Opinion | It Takes a Village to Heal Injured Workers. Join Us at National Comp 2022 to Share and Connect

By: | September 30, 2022

Michelle Kerr is Workers’ Compensation Editor and National Conference Chair for Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected].

One of the best parts of my job is constantly learning and being surrounded by people who value learning and sharing their knowledge.

As chair of National Comp, I also get the opportunity to help curate our attendees’ learning experience, and I’m excited to be a part of what’s happening this October in Las Vegas.

While I can’t fit our entire agenda into this column, I’d like to share some of the content that will be delivered by experts I admire.

The workers’ comp industry has changed drastically in the 20+ years I’ve been learning about it. Lately, I’ve been wondering how it will change in the next 20 years. So, I’m looking forward to this year’s keynote to spark my imagination.

Dr. Casey Chosewood, director and senior medical officer for the Office for Total Worker Health at NIOSH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will present “Future-casting Workers’ Comp: What’s Next for Worker Safety, Health and Well-being?”

I spoke to Dr. Chosewood recently. He has a lot to share as we ride these seismic shifts that are still occurring across the U.S. workforce.

Those shifts impact us all. I recently wrote a column asking whether we really understand our younger workers and their workplace training needs. Gaps in training put people and organizations at risk. Earlier this year, I was impressed with Sharita Green-Ngounda, strategic risk control consultant with PMA Companies, and her perspectives on how those gaps in training impact all underserved employee populations. I’m looking forward to Green-Ngounda’s research findings and recommendations for employers, which she’ll be presenting in “Are You Considering Underserved Populations in Your Occupational Training?”

Another issue that will affect all of our futures is climate change. I’ve been following Joe Paduda’s blog posts on this topic, and I am excited that Paduda will be sharing his insights with us this year with “Protecting Workers and Employers from the Impact of Climate Change” alongside Jeff Rush of California JPIA and Jill Leonard of the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corporation.

I always say that “it takes a village” is the unofficial slogan of this industry. It’s rare that I get the opportunity to see how it all comes together to impact an injured worker’s life.

This year, we’ll all have that opportunity with “Complex Claims in the Real World: How One Worker Went from Injured to Empowered,” featuring former welder William “Billy P.” Parker. Parker will be joined by members of his team from One Call, Hanger and Summit for an inspiring look into what excellent complex care can accomplish.

There are so many facets of injured worker recovery, but one we’ve yet to explore at National Comp is the role of nutrition. I look forward to Dr. Kay Bruening, an expert in medical nutrition therapy for Optimized Outcome Solutions, opening that conversation for us this year with a CompTalk called “Foods that Heal and Help Recovery – the Value of Nutrition for Workers’ Comp.”

Learning, sharing ideas and elevating each other is the heart of National Comp. Come learn about these topics face-to-face with your friends and peers this fall. &

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