In addition to her Occupational Therapy degree Elise has completed further studies in life assurance and in law and is a certified mediator.
Following the completion of a few years of practicing in the psychiatric clinical space she joined the life industry in 1990 when she was employed to pioneer a new claims service for Mercantile and General Reinsurance named ‘Progress’. This service entailed sending out Occupational Therapists into the field to carry out what has now become commonly known as Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE’s). Elise was the first Occupational Therapist in the country to work in this field – a pioneering effort that set the trend for many Occupational Therapists to become employed by the life industry in South Africa.
She went on to hold claims management positions with three international reinsurance companies in South Africa and was one of the founding directors of a Lireas Holdings backed company launched in the late 1990’s, before starting the specialist consultancy Burns-Hoffman & Associates (BH&A) in January 2005.
BH&A grew substantially and was represented throughout South Africa prior to Elise choosing to focus on the provision of specific professional services under Burns-Hoffman Consulting as of 1 August 2016 – namely medico-legal expert work; specific areas of risk and incapacity consulting; business coaching and mediation, the latter particularly in the risk and medical negligence domains. She has a substantial business coaching client base which extends into Africa and internationally via Skype consultations, as well as in person.
Elise held the position of chief executive officer of Accountability Now for a fixed period during 2012 alongside her other work and co-authored the handbook titled ‘Know your Rights, Claim your Rights’ whilst with the organisation. A copy can be downloaded from http://www.accountabilitynow.org.za – now in its second edition.
She foundered Energyworks (Pty) Ltd, which provided a unique case management service to employees working at shop floor level which was incorporated into Burns-Hoffman Consulting in 2016.
Elise enjoyed the position of the case manager for the Red Tab Foundation (RTF) in South Africa from 2008 until end March 2017 – another pioneering effort as the first case manager in the country. RTF provides a unique service to the employees of Levi Strauss across the world and she formed part of the global RTF case management team. As with the decision to unbundle BH&A, Elise resigned from this position in order to focus more on specialist areas of work.
Elise partnered with UCT Health Sciences Faculty in 2017 in rolling out the first ever expert witness training program for health professionals – a three day, certified training course that is now part of the UCT Health Sciences Continuing Education Unit offering. The course has been well received and runs at least once annually on an open course basis and as requested on a per health discipline basis.
She is frequently published in various domains – i.e. business, medical and legal publications; is married and has two adult children. Elise elected to work in both the Eastern and Western Cape, commuting between the two as required, from July 2018 and returns to be based in Cape Town in mid-2019.