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The WSIA Weekly, 5.15.15


Sheri Sundstrom elected WSIA President, other officers elected

At last week’s Annual Conference business meeting, WSIA members elected Sheri Sundstrom, Insurance Claims Manager for Hoffman Construction, to a two-year term as the next WSIA President. Sheri follows Therese Baxter, who had been serving as our interim president. Sheri also serves the association as our representative to the state’s Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee. The members also elected Saada Gegoux of the City of Tacoma as our next Vice President for Education, and re-elected Matt Saxon of REI as Treasurer, and Lisa Vivian as Vice President for Service Companies.

 Valley Medical’s Grace Casey awarded WSIA Chet Diehl Award; Lisa Vivian and Donna Egeland also recognized

Also at last week’s Annual Conference awards luncheon, the association awarded the recently created Chet Diehl Award for Distinguished Service to Grace Casey, an Occupational Health Services Manager at Valley Medical Center. The Chet Diehl Award, named for WSIA’s first president, recognizes extraordinary effort and dedication to WSIA and the self-insured community. Grace, who has served in many roles for WSIA over the years, currently sits on the Board as our Medical Representative. In separate special recognitions, WSIA also thanked Lisa Vivian for her leadership and service on numerous self-insurance projects like audit reform, and Donna Egeland, who stepped down from over 15 years of leadership in WSIA this spring to become the Self-Insurance Ombuds.

 Latest Liaison Committee report available

WSIA’s liaison committee met with Labor & Industries’ self-insurance section yesterday, and the report/minutes from that meeting are now posted on our website for your review. Your liaison committee provides assistance in resolving claim management issues, policy and procedure concerns, and specific individual claim-related issues through bi-monthly meetings with L&I representatives. If you have any concerns you would like the liaison committee to bring forward, please contact Kris Tefft or liaison committee members Glenn Hansen or Patrick Reiman.

 New: Register now for the next WSIA-L&I self-insurance colloquium, June 9th at Starbucks HQ

The next event in the series of jointly sponsored WSIA-Labor & Industries colloquia on self-insurance best practices is occurring June 9th from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Starbucks corporate headquarters in Seattle. The program, “On Preventing Development of Chronic Pain and Disability with a Focus on Medical Treatment and Insurance Decisions,” will feature topics such as the Coston ruling; psychiatric treatment and the DSM-5, spinal fusion, the new Agency Medical Directors Group guidelines on opioids, and a panel discussion on surgical best practices. WSIA is handling registration. It’s $25 for the day, to cover the cost of catering. Download this registration form, which includes agenda and location information, and return it to WSIA by June 2nd with payment. E-mail Patrick Koenig with any questions.  

 New: Marijuana in the Workplace: A Tricky Proposition

We’ve just added a new webinar to our 2015 online learning series, “Marijuana in the Workplace: A Tricky Proposition,” taking place June 18th from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Led by attorney Erin Sullivan-Byorick and lab toxicology manager David Michaelson, this webinar will tackle topics like how much marijuana in the blood shows up in test results? What constitutes a positive test? How would Labor & Industries address marijuana use? What is L&I’s position? Can an employee return to work while using medical marijuana to manage pain? Will there be occupational health guidelines around the use of marijuana? And so on. This is a great one to share not only with your workers’ comp staff, but human resources and safety as well. Use this link to register.

 Don’t Miss: “Eye on DOSH” free half-day seminar coming next Thursday

WSIA’s safety committee, in conjunction with the Washington Farm Bureau, Associated General Contractors, and American Association of Safety Engineers is presenting “Eye on DOSH: What to Expect when the Safety Inspector Comes Calling,” a free half-day panel presentation on preparing both for general safety investigations as well as more specialized accident/fatality investigations. The day will feature quite a bit of Q&A with expert panelists from the public and private sectors, corporate and government, and the defense bar. It’s being held at Farm Bureau HQ in Lacey. More information is available about the event by clicking this link, and to register, we ask that you e-mail Kari Heinold your intention to attend.

 Don’t Miss: The Aging Workforce – Will Your Company Adapt? Webinar next Tuesday

Did you know that by 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that one-third of the U.S. labor force will be age 50 or above? Next Tuesday, May 19th, we’re featuring Dr. Clyde Wilson, U.S. HealthWorks’ recently retired Medical Director in Washington, for “The Aging Workforce – Will Your Company Adapt?” Dr. Wilson will discuss adapting the workplace environment to deal with demographic changes associated with an aging workforce. Dr. Wilson’s presentation, which has been awarded a Safety and Health Investment Project (SHIP) grant from the Department of Labor & Industries, focus on accident prevention and will be of interest to your colleagues not only in claims, but also safety and human resources. Click here for more details and registration information, and please forward this timely and informative information to your safety and human resource colleagues who may be impacted by the subject.  1.5 WWCP credits awarded.