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37th Annual National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference, July 18-20, 2017, Hyannis, MA


Product Description

Join us on Cape Cod for SEAK’s 36th Annual National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference. SEAK has been proud to provide cutting edge, unbiased education to over 10,000 workers’ compensation and occupational medicine professionals since 1980. You will leave SEAK with numerous priceless tips that you can take back to immediately help you, your employer and your practice. As you can see from the following detailed course information, we offer a top notch faculty, relevant and timely topics, continuing education credits, and numerous breakouts so that you can customize your learning experience. 

Hyannis is located in the heart of Cape Cod, which is one of the top ten travel destinations in the U.S. The Cape offers warm water beaches, dining options for every taste, shopping, biking, hiking, fishing, museums, and entertainment. Our site hotel is located very close to the ferry terminals so that you can also easily explore the world famous islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. 

Tuesday-Thursday, July 18-20, 2017, The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis, Hyannis, MA

Click here for full conference brochure and details (pdf)

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: SEAK’s 2017 Conference will be held at The Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis. SEAK has secured a special group rate of $170/night for single/double occupancy plus tax. Rooms are limited and this rate expires on June 18, 2017. To make your reservations, please call 866- 828-9111 and refer to the SEAK Group rate. Overflow Hotel: We have reserved a limited block of overflow rooms at The Holiday Inn Hyannis at a discounted rate ($184 single/double). To make your reservations, please call (508) 775-1153 and identify yourselves as being with the SEAK, Inc. group or go to www.holidayinn.com/hyannisma and enter group code “SEA”. Free shuttle service will be provided between the Holiday Inn and the site hotel. Alternative Lodging: As a tourist destination, the Hyannis area has numerous alternative lodging options for different tastes and budgets. Hyannis features national chains such as Holiday Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Doubletree, Fairfield Inn and Suites, and Comfort Inn as well as numerous independent inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts. Since our dates are not over weekends there is typically wide lodging availability.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION/DISCOUNTS: Tuition is $995 on or before March 31, 2017; $1095 April 1, 2017-June 30, 2017; $1195 After June 30, 2017. Your tuition includes handout materials to be distributed at the door, coffee breaks, reception, three continental breakfasts, a social event on Wednesday night, and two conference luncheons with faculty. Tuition for each preconference is $395 on or before March 31, 2017; $445 April 1, 2017-June 30, 2017; $495 After June 30, 2017. A 20% discount is available for two or more persons registering together from the same company. You can save up to 33% when you register early and bring a colleague.

CONFERENCE CANCELLATIONS: Conference cancellations received in writing on or before June 30, 2017 will receive a full refund. Persons canceling after June 30, 2017 will not receive a refund, but will receive a full tuition credit.

Note: If your specialty does not appear below and you desire credits, please contact Karen Cerbarano (Karen@seak.com or 781-826-4974). We can often obtain desired credits upon request, but unfortunately, obtaining some types of credits are not feasible. Please register early, as we can only apply for credits after your registration form has been received and it can take time to get the requested approvals back from the accrediting agencies.
Attorneys: Please request CLE credits when mailing in your registration form. Credit hours vary by state, usually in the range of 16.5 – 20.5 credit hours. Case Managers: 18 contact hours of continuing education for Case Managers have been applied for from the Commission for Case Manager Certification, St. Paul, Minnesota. Disability Specialists: 18 contact hours of continuing education for Disability Specialists have been applied for from the Commission for Disability Management Specialists, Schaumburg, Illinois. Nurses: To successfully complete a program and receive contact hours you must: 1) register in, 2) be present for the period of time you are awarded contact hours, 3) complete and hand in the evaluation. Occupational Health Nurses: This activity has been submitted to the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) for approval to award contact hours. The American Association of Occupational Nurses (AAOHN) is an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Physical Therapists: Continuing Physical Therapy credits vary by state, and will only be applied for if requested in writing on the conference registration form. Physicians: SEAK, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 16.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).™ Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Rehabilitation Counselors: 18 contact hours of continuing education hours for Rehabilitation Counselors have been applied for from the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, Schaumburg, Illinois. Rehabilitation Nurses: This program will be accepted for the same number of CNE’s for the ARN Certification that is approved by the ANA/AAOHN.
NOTE: Any and all commercial products or services displayed or advertised at the 2017 SEAK Conference are neither endorsed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation nor SEAK, Inc. SEAK does not accept commercial support for its programs and does not use faculty members with conflicts of interest.


Q. What sets SEAK apart?
A. Our conference is interdisciplinary, permitting professionals of many professions and disciplines to interact with and learn from one another. In addition, we feature very highly credentialed speakers who are leaders in their fields

Q.  What do you do differently to you ensure that your presentations are bias free?
A.  Unlike other conferences, we don’t attempt to manage or mitigate/disclose speakers with conflicts of interest – we exclude them. 

Q.  Do you offer any discounts on tuition?
A.  Yes.  Early registration discounts of up to $200/per person are available.  In addition, we offer a 20% discount for two or more people registering together from the same company.  You can save up to 33% if you register early and bring a colleague.

Q.  What are my lodging options beyond the site hotel?
A.  As a tourist destination, the Hyannis area has numerous alternative lodging options for different tastes and budgets. Hyannis features national chains such as Holiday Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, Doubletree, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Comfort Inn as well as numerous independent inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts. Since our dates are not over weekends there is typically wide lodging availability.

