Conference Dates

  • August 15 - 17, 2022

Theme

  • Workers' Comp: It Matters

See you in Murfreesboro!


Registration Information

Register Online

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Register by Mail

Prefer to mail a check? Print out this registration form.

Return a copy of this form, along with a check made payable to the IWCF (International Workers’ Compensation Foundation, Inc.) and mail to:

IWCF
570 Memorial Circle, Suite 320
Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Agenda

The 2022 agenda is still being developed. All sessions listed here are subject to change.

 

Registration Opens

9:00 AM

Grab a name tag and make yourself at home.

 

REWARD Employer Brunch

9:45 AM in Cambridge AB

A free, pre-conference event open to employers who are interested in creating or sharpening their return-to-work programs.

 

Pre-Conference Session: Judicial Ethics and Civil Public Discourse

11:00 AM

Speaker: Alberto Gonzales 

Breakout Room: Oakleigh Ballroom

Contemporary observers often lament the increasingly uncivil nature of public discourse.  This wide-ranging presentation by Alberto Gonzalez, former Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and Attorney General of the United States under President George W. Bush and current Dean of the Belmont University College of Law, considers how the provisions of the Code of Judicial regarding judge-lawyer interaction reflect healthy communication practices and provide a model for the broader civic community.  This presentation also highlights some significant potential changes in the traditional legal profession and how they could be affected by judicial ethics principles. 

 

Opening Comments

1:00 PM

Speakers: Abbie Hudgens, Jeff Francis

This presentation will cover the accomplishments made by the Bureau over the past twelve months in implementing legislation and programmatic rules.  Since the 2021 Education Conference, a Physician’s Conference has been conducted, the Certified Physician’s Program has been introduced.  New rules for the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims and Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Uninsured Employer’s Fund (UEF) Benefit Program have gone into effect.  Rulemaking is currently underway for the Certified Physician program, Utilization Review, Claims Handling Standards, and the Penalty Program. The Adjuster Certification Program has been delivered three more times, virtually rather than in-person, with additional offerings scheduled.  This session will discuss these developments and lay the groundwork for the three-day conference by introducing the issues and outlining the topics to be discussed in the days that follow. 

 

The Wild & Wacky World of Workers' Compensation

1:30 PM

Speaker: Bob Wilson

There are strong misperceptions about workers' comp, its benefits and its processes from those outside the industry.  Those misperceptions cause delays, increased expense and reduced quality of outcomes. Communication is key - "In the absence of clear and transparent information, cancerous thoughts will grow."  Impairment vs. Disability. There is a difference, and if we handle claims timely and appropriately, we can often avoid the latter.  What happens in the mind and life of an injured worker is as important as the physical injury we are treating.   

 

Networking Break

2:30 PM

30 minutes

 

50th Anniversary of National Commission's Report

3:00 PM

Speakers: Paul Sighinolfi (Facilitator), Hon. David Langham, Alan Pierce, Adrienne B. Fazio

 

Worker Memorial Presentation

4:15 PM

Introduction: Hon. Joshua D. Baker

On April 28, 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act which established OSHA.  It was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 29, 1970, promising workers the right to a safe and healthful workplace. In the 47 years since, workplaces have evolved, and more jobs fall outside the traditional nine to five timeslots. And fatality rates have fallen.  It is estimated by the USDOL that some 14,000 workers were killed on the job in 1970.  That number fell to 4,340 in 2009 even though the nation’s workforce doubled.  However, workplace hazards remain, and fatalities still occur.  This session will raise awareness about the need to strengthen our commitment to make jobs safer and will honor those Tennessee workers killed at work from May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022.  Other sessions in the conference will highlight the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and illnesses.  

 

Conference Reception

4:30 PM

 

Breakfast

7:00 AM

 

R.E.W.A.R.D. Program Session

8:00 AM

Speaker: Peter French

 

Networking Break

9:00 AM

30 Minutes

 

The Total Worker Health® Approach – Promising Policies, Programs, and Practices

9:30 AM

Speaker: Alysha R. Meyers

Traditional Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) programs are designed to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses by reducing workers’ exposure to occupational hazards. Workplace wellness programs are designed to help workers to improve their own health and well-being. Total Worker Health® (TWH) is an integrated, comprehensive approach to health protection and disease prevention that addresses both work and non-work issues.  This presentation will provide an overview of the TWH framework. Today, TWH is defined as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts, all with the goal of advancing worker well-being.  This holistic, integrated approach seeks to craft safer jobs that create both a sustainable income, positive health outcomes, and greater engagement among all workers, in all types of work settings – large and small.    

To be successful, this approach demands a new examination of the risks and rewards of work, a broader appreciation of the determinants, antecedents, interactions, and relationships of exposures, both hazardous and beneficial. It also requires new models of work design and organization and better tools and interventions to help workers with the challenges they face, both at work and away from the job.      

This presentation will unpack what we know about the tight link between work and health, and spur new dialogue on the future steps we must take to optimize work for today’s workforce and for the generations that follow.  We will present several case studies from different organizations who have demonstrated strong leadership commitment to protecting and promoting the health of their workers using a TWH.

 

Networking Break

10:30 AM

30 Minutes

 

Using Wearable Technology and Data Analysis to Reduce Risk of Injury and Return Injured Workers Back to Their Pre-injury Workload

11:00 AM

Speaker: Scott Coleman

Wearable technology has become a core element in the injury prevention and post injury rehabilitation process for many professional sports teams. This information is also essential in the injury prevention and post injury rehabilitation and return to work process following workplace injury. 

