Meet Our Specialists
Principal Life's nurse and vocational consultants provide early support by bringing strong clinical expertise and extensive vocational and rehabilitation resources to a claim situation.
Karmel, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse
Karmel has been a disability nurse consultant for over 10 years and manages short-term and long-term disability claims. She uses her experience to help train new nurse consultants. In her role, she has served as a technical expert and leader for the disability nurse consultants. In addition, she serves as a coordinator and contact person for our medical vendor services. Karmel has been a certified case manager for the past 14 years. She helps coordinate continued education and training for the nursing staff, including vocational and claims staff. She has prior experience as a nurse in a medical-oncology unit.
Charlette, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Psychology and Biology
Charlette has experience with home health care, nursing home care, clinic nursing with urgent care, medical/surgical, intensive care unit and postpartum care. In previous roles, Charlette has been a nurse health educator for Polk County, Iowa and a nurse reviewer at Iowa Medicaid.
Debi, Diploma in Nursing, Registered Nurse
Debi's prior experience includes: renal dialysis involving both the acute and chronic patient, medical surgical nursing, outpatient surgery, obstetric nursing including antepartum, post-partum and labor delivery. Previously, she was a nurse reviewer at The Principal and assisted with the rare disease case management role and prior authorization.
Holli, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse
Holli has experience in several types of nursing, including cardiac/pulmonary, medical/surgical, and neuro-oncology. With 14 years of experience as a certified case manager, she has direct management of short-term and long-term disability claims and medical management of workers’ compensation claims. Working as a nurse/vocational trainer, Holli has assisted with the weight management and pain management programs. In addition, Holli helps coordinate continued education for the nursing and vocational staff.
Sandy, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse
Sandy is a certified case manager and is responsible for training Principal Life's disability nurse and vocational consultants. Sandy's prior experience includes nursing in oncology, medical/surgical and cardiac units. In addition, she was a staff nurse for Nutrisystem and also worked in a psychiatric hospital for adults and adolescents with chemical dependency and psychiatric illness. Sandy has served as the health service manager responsible for workers' compensation and medical care for workers' injuries at a beef packing plant.
Susan, Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling, Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Pre-Physical Therapy
Susan is a certified rehabilitation counselor and has also completed mediation training. During her post-graduate internship, she served as a vocational case manager for clients in the Missouri/Illinois workers’ compensation system. Her prior experience includes psychological assessment and educational planning for children with developmental disabilities. Susan has also worked with veterans as a physical therapy assistant. Being a certified rehabilitation counselor for over 13 years, Susan’s focus has been early intervention with clients having musculoskeletal disorders. She has also worked with large and small employers to provide accommodations, case management and placement services for their employees with disabilities.
Sheila, Master of Arts in Deafness Rehabilitation Counseling, Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders
Sheila is a certified rehabilitation counselor. Her prior experience includes three years as a medical claims examiner. She was also a program manager for three years and worked with clients who are deaf. In addition, Sheila worked as a sign language interpreter for three years.
Karen, Master of Arts in Rehabilitation Counseling, Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in French.
Karen has expertise working with clients with brain injuries, as well as clients with psychiatric diagnoses. In previous roles, she was a vocational rehabilitation counselor for a traumatic brain injury hospital and was also a rehabilitation counselor for a pain management clinic. She has worked with large employers to provide accommodations, case management and placement services for their employees with disabilities. Karen is a certified rehabilitation counselor and a certified case manager.
René, Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, Bachelor of Arts in English
As a certified rehabilitation counselor, René assists claimants receiving disability benefits in developing and implementing their vocational plans for returning to work. This can involve many items, such as job development and job placement services, determining appropriate skill updating needs, identifying appropriate training programs, identifying and facilitating connections with local resources, and problem-solving funding for rehabilitation plans. She also serves as the vocational expert for non-mental health claims for the appeals team and the general claim staff. René completed both her internship and field work practicum with the Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
Vicki, Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, Bachelors of Arts in Social Work
Vicki has 20 years of experience working in the mental health and addiction fields. She has expertise working with people who need retraining, accommodations and placement services. In a previous role, Vicki was a vocational rehabilitation counselor for a residential and outpatient women’s and children’s program. Vicki is a licensed mental health counselor, a certified rehabilitation counselor and a certified advanced alcohol and drug counselor. Vicki also works in private practice as a mental health therapist.
EC 3857E - 12/2011
Content Last Updated: 03/14/2013