Q.  Who will I be able to network with at the conference?
A.  The diversity of our conference is one of our strengths.  Typical attendees are anyone interested in reducing workers’ compensation costs and improving employee health along with their employer’s bottom line. This includes occupational physicians and nurses, risk managers, attorneys, executives, case managers, insurers, employers, TPAs, adjusters, etc.  We also will have numerous exhibitors at the conference.

Q. What are my options for getting to the Cape?
A.  There are many.  You can drive from anywhere in the Northeast, fly in to major airports in Boston or Providence (70 and 80 miles respectively) and rent a car, or connect into Hyannis’ own regional airport. There is even bus service from Boston if you prefer not to rent a car.

Q.  Will I have time to get out and enjoy the Cape?  
A.  Yes. Our sessions start early each day so that they can end between 3:40 and 4:40 in the afternoon. This will allow you several hours of daylight (sunset is around 8pm in July) to enjoy the Cape, as well as every evening.

Q.  Do you offer continuing education credit?
A.  Yes.  Credits are available for many specialties, please see page 4 of the brochure. 

Q. What if I have additional questions about the conference? Who can I speak with?
A. You may call our president, Steve Babitsky on his direct line 508-548-9443 and he will be pleased to speak with you.





9:00–9:50 Causation: Evidence-Based Occupational Medicine
James B. (Jim) Talmage, MD
Dr. Talmage will explain the main difference between medical and legal causation in workers’ compensation claims. He will discuss the science of causation of back pain, rotator cuff disease, elbow tendinopathy/ ulnar neuropathy at the elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Dr. Talmage will offer practical suggestions for effectively dealing with the issue of causation in workers’ compensation claims. Questions & Answers.

JTalmage.jpgames B. (Jim) Talmage, MD is an orthopaedic surgeon by training. He is Board Certified in Orthopaedic Surgery and in Emergency Medicine. He serves as Assistant Medical Director for the State of Tennessee Division of Workers’ Compensation. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Occupational Medicine at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. He is a Past President of the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians (AADEP). Since 1992 he has lectured over 700 times to physician audiences in courses sponsored by AADEP, AAOS, ACOEM, SEAK, and multiple other organizations. He does unpaid peer review of articles submitted to two medical journals. He is a Co-Editor of the textbook published by the American Medical Association on Causation and the textbook on Work Ability. He has helped author many AMA products on impairment rating. He is a paid consultant to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).


10:00–10:50 How to Evaluate, Manage, and Defend Complex Workers’ Compensation Claims
Lora Northen, Esq.
Attorney Northen will discuss and demonstrate, with examples, the importance of early recognition of difficult claims and offer tips for recognizing these cases. She will provide keys to minimizing the overall exposure in complex claims. Attorney Northen will discuss the advantages of early and detailed investigation and the value of partnering with your medical team. She will offer practical suggestions on how the employer can assist in managing complex workers’ compensation claims. Questions & Answers.

Northern_Lora.jpgLora Northen, Esq. is an attorney and co-chair of the workers’ compensation department at the law firm of Capeheart Scatchard. She has written and lectured extensively on numerous areas of workers’ compensation law and practice, is certified by the supreme court of New Jersey as a workers’ compensation law attorney, and is a fellow of the College of Worker’s Compensation Attorneys. Attorney Northen received her BA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her JD from Rutgers State University of New Jersey School of Law. She focuses her practice on the representation of employers, self-insureds, and carriers in workers’ compensation defense matters. She has been named to the list of Super Lawyers by Law and Politics and New Jersey Monthly.


11:00–12:00 The Forecast From Ground Level: An Injured Worker’s Perspective
Lauren Danahy, RN, BS, MBA, CCM, LNCC, CCHP
A former injured worker with a catastrophic injury will share his story about having a Nurse Case Manager assigned to him during his rehabilitation from his injuries. He was able to RTW modified duty 16 months post-injury and slowly progress back to full duty with his employer of injury via a comprehensive RTW plan that was mutually agreed upon by the injured worker, treating provider, employer and NCM. Lauren Danahy will discuss nurse case management, high risk cases, challenges faced when managing a file, and “stellar” vs. “good” case management. She will offer practical advice on how to identify injured workers who would benefit from having a nurse case manager assigned. Questions & Answers.

Danahy_Lauren.jpgLauren Danahy, RN, BS, MBA, CCM, LNCC, CCHP is Principal at Willamette Nurse Consultant Group and has had 21 years of diverse nursing experience that began after completing a six year service obligation in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. Ms. Danahy completed a RN to BS nursing program at Oregon Health and Science University and holds a MBA in Healthcare Management from Marylhurst University. Ms. Danahy is Board Certified in Case Management from the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), she is also a Board Certified Legal Nurse Consultant from the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (AALNC) as well as a Certified Correctional Health Professional from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC). Ms. Danahy is a member of the Workers’ Compensation Claims Association of Oregon (WCCA), Professionals in Workers’ Compensation (PWC) (Oregon), CMSA, AALNC and NCCHC. Ms. Danahy has worked for Fortune 500 companies and national carriers holding positions from staff level nurse to C-Level. She currently is in active practice in Home Health/Chronic Disease Management and Corrections Health.



