Dr. Paul Tepperman - Corporate Medical Director - George Weston Ltd. & Loblaw Companies
As Corporate Medical Director for George Weston Ltd. since 1973, Dr. Paul Tepperman spent ten years frustrated by the percentage of disability patients who just didn't seem to respond to traditional medical methods.
''We had run into a brick wall in terms of getting certain people off disability, specifically in cases of chronic pain, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome,'' recalls Dr. Tepperman. ''In these particular cases, we had not been able to get a single person off disability or back to work.''
In 1992, Dr. Tepperman was introduced to Matrix on the recommendation of his company's insurance carrier. Since then, Dr. Tepperman has referred over one hundred patients to Matrix for assessment and treatment. "In terms of resolving the disability issue, we have had a 92% success rate."
"The cases we have referred to Matrix have been resolved in an average time span of three to five months. In some cases, these are people who have been off work for five years or more. Those who return to their old jobs can usually function in those jobs as well as they did before they went on disability''.
Dr. Tepperman says patients who are suffering chronic pain or fatigue often become depressed and frustrated if traditional medicine cannot cure their symptoms. These emotional effects, says Dr. Tepperman, can take over and make it that much more difficult to overcome the symptoms.
"The behavioural approach works with these particular patients because it focuses on abilities, whereas traditional medicine focuses on disabilities. Instead of telling the patient what they cannot do, Matrix focuses on what they can and should do, setting goals and objectives for each patient to work toward.''
Because he is involved throughout the Matrix's process with each of his patients, Dr. Tepperman says he can usually see a marked difference in the patient's behaviour and outlook at some point during the process.
''Typically, l will see someone who was down and had a very limited quality of life undergo a dramatic change. They don't focus on the pain anymore; they're positive; they're focusing on the fact that they're getting their life back.''
Dr. Tepperman adds it is important to identify which patients can benefit from the behavioural model during the referral process.
''By selecting the people who can benefit most from the Matrix's interdisciplinary model, we play a role in ensuring a high success rate for our patients.''
''Early identification is obviously important and we strive to achieve this. However, Matrix has been successful even with very long-term disability problems."
Dr. Ed Bekeris - Director, Occupational Health - Air Canada
"Matrix has a welcome business-like approach to their cases. I like their process and our employees that they have treated have generally recovered and returned to their original occupations."
Dr. Liliane Demers - Staff Physician (Disability Management Group) - Bell Canada
CFS, Fibromyalgia and other "subjective" disorders are a huge challenge for people working in the disability management field. Employers and employees are caught in between independent medical evaluations and employees suffer in the process. Matrix has helped Bell and its employees find solutions."
Dr. Paul Hebert - Occupational Physician - Provigo/Loblaw Companies East
"We have been happy with the unique treatment provided by Matrix to our disabled employees and equally happy about the outcomes."