MN RETAIN helps Ann continue working despite injury

photo of Ann

After being run over in the airport parking lot in December 2019, Ann needed surgery on her elbow and was not able to drive to work while she recovered. At the time, Ann and her employer, a residential mental health treatment facility in southern Minnesota, weren’t sure what the process would look like for Ann returning to work and how to manage the process with her health care provider.

Fortunately, Ann was able to access Minnesota’s Retaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network (MN RETAIN), which helps employees stay at or return to work more rapidly when an injury or illness impacts their ability to work. MN RETAIN works by connecting the employee, employer and health care provider through a MN RETAIN Return to Work Case Manager. This helps injured workers focus on their recovery and helps employers navigate next steps during their employee’s recovery as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In Ann’s case, the MN RETAIN team worked with providers from two different medical systems to clarify instructions for work restrictions and helped answer insurance questions. Her MN RETAIN case manager, Kathy Troester, worked with Ann’s medical team and her employer to make arrangements so that Ann could work from home while she recovered. Without the help of MN RETAIN, Ann likely would have been away from work much longer while she recovered from her injury, likely requiring her employer to spend more time on paperwork and determining next steps. MN RETAIN helped Ann stay connected to work while allowing for a safe recovery and it helped Ann’s employer retain a valuable employee.

“Kathy facilitated clear and concise communication between physicians, insurance representatives and my employer,” said Ann. “She made it possible for all parties to work together to find a way for me to quickly return to work.”

“The MN RETAIN team was able to communicate with her employer to understand what documentation they needed and then work with the provider to suggest functional work restrictions that allowed Ann to return to work from home, as she continued to recover,” said Kathy. “This was a very gratifying case to be involved with because it clearly showed how early intervention and having a case manager be part of the care team helps facilitate employees returning to work. MN RETAIN did exactly what was intended!”

Ann is among many Minnesotans helped by MN RETAIN. To find out how MN RETAIN helps workers and employers navigate injury and illness, visit the MN RETAIN page here on or email