A. The Excellent Neuropsychological IME
Shane Bush, PhD, ABPP
Dr. Bush will explain the differences between clinical neuropsychological evaluations and IME. He will discuss the multi-method assessment approach, selection of assessment measures (tests) and norms, estimating premorbid/optimal functioning, determining response, symptom, and performance validity (“malingering”), and data interpretation – when do low scores reflect impaired cognitive abilities? Dr. Bush will offer a discussion of ecological validity and provide examples of when performance on tests may not reflect real-world functioning. Dr. Bush will offer practical suggestions on dealing with causal relationship and what you can and should expect in the excellent neuropsychological IME and report. Questions & Answers.

Bush_Shane.jpgShane Bush, PhD, ABPP is Director of Long Island Neuropsychology, P.C. He is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology, Rehabilitation Psychology, Clinical Psychology, and Geropsychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (6 Divisions) and a past president and fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology. He has published more than 20 books and journal special issues, including Neuropsychological Assessment of Work-Related Injuries (2012), Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Symptom Validity Assessment and Malingering (2013), The APA Handbook of Forensic Neuropsychology (in press), and The Neuropsychological IME (in press). He is a contributing author on more than a dozen position papers that address forensic, ethical, and professional issues in neuropsychology. He serves on the editorial boards of eight journals, including Psychological Injury and Law. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and Naval Reserve.

B. Occupational Shoulder Injuries: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Return to Work
Suzanne Miller, MD
Dr. Miller will describe the shoulder and the most common occupational shoulder injuries. She will discuss and demonstrate, with video, the latest advanced techniques in arthroscopic shoulder instability and rotator cuff repair. She will explain the pitfalls in therapy, treatment, and recovery. Dr. Miller will offer practical suggestions for early and safe return to work for workers with shoulder injuries. Questions & Answers.

Miller_Suzanne.jpgSuzanne Miller, MD is a board certified orthopedic surgeon at Boston Sports and Shoulder Center and is an assistant clinical professor at Tufts University. She has written and lectured extensively on shoulder injuries. Dr. Miller completed her medical school and her residency training at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York followed by a sports medicine fellowship at The University of Pittsburgh. She has a Master’s Degree from Columbia in Exercise Physiology. Dr. Miller is board certified and holds a subspecialty certificate in orthopaedic sports medicine and she serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Miller’s clinical interests lie in treating sports medicine injuries of the shoulder and lower extremity. She has published extensively in medical literature and has several ongoing clinical trials involving shoulder and hamstring injuries.

C. The Biggest Mistakes Employers Make in Workers’ Compensation Cases and How to Avoid Them
Christopher Norton, Esq.
Attorney Norton will discuss case selection and choosing the wrong cases to litigate. He will explain the common and costly mistakes employers, insurers, and self-insurers make when dealing with defense counsel including: not getting counsel involved early, sending counsel an incomplete file, and conceding on causation and the mechanism of injury without a proper investigation. Attorney Norton will discuss best practices when dealing with treating physicians and other health care providers. Attorney Norton will offer practical, cost effective suggestions for achieving excellent settlements. Questions & Answers.

Norton_Chris.jpgChristopher S. Norton is a shareholder at Lester Norton & Brozina, P.C. Mr. Norton has devoted 100% of his practice to the area of workers’ compensation defense litigation. He is a Workers’ Compensation Certified Specialist (State Bar of Arizona Board of Legal Specialization). He represents workers’ compensation insurance carriers, self-insured employers, and third-party administrators before the Industrial Commission of Arizona and Arizona Appellate Courts. He graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He is licensed in Texas and Arizona. He has been rated as a Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2013-2015. He serves as board member of the Arizona Self-Insured Association.



A. OSHA Latest Developments: For Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health Professionals
Charles Keller, Esq.
Attorney Keller will explain the latest OSHA developments including the use of the multiple employer citation policy and the general duty clause, reporting requirements, drug testing, and incentive programs. He will discuss OSHA “Hot Topics,” such as temporary workers, recordkeeping, and vulnerable workers. Attorney Keller will offer practical suggestions for workers’ compensation and occupational health professionals for OSHA compliance and best practices to deal with inspections and citations. Questions & Answers.

Keller_Chuck.jpgAttorney Chuck Keller’s primary area of practice is in employment law, concentrated in defending employers protesting federal- and state-issued Occupational Safety & Health Administration and Mine Safety & Health Administration citations, resolving and contesting citations in federal and state administrative hearings, and appealing administrative decisions to the OSHA Review Board and federal or state Courts of Appeal. He is experienced in counseling employers in other OSHA and MSHA related matters, including drafting and reviewing safety and compliance programs, petitioning for variances, and complying with OSHA and MSHA standards.

B. Managing Workers’ Compensation Claims with Comorbid Conditions
Eric Patten, RN, BSN
Mr. Patten will review the rise of workers’ compensation claims with comorbid diagnosis and increased costs. He will define today’s top comorbid conditions including hypertension, diabetes, cardiac, obesity, etc. and how they impact the workers’ compensation claims. He will offer practical suggestions and best practices for effectively dealing with comorbid conditions, reducing costs, and achieving return-to-work. Questions & Answers.

Patten_Eric.jpgEric Patten, RN, BSN is the director of clinical management and complex case at One Call Care Management. Mr. Patten received his BSN from Northeast University. He has had over 12 years of experience as a catastrophic nurse case manager, and 23 years of overall nursing experience. Mr. Patten has lectured extensively on clinical management of the complex case, diabetes and recovery, and workers’ compensation challenges: aging, obesity, and comorbidities. He is a member of the case management society of America and performs onsite evaluations of high exposure claims to deal with comorbidities and identify potential opportunities for improved outcomes and savings.

