So every day when I woke up, I knew what I was doing and why I was doing it.

Greg Hamlin (16:58):

And when it got hard, I knew why I was gonna push through the hard parts. So with our adjusters, I think we need to start there and go back and say, well, why do we exist and what are they doing to move that forward? And I think if you explain that your why is to help people get back, get healed, get back to work, get back to being able to do and have the things in their life that are important to them, provide safety and security for their employer so that they can keep their job moving forward. I think those are easier things to relate to. So we have to go back and look at that a little bit. I think there's been a fear to do that because well, if we do that, then that's gonna cost a whole lot of money and it really doesn't cost a lot of money to care about people, it costs time. So that means you probably need to think about lower caseloads. And I guess that could cost some money, but I believe firmly that if you have the time to do the right thing, you're gonna get better outcomes anyway, and those decisions are gonna lead to, you know, it might be hard to quantify, but thousands of dollars that are gonna be saved because we're doing the right thing.

Shawn Deane (18:15):

So can you talk a little bit about the creation of the business engagement team?

Greg Hamlin (18:20):

Absolutely. Absolutely. So this was something that I've been experimenting with for a while. Back in 2019, we changed our approach to how we handled what I guess would typically be called admin work. And the reason for that is I believe, and I still believe that one of the things computers and systems analytics do great is data entry, you know, those types of things where you know, you populate something into a form. Those types of jobs in our lifetime are likely to be gone. When you start to think about text to voice ability and all the cool things that are being worked on but what computers don't do well is build relationships with people. You know, maybe people, some people probably are in relationships with their phones, but <laugh> for the most part you know, we you know people crave human interaction.

Greg Hamlin (19:19):

And I think what we really saw during COVID is that people were isolated and how much we missed each other. Yeah. How much we missed human interaction. And so what we decided to do is let's open that up and let's use interns for people. So people, some of our students are in college right now, while they're working. Some of 'em go to school at night. Some of 'em are working 25 hours a week in between classes. So we're getting exposure to the current college population right now in this customer experience. And yes, today there's still filling something out. There are still some employees where they're filling boxes out. There's some new business on the underwriting side that they're filling things out. And that's probably gonna be the case for a while. As technology continues to kind of catch up with where we need to head, but what it's doing is giving exposure to them, to the insurance industry on both the claims and underwriting side.

Greg Hamlin (20:15):

And then we've also brought in people with customer service backgrounds. Maybe they haven't finished their degree, maybe they're 38 and they're an amazing flight attendant, or they're an amazing Bed Bath and Beyond customer service person. We hired somebody from Publix. So maybe they have more maturity than maybe a college student would have, and maybe a little less education, but they have experience with dealing with people who are upset or dealing with difficult conversations. And I think that mix together has worked really well for us. We've had people promoted in the last three years since we've created it in both underwriting claims and finance. And what we've seen is the people in that unit really enjoy having the exposure to all the different parts of what makes an insurance company work. And we don't see it as a place where you live. We see it as a place that you learn, you gain experience, and then you kind of advance to the place that you feel you gravitate towards. So I think it's a really innovative way to look at how we think about the future. And I'm excited about where it's heading, time will tell I guess, over the next few years if it continues to do what we're hoping.

Shawn Deane (21:29):

I think that's amazing. And I think it also allows for different career pathing for someone too, because when you mention to someone, 'Hey, have you thought about a career in insurance or have you thought about a career in workers' compensation?' They think, okay, I'm gonna be a desk level adjuster and there's nothing wrong with that. I work with incredible desk level adjusters. Folks who've only been on the job a year. Folks who've been doing it for 20 years and are getting ready to phase out. And they keep the lights on and keep the claims process going. But, you mentioned it too, like underwriting, marketing, management roles, even on the medical side of the legal side, there's a huge variety of potential options for someone to plug themselves into in the claims world where it's not just gonna be at a desk with a caseload of 300 and having to you know, just slog away at that. I think it's a more dynamic industry than people think. I know a lot of really creative people on the marketing side. Yep. Who do really incredible things. I mean, you and I, I'm more on the periphery. But you have a podcast.

Greg Hamlin (22:57):

Right, right. And you know, the guy, the person who edits our podcast actually is going to school right now. He's taking classes at night. He started as an intern for us, and then now he is a full-time employee and just continued his studies at night. But like, he went through that business engagement program that we're talking about. And he's the guy who learned how to edit and is doing that. So we didn't go to market and go hire an editor. We just looked internally and said, 'Hey, this guy's really good at computers. And he's smart. This would be fun for him to do something different.' So I think we need to be more open minded about getting people experiences.

Shawn Deane (23:38):

And so speaking of the podcast, what was the impetus behind that, you know, one day were you just 'Hey, I want a podcast.'