Over the past five years Scott Coleman and Preventure have been collaborating with various employers across different industries to create a cost-effective and sustainable wearable technology tool that enables the measurement of the physical demands of individual work tasks and the capacity of workers to perform these tasks throughout their shift.

 

Plated Lunch and Sue Ann Head Award Winner Announcement

12:15 PM in Oakleigh

 

Case Law Update

1:30 PM

Speaker: Fred Baker

In 2013, Tennessee’s workers’ compensation law underwent fundamental reforms.  As a result of those reforms, workers’ compensation cases are now initially decided by the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims, and those decisions are appealed to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.  In this session, attendees will learn about significant cases that have been decided in the last twelve months pursuant to the 2013 reforms, including how those cases may have changed the interpretation and application of the law, and will gain insight into what the participants in the workers’ compensation system may expect as we move into the future. 

 

Networking Break

2:45 PM

30 Minutes

 

Breakout Session #1

3:15 PM

 

Managing a Pandemic in the Workplace with No Rules

Speaker: Teresa Overton, Vanderbilt

Audience: Medical/Adjusters

Breakout Room: Mirabella F

 

What Non-Lawyers Can Tell Lawyers and Judges About Legal And Judicial Ethics

Speaker: Panelists:  Reverend Dr. Kristine Blaess, Dr. Matt Hearn, David Rubio, Sandy Garrett, Marshall L. Davidson, III

Audience: Attorneys, Mediators

Breakout Room: Mirabella G-J

In this session, a panel of non-lawyers, including the rector of a congregation, a youth minister, and a college professor, will give their thoughts on factual scenarios that implicate ethical dilemmas for lawyers and judges.  The panelists will discuss their thoughts on whether the described conduct is or is not ethical under described circumstances.  After the panel speaks, Sandy Garrett, Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, and Marshall Davidson, Disciplinary Counsel for the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct, will analyze the scenarios under the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Code of Judicial Conduct, and applicable caselaw. 

 

Onboarding New Employees/Injury Prevention

Speaker: Marsha Wood, Volkswagen

Audience: Adjusters, Employers

Breakout Room: Oakleigh

 

 

Adjourn

4:30 PM

 

Breakfast

7:00 AM

 

Breakout Session #2

8:00 AM

Overcoming barriers to cross-professional communications between healthcare advisers, state workers’ compensation professionals, and employees

Speaker: Dr. Joe Jarret

Audience: Adjusters, Employers, Case Managers, Medical Providers

Breakout Room: Mirabella F

Due to a lack of cooperation and collaboration between stakeholders and the quality and efficiency of Tennessee’s workers’ compensation system, the coordination of employee/patient care is adversely affected. Consequently, injured workers often became information conduits, and effective and timely treatment and return-to-work can be negatively impacted. Because workers and employers are the core stakeholders of a workers’ compensation system, every system must strike an acceptable balance between the interests of workers and employers to remain practically and politically sustainable. 

Stakeholders don’t always understand the driving motivation(s) of other stakeholders. When messages get lost in translation, mistakes happen, cases get delayed, resources are wasted, and all parties suffer. 

Given the presence of intrinsic conflicts between the interests of different stakeholder groups (particularly workers and employers), workers’ compensation policymaking is frequently contentious, and workers’ compensation systems face a wide range of policy challenges. This session will assist professionals in enhancing collaboration while overcoming communication barriers, while addressing policy challenges. Recommendations for effect change will also be offered. 

 

How The Tennessee Lawyers’ Assistance Program Assists Lawyers In Crisis

Speaker: Buddy Stockwell

Audience: Attorneys, Mediators

Breakout Room: Mirabella G-J 

Lawyers and judges are not immune from mental illness, emotional and psychological distress, and substance abuse.  In fact, the stress and pressures of practicing law or sitting on the bench may make lawyers and judges particularly vulnerable to these pitfalls.  When lawyers and judges develop problems, clients and parties before the court may fail to receive the zealous representation or the just, well-reasoned and balanced decisions that justice requires.  The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility offers services and assistance through the Tennessee Lawyers’ Assistance Program (TLAP) to assist lawyers suffering from mental or emotional problems or substance abuse.  Buddy Stockwell is the Executive Director of TLAP and he will present an overview of the services provided by TLAP, discuss how an attorney can access the available services, and inform the audience how TLAP interacts with the disciplinary function of the Board of Professional Responsibility.        

Case Management Ethics

Audience: Case Managers, Medical Providers, Adjusters, Employers 

Breakout Room: Oakleigh

 

 

Networking Break

9:15 AM

 

TODAY in Tennessee: The Workers' Compensation Review

9:30 AM

Speakers: Sarah Hardison Reisner, Stephen Karr, Laurenn S. Disspayne, Jonathan May, Jenna Macnair

This presentation will have a “talk show” format and feel and will include a panel of attorneys representing the Defense side/perspective and the Plaintiff’s side/perspective.  The goal of the presentation is to walk the attendees through the life of a Workers' Compensation Claim from the very beginning of the claim with the focus on with trying to move the claim forward to a reasonable and final conclusion in a timely fashion.

 

Stand Alone Work-Related Mental Injuries

10:30 AM

Speaker: Stephen Heard

The session will review several real-life case scenarios (actual factual situations) to illustrate the components of a work-related mental injury, both with and without physical injury and the application of existing law as to what makes such mental injury cases compensable, or not. 

 

Closing Comments

11:45 AM

 

Adjourn

12:00 PM

 

Administrator Hudgen's Retirement Lunch

12:30 PM

This Page Last Updated: June 22, 2022 at 5:09 PM