C. Traumatic Brain Injury: Return to Work
Brian Im, MD
Dr. Im will discuss the physical, behavioral, and cognitive difficulties common to traumatic brain injury and the challenges they pose to successfully returning to work. He will review the deterrents to return to work in this population and identify strategies that can facilitate successful transition back to work after a traumatic brain injury. He will explain the role of vocational rehabilitation in facilitating return to work after a traumatic brain injury. Dr. Im will offer practical suggestions for the use of adaptive technology in facilitating return to work following a traumatic brain injury. Questions & Answers.

Im_Brian.jpgBrian Im, MD is an assistant professor and brain injury medicine fellowship director at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Im completed his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at NYU School of Medicine/Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and subsequently did a fellowship in brain injury rehabilitation medicine at UMDNJ/ Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. Upon finishing his fellowship, Dr. Im returned to Bellevue Hospital specifically with an interest to improve the brain injury rehabilitation program for the underserved public city hospital population. During his five years at Bellevue, Dr. Im became the director of the brain injury rehabilitation program. Currently, Dr. Im is associate director of brain injury rehabilitation at Rusk Rehabilitation where he continues to treat both inpatients and outpatients. He is also co-director of the TBI model systems project at Rusk Rehabilitation and Bellevue Hospital. He provides care for patients as part of the NYU concussion center as well.



A. ADA: Latest Developments for Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health Professionals
Lawrence Postol, Esq.
Attorney Postol will discuss the latest ADA developments, including: leaves of absence - how long is too long, essential job functions - what must an employee be able to do, and what must be transferred to others as part of required job restructuring. Mr. Postol will address telecommuting, and how it can be abused and what employers can do to try to limit such abuse. Other issues like the duty to transfer to vacant positions, and the defense of undue hardship will also be discussed. Mr. Postol will review defenses employers have to ADA claims and the limitations on the employer’s obligations to the employee. Attorney Postol will offer real world suggestions for employers to avoid ADA abuse and for compliance and defending against ADA claims. Mr. Postol will also explain the interaction between the ADA and workers’ compensation claims, and how employers can use the ADA to show that injured workers can do light duty work. Mr. Postol will explain how prospective employers must accommodate the injured employee’s work restrictions, and thus how that can assist in a labor market survey. Mr. Postol will also offer advice on provisions to use in workers’ compensation settlements so as to avoid an ADA claim after settling a workers’ compensation case. Questions & Answers.

Postol_Larry.jpgLawrence Postol, Esq. is a partner and litigator concentrating his practice in the Labor and Employment Law area in the Washington, D.C. office of the national law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Attorney Postol has defended against claims for race, age, sex, and disability discrimination. He has also handled FLSA, ERISA and OSHA litigation. Mr. Postol counsels clients on all aspects of employment law and has particular expertise with respect to ADA compliance. Additionally, Attorney Postol has extensive experience in workers’ compensation defense, as well as handling the defense of toxic tort litigation, and environmental litigation. Attorney Postol has successfully argued over three dozen cases in the United States Court of Appeals and two cases before the United States Supreme Court.

B. Building Your Ergonomics Program: Risk and Injury Reduction
Rachel Michael, CPE, CHSP
Ms. Michael will explain how to avoid ergonomics program pitfalls and utilize best practices to reduce workers’ compensation claims. She will discuss how to develop and use a job/process hazard analysis worksheet, and root cause analysis to reduce recurring injuries. Ms. Michael will offer practical advice on building a costeffective successful ergonomics program. Questions & Answers.

Michael_Rachel.jpgRachel Michael, CPE, CHSP is Thought Leader of the ergonomics practice group within Aon Global Risk Consulting developing solutions that drive safety, efficiency and productivity for a global client base. Rachel holds a Master’s degree in Ergonomics and is the 2017 President of the board of directors for the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE). Ms. Michael has experience implementing successful ergonomics controls and programs in diverse industries including hospitality, retail, manufacturing, distribution, defense, government, office, and tribal entities.

C. Psychological Aspects of Workers’ Compensation and Unnecessary Disability
Garson Caruso, MD, MPH
Dr. Caruso will examine some of the psychological elements of workers compensation claims and claimants that are relevant to both positive and negative outcomes. He will discuss factors contributing to unnecessary disability, including personal, medical, psychological, sociocultural, systemic, and workplace elements, and the under-recognized contribution of medically unexplained symptoms. He will propose the need for greater acknowledgment of these influences and a paradigm shift incorporating them into workers’ compensation and disability medicine, and offer potential management strategies for dealing with patients who fail to recover as expected. Questions & Answers.

Caruso_Garson.jpgGarson Caruso, MD, MPH is a board certified occupational medicine physician and consultant in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Dr. Caruso received his BA from Washington and Jefferson College, his MD from Temple University School of Medicine, and his MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has performed occupational health services and consulting for organizations including AmTrust, Bechtel Aberdeen, CorVel, Dean Foods, Lockheed Martin, The New York Transit Authority, PepsiCo, and the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Dr. Caruso is the lead author of Chapter Five of the ACOEM Practice Guidelines, on Work Disability Prevention and Management, and has written and lectured on that topic, as well as medically unexplained symptoms and psychology in occupational medicine and disability.