Greg Hamlin (23:47):

No, well I am a nerd and I listened to a lot of podcasts so that I was already doing that. But at the time our marketing department came to me and said, 'Hey, Greg, we really would like you to do a podcast on claims.' And at the time I think they were wanting more like stories of injured workers. And we've done a few of those. But like, those are harder to do in that we have to have a release from your worker and they have to be comfortable sharing it and they have to be unrepresented. So there's a lot of things that have to line up. But I said, I do think there's a place for this. And and I'm willing to do it. And then from there, thinking about, well, what do we name it? And we actually had the entire company just submit names and we put 'em all through.

Greg Hamlin (24:31):

And so the name 'ADJUSTED' actually came from another intern that was a business engagement person. So, you know, I'm really big about empowering people to come up with ideas to make things work. I don't assume I have all the answers. We've got the person who does the blog for our podcast as a manager out in Las Vegas who really likes podcasts. And she's like, 'Hey, I'd love to, to do the blog part.' So I think it's been a fun ride. We've really tried to keep the mindset of the podcast around what's moving the needle, what's making a difference. You know, and who are the people who are challenging the status quo. Because if we do things the way that they've always been done, then we're really going to fall into the same traps that we've been in. And there's always some risk to try something new, but I think it's more fun, to try something new and see where it goes.

Shawn Deane (25:26):

Totally. And, and I think it's a way to reach a different audience. Even if it's one or two people who may have a misperception of worker's compensation or what it's like, I'll be honest. It was the height of COVID and I was just too isolated. So I wanted to talk to people.

Greg Hamlin (25:50):

Right, right.

Shawn Deane (25:51):

And engage with people. And I pitched it to our amazing marketing crew and they said, 'yeah, absolutely. If you wanna host it, let's go for it.' But for me too, you know, we're, we're at Ametros and we serve injured individuals, post-settlement. And some of the stories you know, our tag is that every injured individual has a story that deserves to be told. And they're really moving. And unfortunately in our industry, and I think there's been a lot of good organizations like Comp Laude and things like that who have shined a light on them. And even Kids' Chance that I'm a part of. Talk about scholarships for deserving folks.

Shawn Deane (26:40):

You know I think injured Individuals' stories are often underrepresented in the conversation at workers' compensation. So I mean, kudos to you for bringing them into the fold. That was one of our primary drivers, you know, 'Hey, let's, let's tell injured individual stories, and let's also talk to people like yourself who are working to make a difference in their lives.' I think if we keep coming back to this word, empathy, and it comes up so much on all the episodes I have with folks who are in in the workers' compensation space, trying to help people, but it also comes up on the injured individual side. You can tell when injured individuals have a good claims experience, even if it was a catastrophic injury, life-changing injury, if they have a good experience, it came back to people who cared about them on the claim side.

Shawn Deane (27:40):

And I think we have to keep promoting that if not you know, we're looking at a pretty big Exodus, I think because of folks phasing out and, and I'm very interested in your thoughts on what we can do to fill in the attrition of folks. We're gonna lose a lot of institutional technical knowledge. Because I think initially the answer was technology. We're gonna bring in technology, but you hit the nail on the head. Great. We're gonna be able to crunch numbers, enter data, aggregate data, present data, and streamline some, some maybe for lack of a better word, boring and mechanical processes, but you're not gonna be able to empathetically engage and build a relationship with someone with technology. So I don't know. I'd love to get your thoughts on the, the sort of the next generation of, of work comp folks coming in and what we can do.

Greg Hamlin (28:50):

I think you hit on some important things. And I think one of them is we also make need to make sure that they're in environments where we're constantly working with them, growing them, that we have leaders who know how to lead. I think, you know that makes a big difference. I can think of, you know, of my time as a frontline employee. And very few times that I have a manager that had regular one on ones with me, regular set aside time and it's because they were too busy. They had too much stuff going on, but you really can't afford not to be doing that. Because again, it goes back to relationships. So if you want to retain your people, then you need to be available and you need to be listening to them and you need to know what their career path is.

Greg Hamlin (29:37):

And then you need to be giving them experiences so that they can grow. And if you're not giving 'em those things, they're gonna go somewhere else to go find those things. And so, and I think there's also a big part of being heard. You know, I joke early in my career, I always felt like I was N014409, which is my employee number. Which was great. I mean you gotta log in somehow. But I think sometimes it's hard and sometimes we try to keep it impersonal, so it will make tough decisions easier, but that's not what keeps people at places. You know, I had a adjuster I was talking to when we were in Baltimore at claims college and she was talking about her manager who wasn't there. But she said, 'you know, what I love about Pete is when my daughter was having health issues, he would call me every day and just check in on me and ask me how I was doing and told me, you know, what, don't worry about your clients.

