The 2014 Conference program is under development. For information on the 2013 Conference, see below.
The 68th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and the 25th Annual Safety and Health Conference will focus on national workers’ compensation and safety industries. Particularly as it relates to workers’ compensation, it has always been felt that each state, having different laws, had to deal with its own issues separate from other states. No longer is this the case. This emerging national conference has evolved into a gathering of all stakeholders, regardless of jurisdiction or state, to study and be educated on issues of common concern - issues that have no geographical boundaries. Regardless of your interests, your positions in these two important industries, and your role, this conference is designed to provide something of significance for everyone. The unprecedented number of breakouts and the quality of presenters representing states throughout the country truly make this a national event not to be missed.
This nationally acclaimed annual conference remains the premier forum for the study of workers’ compensation, workplace safety and health, and related issues primarily because of the continued partnerships of state and national associations, all being recognized as leaders within their particular interest areas. Partners within this group include The Safety & Health Institute, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The University of South Florida, The Workers’ Compensation Institute, the Florida and National Associations of PEOs, The American Staffing Association, The Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA), The Workers' Compensation Defense Institute, The Florida Orthopedic Society, The Florida Chiropractic Association, The Florida Association of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, The Florida Academy of Pain Medicine, The Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, The Educational Research Centers at The University of South Florida, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The Deep South ERC at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University, The Professional Mediation Institute (PMI), The National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Inc. (NAWCJ), Medical Group Management Association, and Eastern Pain Association. Leading providers have become prime sponsors and exhibitors of the conference and join the partnerships to create the most comprehensive workers’ compensation and workplace safety conference in the nation. First time partners for this years conference are the American Health Lawyers Association, Washington, DC, and the Elder Law Section of the Florida Bar.
This year’s program offers creative and innovative speakers from throughout the United States. The hottest issues in workers’ compensation and safety will be discussed. All aspects of workers’ compensation and workplace safety will be the topics of discussion with breakouts for risk managers, regulators, safety professionals, health care providers, adjusters, insurance professionals, attorneys, medical case managers, professional employer organizations (employee leasing), temporary staffing, mediators, and medical office administrators. Ancillary sessions will be held on the Social Security Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, the Jones Act, the Defense Base Act, the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Course, the Affordable Care Act and Medicare, and the new, recently passed, SMART Act, with specific emphasis on their effect on workers’ compensation. In addition to subjects of general interest within the national workers’ compensation and safety communities, state specific workers’ compensation laws will be the subject of day-long breakouts and will include presentations featuring regulators and other experts on the laws of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kentucky. A live surgery will be performed for the benefit of conference attendees. A breakout will also be held on the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, the newest problematic aspect of dealing with workers’ compensation and general liability cases. The National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH), The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), The Environmental Research Centers (ERCs) of The University of South Florida, The Deep South ERC at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University & The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ERC will sponsor segments of the conference dealing with safety and health issues of national concern.
2012 represented a significant change in the Conference, a change that saw the creation of a new interactive website and social media emphasis with a full-time online communications office and an emphasis on workers’ compensation and safety on a National scale - www.wci360.com. This year, significant expansions have been made in the Risk Management program to include prominent speakers from throughout the country, with this breakout being extended for a full 8-hours of presentations. In conjunction with the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA), an expanded “round table” regulatory program is presented allowing regulators from over 25 states throughout the country to discuss issues of common interest and will allow for pre-scheduled selective personal conferences between attendees and regulators. An all day session on Social Security has been added.
This is the 25th anniversary of the existence of the Safety & Health Conference. Originally created as a stand-alone “Governor’s Conference on Safety,” the Safety & Health Institute partnered with the Workers’ Compensation Institute to establish a comprehensive national safety and health conference. In conjunction with NIOSH, CDC, and sponsoring Universities, these educational offerings provide reasonably priced, comprehensive educational opportunities for front line safety professionals. In addition to the usual breakouts on safety, a 10-hour General Industry course will be presented. An OSHA completion card will be issued to those who complete the full 10 hours of instruction. Registration for this special course offering is required. Refer to form to register.
Realizing that many workers’ compensation and safety professionals deal with more than one state, special Conference breakouts have been designed to provide information on multi-state workers’ compensation laws. Sponsored by the Workers’ Compensation Defense Institute, this unique program offers presentations on the workers’ compensation laws of the states of North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and for the first time this year, Oklahoma. Handouts for these sessions will include flash drive copies of the laws of the various jurisdictions. Regulators from each of these jurisdictions will be present to discuss each state’s laws and regulations. For those participating states, conferences with specific regulators can be pre-scheduled if attendees have particular concerns within those states.
This year’s conference will feature an all-day breakout on the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and related subjects. One of the most difficult areas to deal with in handling workers’ compensation and general liability matters in the current environment is understanding and dealing with the serious pitfalls that this expanding law presents. This comprehensive breakout will seek to clarify what has become an extremely complicated process, creating enormous issues for the workers’ compensation industry, and expanding further into the general liability area. Expanded conference offerings will include discussions on the new SMART Act.