8:00–8:50 The Future of Occupational Health: Integrating Health Promotion with Health Protection
Raymond Fabius, MD
Dr. Fabius will discuss how to break down the silos of safety practices and occupational health and wellness to achieve integrated health protection and promotion. He will discuss population health, disease progression, and the connection between health and productivity. Dr. Fabius will explain and demonstrate, with examples, how companies can maximize workforce performance and well-being while also achieving a competitive advantage in the workplace. Questions & Answers.

Fabius_Ray.jpgRaymond Fabius, MD is co-founder of HealthNext which helps companies build cultures of health. He is the author of the textbook, Population Health: Creating Cultures of Wellness. He is a frequent speaker on workplace health, having lectured at the Institute of Health and Productivity Management, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the American Association of Physician Leadership, the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Business Group on Health, the National Business Coalition on Health, the Health Enhancement Resource Organization, and the Population Health Alliance to name a few. Dr. Fabius is most passionate about developing systems of care to meet the needs of populations, establishing the ties between the health and productivity of workforces and building cultures of health within companies, organizations and communities.


9:00–9:50 Use and Abuse of Diagnostic Testing: Medical Cost Containment
Jeffrey Adelson, Esq.
Attorney Adelson will discuss and provide examples of how unnecessary diagnostic testing is driving ballooning medical costs in workers’ compensation cases. He will review why utilization management, IMEs, and utilization review has not stopped unnecessary and ill-advised surgeries and medical treatment. He will explain the impact of early MRI utilization on outcomes, disability, and claim costs. Attorney Adelson will offer practical suggestions for the proper use of diagnostic testing in workers’ compensation cases. Questions & Answers.

thumb-jeffrey-adelson.jpgJeffrey Adelson Esq., is managing partner in the firm of Adelson, Testan, Brundo, Novell & Jiminez one of the nations largest workers compensation law firms. He has practiced in the field of workers' compensation for over 30 years. Attorney has served as a Judge Pro Tem.  Prior to joining Adelson, Testan, Brundo, Novell & Jimenez, Mr. Adelson spent sixteen years at Zonni, Ginocchio & Taylor where he was the Managing Partner of the Santa Ana office, as well as the firm's civil department. In addition, Mr. Adelson's legal career includes experience in the areas of civil, family and criminal law. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton in 1973, and received his Juris Doctor from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California in 1976. Mr. Adelson has also completed numerous courses in Advanced Legal Education at the University of Southern California Law Center. In addition, he has completed multiple courses in orthopedic medicine, psychiatric medicine, and human anatomy.


10:00–10:50 Mental Health and Workers’ Compensation: Early Intervention to Prevent Delayed Recovery
Denise Zoe Algire, MBA, RN, COHN-S/CM
Ms. Algire will discuss delayed recovery, its dynamics, and what it looks like. She will explain why mental health is a comorbidity in many workers’ compensation cases. Ms. Algire will explain and demonstrate, with examples, a highly successful early intervention approach to delayed mental health recovery management, including: screening, triage, and provider engagement. Ms. Algire will offer practical suggestions on how with the proper use of early intervention, delayed recovery due to mental health issues can be prevented. Questions & Answers.

Algire_Denise.jpgDenise Zoe Algire, MBA, RN, COHN-S/CM is the National Director of Managed Care & Disability for the combined organizations of Albertsons and Safeway Inc, one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America with over 285,000 employees across 35 jurisdictions. Ms. Algire is a nationally recognized expert in health care, workers’ compensation and integrated disability management. She is board certified in occupational & environmental health and case management, and a fellow of the American Board of Occupational & Environmental Health Nurses. She received her MBA in International Business and Global Leadership from the University of Texas and her BSN from the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining the Albertsons Companies, Denise was a Principal and the Integrated Health Practice Leader for Risk Navigation Group where she developed and implemented medical management programs and strategies for global employers, healthcare, government, and P&C insurance companies. Ms. Algire is a published author, researcher and frequent speaker at national industry conferences.


11:00–12:00 The Goal Achievement Model for Back Pain: Return to Work
Rowland Hazard, MD
Dr. Hazard will discuss the limitations of the biomedical approach to the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain. He will review the connection between the patients’ thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes for their pain and the development of disability. Dr. Hazard will describe the impact and use of personal goal achievement to assist in the functional restoration and return to work for patients with chronic back pain. Questions & Answers.

Hazard_Rowland.jpgRowland Hazard, MD is a professor of orthopedics and medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. He is the director of the functional restoration program, Dartmouth Hitchcock Center. Dr. Hazard has written and lectured extensively on back pain and functional restoration. Dr. Hazard has seen patients dealing with passive motion and back pain. He received his BA from Harvard University and his MD from the University of Vermont and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Hazard is a scientific advisory board member for the translation of rehabilitation engineering advances and technology (NIH).



A. FMLA: Fighting Abuse
Jeffrey Dretler, Esq.
Attorney Dretler will discuss the common ways employees abuse FMLA and offer strategies for how employers can effectively curb those abuses. He will review Monday/Friday absences, recurrent and/or chronic illnesses, intermittent leave, medical certifications and recertifications, second opinions, transfers to alternative positions, callin procedures, and fraud investigation. Attorney Dretler will offer practical tips and suggestions for employers on how to best modify and proactively enforce their FMLA policies. Questions & Answers.

