Member Spotlight on Duane Johnson (By Katie Johanski)
Duane grew up in Northwest Indiana, 40 minutes outside Chicago. Go Bears! Go Cubs! He graduated from Indiana University with a BSc in Health Service Administration. He was always very passionate about building business through relationships and did just that as he began his career. In 2007 he accepted a position with the Corporate Health team at Scottsdale Healthcare (now HonorHealth) in Arizona. Suddenly Duane's focus became Occupational Health and Workers’ Compensation. In 2008, Duane made the move to San Diego where he joined Palomar Health. This was a special move for Duane because it allowed him to reunite with his extended family - his father's brothers and sisters and all of his cousins and their families.
Duane is currently Vice President, Business Development at Institutes of Health (IOH) institutesofhealth.org. He works alongside an incredible group of specialized clinical and medical professionals, along with a support and administrative team focused on treating PTSD, Chronic Pain, Mild/Moderate Brain Injuries, CRPS/RSD, Sleep Problems and Prescription Drug Addictions in the California Workers’ Compensation arena. Over the past two years, Duane has helped to grow the business using creative marketing and educational strategies - an expertise developed over the past decade. Duane values the fact that he has become a trusted advisor to California employers in Workers' Compensation and Occupational Health. Duane loves the leadership and vision of CEO Dr. Tomer Anbar and looks forward to being part of this amazing team for many years to come.
Like many others, Duane never set out to build a career specializing in Workers' Compensation. But he's always known that in his work, he needs to be excited about what he's doing and have fun doing it. From there, success will follow. Duane is a relationship builder by nature and discovered very quickly how valuable relationships are in this industry. He attributes his personal success to being a dreamer, a risk-taker, and a person who knows how to take action.
At IOH, Duane sees powerful stories unfold in patient recovery. He loves the responsibility of educating stakeholders about the work IOH is able to accomplish, bringing individuals in need into the clinics to receive the care they need, and being part of success story after success story. Recovery is an incredible journey, and Duane believes in the accessible care and services IOH is providing.
Prior to IOH, Duane was Director of Business Development for WorkPartners (now Akeso) where he was able to build and help launch three additional clinics throughout San Diego County over his 5 years with the company. It was during this time Duane also formalized and grew the ELEVATE Workers’ Compensation & Leadership Conference to the event and scale that we all enjoy today. Founded soon after relocating to San Diego, the ELEVATE Conference has become San Diego County's largest annual Workers' Compensation and leadership conference, packed full of educational sessions, influential speakers, networking opportunities, music, food, lights, and more! Duane continues to organize and partner with Akeso and Dr. Gene Ma to ensure California’s top Employers, Payers, Brokers, Attorneys, Claims Managers and all conference attendees experience ELEVATE in new and exciting ways year over year.
At present, Duane is serving in the following professional networks:
- Employers' Fraud Task Force, Ambassador
- RIMS San Diego Chapter, Board Member
- Rehabilitation Nurse Coordinators Network, Board Member
- PARMA San Diego / Imperial Chapter, Steering Committee Member
- Western Occupational & Environmental Medical Association, Liaison
- North County Human Resources Chapter, Former Board Member
When asked about the San Diego RIMS Chapter, Duane said this: “San Diego RIMS Chapter is flexible and allows members a chance to meet in-person or virtually throughout the year. We are focused on creating opportunities for outstanding continued education and knowledge sharing in a relaxed and friendly environment. The relationships and connections I have made while serving on the San Diego RIMS board have been invaluable to me both personally and professionally. It’s like having an "extended family" to turn to whenever you need them.”
Duane loves his family. He has a nearly 6 ft. tall 8th grader Caleb who is dedicated to boxing and the 8th grade basketball team. In May of this year, Duane and his wife Raechelle were blessed to welcome his second little miracle into this world. Their smiley Mia Paz is 6 months old and just discovering the world and her abilities one day at a time. Between Mia and Caleb, their world is very busy! If he's not serving as Caleb's personal Uber driver, he's entertaining Mia and airing a steady YouTube stream of "The Ants Go Marching" up on the TV. Free time? What free time?! ;)
Duane's wife Raechelle calls him Mr. Sunshine. No matter the circumstance, he believes every day is a new day, a fresh start. That's how they live their lives. For Duane, a positive attitude and warm smile have always gone a long way. It's who he is, it's who they are, and it's the kind of people with whom they surround themselves.