Jim McConnaughhay, WCI Chair
Steve Rissman, WCI Chair of Program Committee
Julie Fetherman, WCI Associate Executive Director
WCI Annual Workers’ Compensation Conference Update
August 16-19, 2020, Orlando, Florida
The national response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been dealt with in various ways including self-quarantine, travel restrictions, limitations on public meetings and unparalleled heroic responses in our medical and health community. Events of the recent past have created unprecedented public reaction rarely seen in a national crisis. WCI remains committed to the leadership of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and our medical professionals for a concerted response, understanding the economic consequences of the predicament that we all find ourselves.
Even though there are concerns as to whether this year’s conference will be held as scheduled, WCI optimistically moves forward with the planning of the conference to the point that perhaps this year’s program is the very best that has been produced since inception. This conference features cutting edge issues of significance to the workers’ compensation and health communities. The COVID-19 pandemic will be highlighted during the Opening Session as a subject of major significance. The highly practical risk management sessions feature speakers representing many of the largest national employers. Over 20 teams representing 11 states will be participating in the largest Workers’ Compensation Moot Court Competition in the nation. Fifteen state workers’ compensation laws will be discussed in individual breakout sessions. Important topics will be analyzed in the various subject matter sessions, including the usual live surgery and live oral arguments of recent cases both before the Florida First District Court of Appeals. For the first time ever, there will be a day and a half breakout on Cyber Security and its effect on the workers’ compensation industry and the national economy/defense. These sessions will include a keynote presentation by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida). Comprehensive explanations of the new cyber security requirements for contractors/subcontractors doing business directly or indirectly with the DOD will be presented along with a simulated cyber breach and response.
We remain hopeful that in the near future, the COVID-19 pandemic will end. Regardless of the end date, WCI understands that things will not be the same as before the virus crisis, and that even our conference this August may look and feel differently. We also understand that only the forums that can demonstrate a value-added benefit to its attendees will survive. WCI is committed to providing the very best educational opportunities to the workers’ compensation community, including adopting innovative technologies to deliver content despite the evolving challenges this crisis presents.
Of necessity, alternate plans for the conference are being discussed with complete cancellation only as a “last resort.” We appreciate our sponsors, exhibitors, and attendees that are in support of our ongoing efforts at striving for excellence. Our current crisis will pass and together our efforts at improvement and resilience will be demonstrated.