Dretler_Jeffrey.jpgJeffrey Dretler, Esq. is a partner in the national law firm of Fisher Phillips. He has more than 20 years of experience representing employers in state and federal courts in cases involving discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, payment of wages, trade secret and other matters. Jeff also advises employers on compliance with the FMLA, reasonable accommodation, hiring/ firing and personnel policies and procedures. He has been elected by his peers as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and has been recognized as a Massachusetts “Super Lawyer” for employment litigation defense and as one of the top 100 lawyers in Massachusetts. Jeff earned his B.A. from Northwestern University and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

B. Integrated Disability Prevention: Preventing Delayed Recovery
Jonathan K. Torres, MD, MPH, FACOEM
Dr. Torres will discuss the integrated disability prevention (IDP) program and explain how it is being utilized to enhance patient care, improve recovery, prevent disability, and also decrease costs through early intervention. He will explain the components of IDP and how it can successfully be integrated into clinical practice. Dr. Torres will offer case examples of IDP and will provide practical suggestions on how to start an IDP program to help prevent delayed recovery and disability. Questions & Answers.

Torres_Jonathan.jpgJonathan K. Torres, MD, MPH, FACOEM is the Medical Director of St. Mary’s WorkMed in Auburn, ME. Dr. Torres received his BS from Brown University, his MD from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and his MPH from the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health. Dr. Torres is a former flight surgeon for the United States Air Force, including service in support of operation Desert Shield/Storm. Dr. Torres is the author of The Integrated Disability Prevention (IDP) Approach: A Clinical Paradigm Shift, in progress.

C. How to Write Effective Work Restrictions
Stephanie Hammond, DNP, CRNP
Dr. Hammond will discuss the role and importance of work restrictions in the workers’ compensation and occupational medicine system. She will explain why one should not assume that the employer can’t accommodate the restrictions. Dr. Hammond will offer best practices in writing work restrictions, including: being specific about what the worker can and cannot do, clearly communicating to the worker and employer how long the restrictions are to be in place, and determining the actual job duties of the worker. Dr. Hammond will offer examples of common worker restrictions in workers’ compensation cases and will provide examples of well written and poorly written work restrictions. Questions & Answers.

Hammond_Stephanie.jpgStephanie Hammond, DNP, CRNP is an instructor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and adult nurse practitioner specializing in occupational and environmental health; her faculty practice is at The Workplace, an occupational medicine clinic that manages work related injuries for over 100 employers in central Alabama. Dr. Hammond is also on faculty with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) funded interdisciplinary Deep South Education and Research Center for Occupational Health and Safety, a collaborative partnership of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University. Dr. Hammond received her Masters of Science in Nursing and Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and authored several publications including Evaluation and Treatment of the Acutely Injured Worker. Dr. Hammond directs nurse practitioner student clinical practice with adult clients in primary and occupational health care settings and lectures on occupational health and safety topics for graduate students and professional colleagues. She also supervises interdisciplinary fieldwork for graduate students in occupational health nursing, safety engineering, injury prevention, ergonomics, and industrial hygiene and is active at the local and national levels of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.



A. Occupational Hand Injuries: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Return to Work
Roderick Bruno, MD
Dr. Bruno will discuss and illustrate the most common occupational upper extremity injuries including: compressive neuropathies (carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome), soft tissue injuries, tendinopathies of the elbow (lateral and medial epicondylitis, biceps tendon ruptures) and trauma. He will review treatment options, rehabilitation, and return to work. Dr. Bruno will offer practical suggestions and best practices for effective treatment and recovery times for workers with upper extremity injuries and conditions, and in particular, the special needs of the injured worker. Questions & Answers.

Bruno_Rod.jpgRoderick Bruno, MD is an orthopedic and upper extremity surgeon who works at Access Sports Medicine and Orthopaedics in the Exeter, Hew Hampshire. Dr. Bruno is certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons, with a Certificate of Additional Qualification for Surgery of the Hand. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and is a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the New England Hand Society, and the New England Orthopaedic Society. He has numerous publications in the field of hand and upper extremity trauma, reconstruction, and congenital deformities. He is formerly an Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, New England Medical Center, and the Floating Hospital for Children, and remains on staff in Boston as a Voluntary Clinical Instructor.

B. Total Worker Health®: Best Practices
Deborah Fell-Carlson, RN, MSPH, COHN-S
Ms. Fell-Carlson will discuss the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Total Worker Health approach and explain how integrating protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention advances worker well-being and engagement. Ms. Fell-Carlson will illustrate how this approach can help speed overall recovery and return to work when an injury does occur. Ms. Fell- Carlson will offer practical advice on how to achieve Total Worker Health. Questions & Answers.

Fell-Carlson_Deb.jpgDeborah Fell-Carlson, RN, MSPH, COHN-S is involved in strategic efforts to help Oregon employers gain efficiencies, improve productivity, prevent injuries, and shorten injury recovery times by applying National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Total Worker Health® principles – an approach linking health improvement to injury prevention 24/7. Deb is a certified occupational health nurse specialist with a Masters’ Degree in Public Health from Oregon State University. She was selected to the 2013 American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Class of Fellows and was the 2013-2014 recipient of the American Society of Safety Engineers’ Columbia-Willamette Chapter Safety Professional of the Year Award.

C. Aging Workers: Prevention, Safety, and Return to Work
Wayne S. Maynard, CSP, CPE, ALCM
Mr. Maynard will discuss the implications of the aging workforce and the cognitive and health-related changes that can be anticipated. He will explain the relationship between age, physical work capacity, and productivity. Mr. Maynard will offer best practices for training, safety and prevention, and return to work for aging workers. Questions & Answers.

