WCI 2022: Recommendations From The Program Chair

Steve Rissman, WCI Program Chair

Recommendations From the Program Chair is a multi-part series from WCI’s Program Chair, Steve Rissman. This page will be continuously updated with new articles and recommendations.

Recommendations From The Program Chair: Largest Crowds

This is the second episode of program highlights. It comes in response to questions that I get asked about program recommendations. Today’s episode pertains to the three breakout sessions which probably draw the largest crowds.

Case Law Update has been a staple of the Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference for well over 30 years. It draws enormous crowds of lawyers, adjusters, risk managers, safety personnel and all others who are interested in a really high level analysis of the cases that have come out in the last year and how those cases impact the state of the law regrading many different issues. Case Law Update is back to its regular slot on Monday, August 22, 2022 from 2:15 – 4:15 pm. The panelists represent the very best of the claimant and defense bars. These skilled practitioners debate the cases and inform the audience of the practical impact that these cases will have on their every day claim or case handling.

The second of the big programs is Live Surgery. Our convention was certainly the first convention for non-doctors to have anything similar to this. Each year, a specific live surgery is presented to the audience. This is the 15th year that Orlando Orthopaedics has presented this program and its doctors have performed the surgery. In 2022, this session takes place on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 from 8:45 – 9:45 am and will involve Dr. Sophia Davis performing a lower extremity surgery which will stream live from the Orlando Orthopaedic Outpatient Surgery Center to the Marriott with the help of moderator, Dr. Joseph Funk. The fantastic part of this breakout is that the surgeon is talking directly to the audience at the Marriott and can actually hear questions asked by the audience. Dr. Funk acts as a facilitator for the questions from the audience and offers explanations of what is going on during the surgery while the surgeon is otherwise occupied.

The third of the big programs is the Live Oral Argument being held on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm. There will be two actual live cases presented to a panel of Judges for the First District Court of Appeal in a court room set up to duplicate the formality of those oral arguments as if the case were being heard in Tallahassee. The cases are always interesting and it is a wonderful experience for attorneys and adjusters alike, many of whom have not had occasion to witness an actual oral argument.

That is it for this episode of recommendations. There will be more.

Recommendations From The Program Chair: Monday Highlights

Because we have over 550 speakers and 250 separate sessions, I get asked all the time for program recommendations. We truly have a program for every group interested in workers’ compensation. Here are a couple of suggestions.

On the Monday morning of the convention, the Industry Keynote is a huge draw. Kimberly George and Mark Walls host a super panel consisting of Michele Adams from Walmart, Debie Bisdorf from Amazon and Mike Hessling from Gallagher Bassett. Generally, they are going to talk about searching for talent during and post-pandemic. If that panel doesn’t get the convention off to a jump start, I don’t know what would.

In the afternoon, there are so many cutting edge programs that it is difficult for me to limit myself to just two. The highly regarded Breakout for Risk Managers has its first day featuring Vilma Palma-Blackmon from Gallagher Bassett, Javier Garza from CEMEX, Rosa Royo with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Dan Link from Gallagher Bassett and Marsha Wood from Volkswagen Group of America focusing on what impacts risk managers today, which is different from the very recent past. That panel will be followed-up by a panel with a presentation lead by Lindsay Rabicoff from Walmart, Tisha Montgomery from Walmart, Lauren McBride from Publix and Sharon DelGuercio from Walt Disney World talking about reassessing ways of risk management thinking in such an unpredictable business landscape.

Another showstopper is called Lessons Learned and Moving Forward, a program from 1:00 – 4:15 pm on Monday led by David Stills, Senior Vice-President for Sedgwick. These are three one hour sessions focusing on data patterns and emerging trends in a completely changed work environment as well as medical advancements and ways to streamline the claims process. Speakers in all three of these one hour sessions are nationally known experts and the very top opinion makers in their fields. You will definitely take a lot of notes during this session.

I will close now but will be back with several more of these highlights of the program episodes.