A lot has changed in the last 12 months for the Workers’ Compensation (WC) Community. Can you give us a recap?
What has changed—and is still in the process of being implemented—is the leadership structure of the WC Community. We embraced the opportunity to change our organizational structure from a committee with several co-chairs to a community within the CLM parameters, which means first and foremost the creation of a 15-member advisory board to replace the co-chairs. The goal has been to populate the advisory board with a greater cross-section of established and up-and-coming leaders in the workers’ compensation community nationally. We hope that by doing so, we can bring a greater dynamism and creativity to the activities we undertake and increase participation in the community.
The community’s May conference is being co-presented by CLM and Business Insurance. How did that partnership work?
We have had the good fortune this year of having Joanne Wojcik, head of event programming for Business Insurance, assist us in the planning of this year’s conference. What she brought to us was not only a wealth of experience in planning conferences such as ours, but also access to a new, nationwide group of speakers and participants that we would not have had otherwise. We think that we have assembled a great group of knowledgeable speakers who are willing to share their expertise with us, and we are very excited about the upcoming conference.
What are some of the highlights/speakers/sessions that you’re most excited about?
We have an incredibly broad cross-section of topics, and some really cutting-edge issues to address. I’m particularly interested in one entitled, “How 3-D Imaging Is Transforming the Litigation Landscape.” This will focus on the way that insurance carriers can use this tool to their benefit. In a state like mine—Pennsylvania—where medical testimony is always by deposition, any visual evidence that we can use so that a workers’ compensation judge is not faced with just the usual conflict between dueling opinions becomes a valuable tool. Of course, I wouldn’t miss the session on captive insurance programs, but I might be biased since I’m on that panel.
What does the WC Community hope to accomplish in 2017?
We hope that this year’s conference will be the springboard to growing our conference in the years ahead. CLM is the pre-eminent claims and litigation organization in the country, and we should be presenting the pre-eminent workers’ compensation conference. We have a lot of work to do to reach that goal, and we are inviting every CLM fellow and member not just to attend, of course, but to contribute. For the foreseeable future, Chicago will be the home of our conference each year. It’s a great city and a great place for us to have a home. In addition, we hope to expand our webinar presentations and have very high hopes for developing a large library of adjuster training programs as time goes on. We are always in need of help, so we invite every member and fellow to volunteer and participate.