Greg Hamlin (30:34):

I've got this, I'll make sure you're taking care of it.' She said, you know, I would run through a brick wall for him. Yeah. Because he was there when I needed him and I, he and I knew he genuinely cared and those things you can't fake. So I think if we wanna retain our people, we wanna bring up the next generation. When we think about empathy, we also need to think about, are we building those relationships with trust within our department? Are we taking time to engage the people we work with? Couple examples of things I've done. One just yesterday, you know, with Cinco de Mayo and so work that I think they brought in chips and salsa and whatever. And you know, so during lunch though, I grabbed like four or five people and we played a really short 20 minute role and write, little board game over lunch and everybody was laughing and having a good time.

Greg Hamlin (31:22):

And it was, you know, somebody from marketing, myself, a few adjusters, an intern. And so I think we've gotta do those little things that break down some of those barriers. If we want people to stay, we want them to, if we want them to feel like they're part of something. Another example, when I first came to Berkley Industrial Comp, one of the complicated, fun processes that I'm sure some other carriers have had to deal with is when the mail gets scanned in some, a lot of times it can be indexed to the files, but sometimes they can't match it. So there'll be like a no match bin where there's medical records and bills and all this stuff that's gotta find a home and it's a manual job to find that and attach it. Well, we had been short staffed, so there was very few, there was a huge amount of mail that was hanging out there that hadn't been done.

Greg Hamlin (32:14):

And so I asked at the time them to teach me how to do it. And we had all the managers learn how to do it. And then we ordered pizza for the next few days and everybody, it didn't matter if they were the VP or if they were a manager, we all just did it together, eight pizza and index. And we got all the way caught up. So I think we've gotta do some of those things where you know, we're not afraid to show people that we can do what they're doing. That we'll walk with them that we'll listen, that we'll roll some dice at lunch or whatever it is, spend time with people. Those things are, I think, what ultimately keeps people, and of course you've gotta pay competitively. If you don't then in this market, you're gonna lose people.

Shawn Deane (32:55):

What do you think along those lines of giving folks the opportunity to explore other areas of the comp business? You know, letting a claims examiner sit with someone from underwriting or vice versa and because learning and development, L and D, seems to be a really catchy phrase. I truly believe in it but you have to live it and you have to make a place and a space for people to sort of explore and figure things out. Figure things out that they have no idea what they're doing and allow them to make some mistakes. Because if you're not, if folks are just stagnant in one role, I think it's sort of human nature to get burnt out a little bit. And there's some of us who are built differently who can just sit there and do the same thing over and over again. But you know, I don't know. What are your thoughts on letting people branch out and sort of promoting this continual learning type of philosophy?

Greg Hamlin (34:11):

I think it's really big. I'm a big proponent of being able to zoom in and zoom out like if you can see the big picture, then when you zoom back in on your individual task, then you understand what's moving the needle. But if you don't understand how what you're doing is interconnected to everything else, then you're making decisions in a vacuum or you're making decisions because the guidelines say, I have to make this decision or because my boss told me to, or I'll get audited and I'll get in trouble. But if I'm making that decision, because I understand if I make this decision, it's gonna impact underwriting over here and it's gonna impact new business over there, and it's gonna impact the actual outcome in the claim I'm handling. If I can understand how they all interconnect, then that's when the really cool stuff can happen.

Greg Hamlin (34:58):

And so I think it is not only the right thing to do for employees to give them those experiences. And I think we should be having those conversations with our staff of what are your goals? What do you want to see? What do you want to learn? And then we need to be able to give them those experiences. We have somebody in our business engagement team right now, who's really interested in claims. He has 10 med only claims, okay, so that's not his job right now, but he's got 10 med only claims and he's working, you know, a couple times a day with our trainer. He's just showing him how to do those 10 med only claims, how to pay a bill, how to make a call to an employer. And so this is gonna give him some exposure.

Greg Hamlin (35:41):

He's not in claims right now. But it's also gonna make him a better candidate for us. If we need a claims person, so all of those things go together. We've got another person in business engagement that is really interested in marketing. So we're trying to give her some exposure to that. So, I think we can do a better job of that. And I think when we do, it will really help people see the bigger picture. And I'm really lucky that I'm in a company that's not very siloed. So it's easy to do that. I think I went probably 10 years and never talked to an underwriter as an adjuster. You know, I didn't even know how, what I was doing was impacting anything else. So, you know, obviously I tried to do the best that I knew how based on what my manager told me, but I didn't see the big picture. And I think there's a lot of value in understanding how things interconnect.

Shawn Deane (36:33):

Yeah. So back to your podcast, and you've done probably double or triple the episodes. So I'm a novice compared to you, but what are some of your more memorable episodes or guests that you've had or things that you walked away from and were like, wow, this is really cool that I get to do this.