Maynard_Wayne.jpgWayne S. Maynard, CSP, CPE, ALCM is product director – workers’ compensation, ergonomics and tribology, Risk Control Technical Services Liberty Mutual Research Institute For Safety. He is a certified professional ergonomist and certified safety professional. Mr. Maynard has written and lectured extensively on aging workers, safety, prevention, slips, trips, and falls, and ergonomics. He holds leadership roles on several ANSI and ASTM technical committees on ergonomics, pedestrian walkway safety and footwear. Mr. Maynard is coauthor of Aging Workers and Ergonomics: A Fresh Perspective.

8:00–9:30 SOCIAL MIXER



10:00–10:50 Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: Latest Developments
Mark Pew
Mr. Pew will review the growing number of states who have legalized medical marijuana. He will discuss delivery methods, the FDA’s criteria for medicine, medical applications of marijuana, and the recognized mental and physical effects. Mr. Pew will review the current legal landscape, pending legislation, and the implications for the workers’ compensation systems. Mr. Pew will offer practical suggestions for effectively dealing with medical marijuana in the workplace. Questions & Answers.

Pew_Mark.jpgMark Pew, The RxProfessor, is a senior vice president of PRIUM. He is an expert in workers’ compensation management with a focus on prescription drug management. Mr. Pew created PRIUM’s award-winning medical intervention program. From March 2012 thru August 2016, Mark presented educational content 356 times to 23,979 people in 39 states + DC, including 16 national webinars. He serves on the IAIABC Medical Issues Committee, the SIIA Workers’ Compensation Committee, and the Pharmacy & UR Groups for CompSense in California and New York. In addition, he serves as a technical advisor to multiple jurisdictions on subjects such as drug formularies, treatment guidelines and medicinal use of cannabis.


11:00–12:00 Chronic Pain: Best Practices for Managing Chronic Pain Patients
Alan Kaye, MD, PhD
Dr. Kaye will explain how acute pain can become chronic pain. He will discuss the contribution of psychosocial factors and the biopsychosocial approach to chronic pain and will explain the latest developments in the treatment of chronic pain. Dr. Kaye will offer best practices for the use of opioids, epidural injections, and anesthesia in the treatment of patients with chronic pain. Dr. Kaye will offer practical advice for Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Health Professionals for the treatment of chronic pain patients. Questions & Answers.

Kaye_Alan.jpgAlan David Kaye, MD, PhD, is the Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He is Board Certified as a Consultant in Anesthesiology and has a special certificate in Pain Management for the American Board of Anesthesiology. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians. Dr. Kaye has published over 700 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Pain Physicians and is on the FDA Advisory Board on Anesthetics and Analgesics.

12:00–1:30 LUNCH (ON YOUR OWN)


A. Occupational Cartilage and Meniscal Injuries of the Knee: Latest Developments
Lyndon B. Gross, MD, PhD
Dr. Gross will discuss cartilage and meniscal injuries of the knee, including how to delineate between acute and chronic injuries. Dr. Gross will discuss non-operative and operative treatment options, including the various operative options. He will review off work protocols and offer practical suggestions for getting the injured worker back to work after an occupational knee injury. Questions & Answers.

Gross_Lyndon.jpgLyndon B. Gross, MD, PhD is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with a subspecialty in orthopedic sports medicine. He studied under James R. Andrew, MD and practices at the Orthopedic Center of St. Louis. Dr. Gross has written and lectured extensively on shoulder, elbow and knee injuries and workers’ compensation. Dr. Gross performs advanced arthroscopic procedures, joint reconstruction and replacement, and cartilage restoration procedures. He has been selected by his peers as one of the best doctors in America since 2007. Dr. Gross was an assistant team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals.

B. Reducing Opioid Use by Workers’ Compensation Claimants
Robert J. Barth, PhD
Mr. Barth will discuss the opioid epidemic and will explain the impact it has on recovery, return to work, and increasing costs. Mr. Barth  will offer red flags for identification of problematic claims and will explain how to use clinical treatment guidelines, pharmacy benefit managers, utilization reviews, and physician education and support to reduce unnecessary opioid use. Mr. Barth  will offer case management best practices and practical suggestions for reducing opioid overuse in workers’ compensation claims. Questions & Answers.

barth.jpgThe American Medical Association has repeatedly listed Dr. Barth among their “internationally recognized expert authors”. His work for the AMA has included contributing to the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, and the Guides to the Evaluation of Disease and Injury Causation. He has also been asked to provide faculty, writing, and editorial duties for all of the following: National Association of Workers' Compensation Judiciary, International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions, ODG Treatment in Workers Compensation, The Workers Compensation Institute / WC360 Conference, Southern Association of Workers Compensation Administrators, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society, American Academy of Neurology, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, American Bar Association, and several governments internationally. His work has addressed the standard method for addressing work-relatedness, the standard method for evaluating work ability, impairment rating, pain, mental illness, brain injury, etc. He has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians. His full time education concluded with a Harvard Medical School fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

C. Defending the Workers’ Compensation Case: Proactive Early Intervention & Documentation
Cassandra Roberts, Esq.
Attorney Roberts will explain and demonstrate, with examples, how early and thorough investigation and documentation of the file with contemporaneous medical and other collateral evidence can assist the defense of a claim. She will explain how “locking down” the facts and original medical complaints can help reduce the costs and fight late escalating claims. Attorney Roberts will offer practical suggestions on how workers’ compensation and occupational health professionals can assist counsel in the defense of contested workers’ compensation claims. Questions & Answers.

