Annual Workers' Compensation Educational Conference

At the recent 73rd Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and the 30th Annual Safety and Health Conference, the focus was on national workers’ compensation and occupational safety and health industries. Praxis attendee Philip Meyerdierks brought back a wealth of knowledge and entertaining stories from the keynote speakers and other attendees.

While each state deals with workers’ compensation differently, the national WCI conference brings everyone in the industry together over common issues, educating and exchanging ideas and best practices over the five-day conference in Orlando, Florida.

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 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 position in these important industries, and your role, this conference is designed to provide something of significance. The unprecedented number of breakouts and the quality of presenters representing states throughout the country truly make this the national event not to be missed.

A unique feature of the conference was the giving back opportunity that kicked off the event. Conference attendees donated their time performing beautification projects for “Give Kids the World” a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, FL that provides a place for families of children with life-threatening diseases to stay and enjoy access to local theme parks.

Sunday’s schedule was chock full of breakout sessions, discussing tips, tools, developments, and strategies in mediation practices, including a standout presentation by speaker Renee Thompson reviewing how social media is evolving laws that directly impact mediation. The information presented on Monday discussed a wide range of topics as well as energized attendees with laughter, motivation and new sense of purpose. It began with a keynote panel, led by Kimberly George, that discussed telehealth emergence of on demand medicine and treatment, and applications within new app technology to support it. Another session discussed recent cases that have had an effect on workers compensation claims, and panelists also discussed trends in how cases are being decided. Lee Corso delivered hilarious stories about his career as a college football coach and TV analyst as well as sharing his experience as Burt Reynolds’ roommate and how his ethics shaped his coaching career. The evening ended with a social and networking session, with entertainment provided by world-renown musical artist, The B-52s.

Tuesday ended the conference with a number of information and influential breakout sessions, highlighted by a live video look into the operating room where surgeon Dr. Joseph Funk operated on a foot. The surgery was a Weil Osteotomy for metatarsalgia, which is common ailment and procedure found in workers compensation claims. This step-by-step narration provided a bird’s eye view of the surgical steps taken, impact of injury on duties, and recovery time. All in all, the information learned, connections made and access to a number of best practice professionals made this a wonderful experience, sure to benefit not only Praxis employees but our clients as we move forward in serving workers’ compensation needs.

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