Greg Hamlin (36:55):

Yeah. There's been several you know, Timothy Alexander is a hero in my book. I've met him in person before. Now he wasn't injured in a work comp injury, but he's a paraplegic now and hearing his story and his mindset, And how much he talks about mindset. And really now what he does is he works with college athletes at UAB university of Alabama, Birmingham on the football team to, you know, work, work on their mental development, their mindset. And he's there every day. So to see somebody who was the first ever collegiate athlete, that's a paraplegic to receive a scholarship. UAB actually gave him an athletic scholarship for the football team and he showed up and they said like athletes on the field. And he rolled out there in his wheelchair and just that mindset of like, 'I can do it' and 'I am going to try;' I think really inspires me.

Greg Hamlin (37:53):

So that one to me was pretty special. I'm always interested in the companies that are doing things that are pushing boundaries. We've got one that will be airing soon with Plethi that's using basically little discs that you stick on, like stickers that you stick on your arm. And then when you're doing your home exercises, they can monitor if you're doing them right, how many to do. And then there's an app on your phone and you can track it and you can check your mood and all of those types of things, which I think is great because I had I hurt my shoulder at one point and they gave me some therapy and things, and I know I should have been doing them, but I'll be honest. I didn't always do those home exercises. So maybe if I'd had an app that was like, reminding me, 'Hey, Greg, it's time to do the band exercises' that would've helped me.

Greg Hamlin (38:42):

I think it's just human nature. So I'm excited to see what that could do, where we start to find ways to integrate. I think we've got the 'do it yourself model' when you're released from the hospital and the 'do it for you model,' which is, you know, when you're in the hospital, you've got a catheter and somebody's taking your trash out, someone's bringing you food, but we haven't done a good job in the health industry of finding the 'do it with you model.' Yeah. So we've had guests like Curtis, that does pain coaching. I think there's a real need for people in the space to do the 'do it with you' model. And I'm always interested in the people who are trying to do that. Whether it's the VR technology for pain, we did one on that. All of the people who are doing kind of the coaching that are helping people through the process. I think we're not great at that right now.

Shawn Deane (39:34):

Yeah. I agree. So do we both have kids in fifth grade?

Greg Hamlin (39:41):

Let's see. I may go through 'em, yes. I have a fifth grader who will be a sixth grader. Yes, my son Liam.

Shawn Deane (39:48):

All right. So if you and I, because my daughter's in fifth grade. So if we were to walk in, if our kids were in the same class, we went into a fifth grade class, both two dudes in comp, what's our pitch? What our elevator pitch to our kids, fifth graders, to say this is where you wanna be. When you graduate high school or you go to college and you come out and you're ready to enter the workforce, you're gonna be in work comp, what do we tell 'em? Because I'm going to point to you and go, let's listen to Greg Hamlin.

Greg Hamlin (40:20):

Well, I would say, first of all, I've never had a dull day in my entire career. I'm always solving problems and I like to solve problems. So I've never seen the same thing twice. So if you're the type of person who likes variety, likes to be able to do lots of different things, see different things, solve problems and help people...This is the career for you. So that's what I would say. And I'd probably tell some fun story about an injured worker. So just to kind of peak their interests of the types of injuries we see and how we help people.

Shawn Deane (40:55):

Well, on that note, I think maybe someday we will go to a school and give 'em the pitch. Because I think it's important. I I remember being a kid and there would be at least a couple parents every year that would come in and I never saw someone in the insurance field. It was always <laugh> and don't get me wrong. Like being a police officer or a doctor or a lawyer is, is great. And those are great careers to aspire, but knowing how dynamic and interesting and how impactful we can be in this industry, you know, I do wanna spread the good word and I appreciate you for the work that you're doing to do that. So it's settled. We had Greg Hamlin on and appreciate it very much.

Greg Hamlin (41:45):

Thank you, Shawn. I've had a great time, looking forward to running into you at a conference one of these days.

Shawn Deane (41:50):

Yeah. And we'd love to have you back on too, or I'm even willing to be on yours too someday. If you are really searching for...

Greg Hamlin (41:58):

For sure, we'll get you on there, we'll get you on there.

Shawn Deane (42:02):

Awesome. Thanks. Great.

Shawn Deane (42:04):

Thanks for joining us for this episode of It's Settled: The Ametros Podcast. For more information and episodes, you can visit us at our website ametros.com. That's a-m-e-t-r-o-s.com or head over to iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app. We hope you enjoyed this episode and look forward to sharing more stories of people overcoming their workplace accidents and bodily injury claims, and those who are working hard to make a difference for them. So it's settled. We'll see you next time.

 

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