Roberts_Cassandra.jpgCassandra Roberts, Esq. is a partner at the Delaware law firm of Young Conway Stargatt & Taylor specializing in workers’ compensation defense. Attorney Roberts has had extensive experience litigating workers’ compensation cases. She has been repeatedly named a “Top Lawyer” in workers’ compensation by Delaware Today Magazine (and was the top vote getter in 2001, 2009 and 2015 and 2016). Attorney Roberts has received the distinctions of being named to the Larson’s National Workers’ Compensation Advisory Board and Best Lawyers in America Workers’ Compensation Law 2005-present. She is the author of the Delaware Workers’ Compensation Case Law Update, a quarterly newsletter, and also has a legal blog on the topic of workers’ compensation, The Delaware Detour & Frolic, which has been repeatedly recognized by LexisNexis as a Top 25 Law Blog on workers’ compensation and workplace issues.  She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Randy J. Holland DE Workers’ Compensation Inn of Court and is the Editor of Supreme Cuisine, a Bench & Bar community cookbook with proceeds benefitting Kids Chance of Delaware, a national organization which raises scholarship funds for children of workers killed on the job.



A. Occupational Foot and Ankle Conditions
Aprajita Nakra, DPM, FACFAS
Dr. Nakra will discuss the most common occupational foot and ankle injuries. She will explain and demonstrate, with video conservative and surgical treatment options. Dr. Nakra will explain the proper use of orthotics, brace wear and physical therapy. She will also offer practical suggestions and best practices for the diagnosis and treatment of occupational foot and ankle conditions to help achieve returning the patient to work. Questions & Answers.

Nakra_Aprajita.jpgAprajita Nakra, DPM, FACFAS is Board Certified in Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Surgery and is also a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Dr. Nakra successfully finished a surgical residency program at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. She then began practicing podiatric foot and ankle medicine and surgery in Arizona. Besides private practice, Dr. Nakra has authored chapters in surgery text book and in medical journals. She is the Editor of one of the leading textbooks globally in foot and ankle surgery titled “McGlamry’s Comprehensive Textbook of Foot and Ankle Surgery, 4th edition.” Dr. Nakra’s medical philosophy is to help individuals regain mobility, reduce pain and have a good quality of life. To foster this philosophy Dr. Nakra lectures nationally and internationally on innovative foot and ankle medicine and surgery topics; is involved in clinical and scientific research studies; and has been volunteering in medical mission trips globally performing pro bono surgery since 1999. Dr. Nakra’s commitment to medicine and surgery is seen by her involvement in all aspects of medicine - as such, she was elected and serves as the President of the Arizona State Physicians Association, Arizona Podiatric Medical Association; Residency Director of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital; she also sits on the Medical Executive Committees of ACOs (Affordable Care Organizations), insurance company, hospitals and is a faculty member at Midwestern University and the internationally renowned “The Podiatry Institute” and “American Academy of Foot and Ankle Osteosynthesis”. In addition, she is the CEO and Founder of Global Elite Docs – a multispecialty medical concierge company providing elective medical and surgical care.

B. How Employers, Insurers and Self-Insurers Can Save Money
Kacey Wiedt, Esq.
In this presentation, Attorney Wiedt will explain how to judge the compensability of workers’ compensation claims and determine which ones to accept or defend. He will discuss how to partner with defense counsel to create accountability and reduce overall costs on litigated workers’ compensation claims. Attorney Wiedt will offer practical suggestions for deciding how and when to settle claims and resolve difficult legacy claims. Questions & Answers.

Wiedt_Kacey.jpgKacey Wiedt, Esq. is a workers’ compensation attorney and Assistant Director of the Workers’ Compensation department at the civil defense litigation law firm, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. Kacey focuses his practice on high-exposure and complex workers’ compensation litigation, representing clients in the construction, oil and gas, grocery, hospitality, landscaping, transportation and poultry industries. Kacey also consults with workers’ compensation carriers to provide advice and guidance on pre-litigated workers’ compensation cases. He is also a frequent presenter on topics relating to workers’ compensation for carriers and employers. A graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, Kacey received a B.A. in Political Science and Business Administration. He subsequently received his juris doctor from Widener University School of Law.

C. The Enhanced Care Program (ECP): An Innovative Approach
Deborah Kroninger
Ms. Kroninger will explain and demonstrate with examples, how the enhanced care program (ECP) has been adopted to simplify processes, improve outcomes, and increase reimbursements to participating physicians. She will discuss how ECP works to increase the quality of care, reduce costs, and decrease workers’ compensation days. Ms. Kroninger will offer practical suggestions on how an ECP program can be implemented in other workers’ compensation jurisdictions. Questions & Answers.

Kroninger_Deb.jpgDeborah Kroninger is chief of medical operations for the state of Ohio bureau of workers’ compensation. She is a key member for the implementation of agency healthcare delivery improvements including the innovating: Enhanced Care Program. Ms. Kroninger has extensive workers’ compensation experience, including managing workers’ compensation claims, coordinating national health and workers’ compensation programs, and risk management. As the chief of medical operations for the state of Ohio bureau of workers’ compensation, she helped develop and implement initiatives to improve quality of care, cost containment, and effective performance. She received her BS in business administration from Franklin University.


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