The Industry Keynote Speaker this year is David A. North, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. (Sedgwick). As CEO, he is responsible for providing overall corporate leadership in strategic development and growth. He joined Sedgwick in 1995 and under his leadership Sedgwick has grown to become the largest TPA in the industry. He has over 32 years of experience in risk management service. Prior to joining Sedgwick, he was the global practice leader for risk services at a major brokerage and risk management consulting firm. He is a frequent speaker at national and industry conferences. In 2002, he was recognized by Business Insurance as one of the 35 “rising stars” in insurance worldwide and in 2003, he co-authored the book “The Art of Self Insurance.” He has served on the Board of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute and is past Chairman of the Board of the Integrated Benefits Institute.
The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Coach Bobby Bowden, the legendary college football coach. Bobby Bowden is known as much for his affable charm as he is for his championship teams. Having coached young men in seven decades, he became the second-winningest coach in major college football history. Bowden guided Florida State University to more than three hundred victories, two national championships, twelve Atlantic Coast Conference titles, finishing in the top five in the country in 14 straight seasons, and led the Seminoles to Bowl Games in 28-consecutive seasons during his 34-year tenure. The patriarch of college football’s most famous coaching family, Bowden remains heavily involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes; annually awarding The National Bobby Bowden Award to a student-athlete for achievement on and off the field, including his conduct as a faith model in the community. Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He and his wife of 61 years, Ann, live in Tallahassee, Florida.
Entertainment for this year’s conference is “Styx.” Spawned from a Chicago basement in the early 70s, the group has become one of the U.S. top rock acts due to such big hit singles as “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Blue Collar Man,” “Fooling Yourself,” and “Too Much Time on my Hands.” Several albums in the 1970s earned platinum certification. Styx also marked the first time in history that a band released four consecutive triple-platinum albums. The first release of the concept album in 1981 “Paradise Theatre,” and the live album/video “Return to Paradise” in 1997 introduced them to a whole new generation of rock fans and since 1999 they have performed more live performances than all of the previous years combined including two Super Bowl appearances and several Pollstar box office chart-topping tours. Styx continues to conquer the planet, one venue at a time.
Jill’s Cashbox, otherwise known as JCB, a band from Central Florida that specializes in getting folks on their feet, moving and grooving to the music, is the front band for the Monday night entertainment. Though their original music is country, they cover a ton of entertaining rock and pop songs.
Host Hotel: The shuttle service will be provided between the Marriott and the overflow parking lot on Monday and Tuesday. Adequate parking is available at the Marriott on Sunday and Wednesday.
Overflow Hotel: The Conference overflow hotel will provide parking and shuttle to its guests Sunday through Wednesday. See details on overflow parking. Transportation will be provided for those who need assistance.
Orlando World Center Marriott valet parking is available at the main entrance of the hotel for hotel guests. There is a daily fee. Self-parking is available on the property of the hotel to hotel guests for no fee.
Complimentary self-parking is also provided at the overflow hotel for hotel guests, with complimentary shuttle service to the Orlando World Center Marriott, beginning Monday, August 19. Special arrangements have been made for offsite parking. Transportation to the conference facilities from offsite parking runs continuously ON MONDAY, AUGUST 19 AND TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, and will be provided to attendees at no charge.
THERE IS ADEQUATE PARKING AT THE MARRIOTT ON SUNDAY and WEDNESDAY. Refer to the map and bus schedule.
The Orlando World Center Marriott and the overflow hotel represent and warrant that, as a place of “public accommodation,” they are in compliance to the extent applicable with the provisions of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Hotel facilities, including meeting space, restrooms, dining areas, other common areas and sufficient guest rooms shall be reasonably accessible and usable by persons with special needs. If you require special accommodations for activities related to your hotel stay, please consult with hotel staff. If you require accommodations to participate fully in activities of the conference, please indicate your special needs in the space provided on the registration form or contact WCI. We will make any reasonable accommodation possible.
The Annual National Workers’ Compensation Judiciary College is held in conjunction with the Conference. The College is sponsored by the National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Inc. (NAWCJ) and is designed to provide educational opportunities for adjudicators that preside over workers’ compensation matters. The college focuses on issues that are unique to the field of workers’ compensation and includes adjudicators both at the trial and appellate levels. Consult your program for further details related to the Judiciary College. The Association’s website is www.nawcj.org. Visit the site to become a member or associate member, review newsletters and register for the College. This is the only College in the nation that is created exclusively by and for workers' compensation adjudicators.
If additional information is needed about any aspect of the conference, please contact the Workers’ Compensation Institute (WCI) at (850) 425-8156, email Shirley Kendall at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail your inquiry to P.O. Box 200, Tallahassee, FL 32302-0200, or physical address 2846 Remington Green Circle, Suite A, Tallahassee, FL 32308, FAX (850) 521-0222.
Many new and exciting things are occurring in workers’ compensation and safety almost on a daily basis. We look forward to sharing these events with you at this year’s educational conference.
James N. McConnaughhay,