The 69th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference® and the 26th 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 Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar, 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), and The National Association of Workers’ Compensation Judiciary, Inc. (NAWCJ). 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 Medicare Advocacy Recovery Coalition (MARC), Professional Insurance Agents of Florida, and Rough Notes.
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 and Construction Industry Courses, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and the 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, Illinois, 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. 2013 saw significant expansions 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. This expanded program is even bigger this year. 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. WCI® is pleased to announce new special breakouts for physical therapists and insurance agents dealing with workers’ compensation issues. WCI® is proud to announce the inaugural National Workers’ Compensation Regulators College will be held in conjunction with this year’s conference. The new Regulators College is sponsored by the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators and the Self-Insurance Guaranty Funds of America. Finally, this year represents the first ever fund raising gala dinner and silent auction in support of WCI®’s adopted charity, Give Kids the World. This new feature of the conference will be held Saturday night before the conference begins at the Orlando World Center Marriott.
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, 10-hour General and Construction Industry courses 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, Oklahoma, and for the first time this year, Illinois. 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 these states. In making reservations for these personal conferences, refer to Ask the Regulators.
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.
The Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators is pleased to announce it’s inaugural Regulators College to be held in conjunction with this year’s conference. The College is designed exclusively for state regulators dealing with the oversight of workers’ compensation issues and, regardless of state/jurisdiction, provides instruction and training on the responsibilities of being a regulator. Consult this program for a more extensive look at the subjects discussed.
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 into the general liability area. Expanded conference offerings will include discussions on the SMART Act.
The Industry Keynote Speaker is Scott Hudson, President and CEO of Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. In his position, he oversees approximately 4700 professionals who provide claim management, medical cost containment, and analytical/consultation services to clients worldwide representing virtually every sector of the global economy. Prior to joining Gallagher Bassett in 2010, he spent more than 25 years as a business consultant specializing in the insurance and financial services industries. He began his consulting career with Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) and over the years he has held key leadership positions with Information Consulting Group; McKinsey & Company, Inc.; Renaissance Worldwide, Inc.; and most recently, Bridge Strategy Group LLC in Chicago.
The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Jim Kelly. NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly exemplifies what toughness is all about. Raised in East Brady, Pennsylvania, he was a University of Miami Hall of Fame Quarterback and went on to become a National Football League Hall of Fame Quarterback for the Buffalo Bills where he played for ten years. He became the first and only Bills player to have his number officially retired. Following his retirement, he became an NFL Game Analyst for NBC Sports and a commentator for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown. He is the author of several books. “Without a Word: How a Boy’s Unspoken Love Changed Everything,” on the New York Times Bestseller List, reveals the Kelly family’s private struggle from when their son, Hunter, was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy.
The entertainment for this year’s conference will feature Kenny Loggins. Kenny Loggins’ remarkable 4-decade-plus career has brought him from the top of the charts to the toast of the Grammys. He has had smash hits on Hollywood’s favorite soundtracks, rocked worldwide stages, and found his way into children’s hearts by bringing his soulful, beautiful voice to platinum albums of a stunning variety of genres. His gift for crafting deeply emotional music is unparalleled and it’s been a part of his life as long as he can remember. In the 1980s, Loggins earned the title of “King of the Movie Soundtrack” with such hits as ‘I’m Alright’ (Caddyshack), ‘Footloose’ (Footloose), ‘Playing With the Boys’ and ‘Danger Zone’ (Top Gun). Though he has 12 platinum albums, a pair of Grammys, and hits on almost all of the Billboard charts under this belt, Loggins is far from done and is still looking forward to “what’s next.” Loggins says, “I’ve been lucky that I love what I do and I get to keep doing it.” Smash hits include: ‘This Is It,’ ‘Conviction of the Heart,’ ‘Danny’s Song,’ ‘Heart To Heart,’ and ‘Whenever I Call You (Friend)’ (duet with Stevie Nicks).
Sister Hazel is the front band for the Monday night entertainment. Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Sister Hazel is comprised of five gifted, seasoned musicians whose well-spring of natural talent has been called “one of the top two most influential independent performers of the last 15 years” by Performing Songwriter Magazine. Commercial pursuits aside, at the heart of the band is their desire to do good work. The band itself is named after a now famous nun from the Gainesville area who has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of her fellow humans.
Host Hotel: Adequate parking is available at the Marriott.
Overflow Hotel: The conference overflow hotel will provide parking and shuttle to its guests Sunday through Wednesday. See shuttle schedule.
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 Sunday, August 17. 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.
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,