• IRIS Consultant Biography

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  Consultant Name Susan Espeseth Shepardson
  Company Name TMG
  Phone Number 844-864-8987
  E-Mail IRISinfo@tmgwisconsin.com

Work History (starting with most recent)

Name of Agency Date of Employment Job Title
TMG 5/22/2017 IRIS Consultant

Care Responsibilities

Your TMG IRIS consultant is your partner as you create a plan that meets your needs and stays within your IRIS budget. Your TMG IRIS consultant can connect you to resources in your area, and will be a great source of information for any questions you have about the IRIS program. In a self-directed program like IRIS, you decide who provides your support and services and when they happen. You may have natural support from people in your life, or you may choose to purchase the support you need from an agency or someone that you hire directly. Your TMG IRIS consultant will be there to talk through these decisions with you, and will help you put a plan in place that reflects your choices.

Educational Background

Name of Institution Major/Degree Degree Obtained Date Obtained
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Bachelor of Arts - Psychology Yes 8/1/1981
University of Houston Elementary Education No
University of Houston Chemical Dependency Counselor No

Credentials

Name of Certification / Accreditation Certifying Agency Date Certification was Obtained
Social Work Training Certificate Wisconsin Department of Safety & Professional Services 12/1/2016
Functional Screener Wisconsin Department of Health Services 10/1/2016

Specialties (e.g., working with autism, the elderly, employment for people with disabilities or youth in transition, mental health, experience with assisted technology)

Prior to joining TMG, I was employed for 2 ½ years at a center for people with intellectual disabilities in Houston, Texas, where I was a children services caseworker. After that, I worked as a sheltered workshop intake caseworker for people with intellectual disabilities. For the next chapter of my career, I spent 14 ½ years as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, where I got to support people who have disabilities. A move to North Carolina changed my career path, and I became an adult Medicaid caseworker, where I worked for 13 years with people who have disabilities and the elderly, including working with Long Term Care Services Skilled Nursing and Assistive Living. Finally, in September 2016, I returned to my home state of Wisconsin and began working as a case manager for the Vilas County long-term care COP-Waiver Program, where I supported people with disabilities and older adults.

County/Region I'm familiar with

Forest, Oneida, Vilas

Languages or Communication Skills

English

I'm comfortable with pets in the home

Yes

More about me

How do you Partner with people to 'clear the path ahead'?
I help people in the IRIS program “clear the path ahead” by establishing a solid relationship with them. Listening to their needs, their interests and their dreams is the first step to jointly determine what services will best assist them in achieving their goals. Often times, that includes thinking outside the box and being creative. I enjoy coming up with innovative solutions, and I also embrace traditional ideas that have proven to be effective.

What's your favorite thing about being an IRIS consultant?
Being an IRIS Consultant gives me the opportunity to meet new people and learn about their unique life stories and experiences. Together, we work towards common goals to achieve the life they want to live.

What past experience prepared you to become an IRIS Consultant?
As someone who has devoted 30+ years of my career to helping provide services to persons with disabilities and the elderly, I know how to navigate the obstacles and challenges that might present themselves to participants in the IRIS program. We are never too old to learn, and each encounter with someone provides a new opportunity to do so.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I’m not working, I enjoy reading a good book, baking up a storm, checking out Pinterest boards, and listening to an eclectic range of music. I also love spending time with family, playing with my dog, trying new restaurants, and being outdoors in the Great Northwoods. Oh, and I love those Packers! I’m looking forward to rediscovering Wisconsin as an adult!

WI DHS/DLTC/F-01486 (04/2015)