The 74th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference and the 31st Annual Safety and Health Conference is the nation’s largest work comp conference, bringing together workers’ compensation professionals from across the country.
The host? Orlando, Florida. The Theme? Coast to Coast with 49 states represented. 370+ Exhibitors graced the Convention Hall at the Orlando World Center Marriott with 500+ speakers and 6,000+ attendees from August 11 – August 14. Here are a few of our fun, light-hearted (some important!) takeaways from an eventful week among the best and brightest minds of Work Comp.
1. We Want More … Work Comp!
This is most certainly a positive takeaway as the Workers’ Compensation Institute outdid themselves again this year! Yes, we left exhausted; yet more, we left feeling fulfilled with a deeper knowledge, deeper relationships, deeply impacted by even more new friends. There was so much we learned, discovered, and enjoyed with over 40 educational tracks, speakers, and expert panels. We just know there was so much more available for us to experience. Next year marks the 75th Anniversary of the conference and we’re already looking forward to 2020!
2. Keynote Speaker Maria Taylor was On Point.
Maria Taylor, Sports Broadcaster at ESPN, was the keynote speaker at WCI 2019 and shared her story of a road less traveled. You may recognize Maria from SEC Now or College GameDay on ESPN, and she has definitely come a long way since 2017 when she transcended boundaries to become the first black female to co-host College GameDay Built by The Home Depot. Although her background in sports might not have been what you envisioned for an audience full of insurers, case managers, and adjusters … boy … did she deliver! Maria captivated the audience with an impactful message everyone should hear. That’s why we’ve posted a quick recap that hits the high notes for your enjoyment –> Follow this way.
3. Give Kids The World (GKTW) Never Disappoints.
Our time spent volunteering at the Give Kids The World Village, an 84-acre nonprofit resort in Central Florida, is always … well … rewarding. Give Kids The World is an organization that provides weeklong, cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. WCI proudly supports GKTW by bringing hundreds of volunteers to assist with Village service projects the day before the conference begins, followed by an annual Gala in the evening to raise money in support of GKTW. Funds raised at the event directly assist GKTW Foundation in continuing their mission all year long! This year the Service Day, Gala, and Silent Auction raised $100,000 in 3.5 hours. According to the official Twitter account of WCI (@wci360), 2019 provided more than 1,200 volunteers who completed the same amount of work that would take GKTW 2.5 years to do. Applause all around on a fantastic show of support from everyone who donated their time and money to benefit an incredible cause!
You can learn more at https://www.gktw.org/, or check out our photo album from CORA’s time at the Give Kids The World Service Day and Gala.
4. The Future of Healthcare is Bright.
Yes, there are challenges we face as healthcare providers. Yes, there are obstacles encountered with any sort of new technology or idea. To progress is to persevere; and, early planning and preparation is the key to success. There was no shortage of collaboration, learning, or innovation at this year’s conference as evidenced by sessions such as “Scenarios For The 2030s: Threats and Opportunities for Worker’s Compensation Systems”. We don’t want to give it all away, but it’s an exciting time of growth and a time for all of us to feel inspired!
5. 20+ Individuals, One Common Goal.
The power of teamwork can elevate all of us to great heights. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention all of the amazing members of our CORA team who represented CORA Physical Therapy loud and proud at WCI 2019. Those individuals include, not limited to: Megan Morgan, Mike Ligmanowski, Hector Camacho, Jaime Sigurdsson, Jackie Arbelaez, Kristie Westfall, Bryan Anderson, Faith Christopher, Thomas Coupart, John Staley, Summer Taylor, Sue Ella Johnson, Carlos Pineda, Shante Hill, Les Shute, Javier Othon, Sally Darlin, Nick Player, Carrie Manges, and Health Perez.
We’d run out of room if we tried to mention the many more individuals who helped create, produce and make everything happen from behind the scenes. All year long, there’s a ton of work that goes into representing CORA at our nation’s largest work comp conference. From booth setup to breakdown — ActiveTracks and WorkTracks booths – our team showed up and showed out. Rest your heads. You’ve earned it!
6. Your Work (ALL of you) Impacts Many.
If we’ve learned one thing from conferences it’s to always expect the unexpected. We witnessed firsthand the power in your ability to treat everyone right – take pride in that fact every day in everything you do! Kudos to our CORA Palm Bay Team for making such a dramatic impact on their patients’ rehab following bilateral total knee replacements that the patient 1) sought out CORA’s booth and 2) insisted on a demonstration! WCI never ceases to amaze or surprise. And when you see and hear these sorts of stories, it’s hard not to get emotional. Well done, everyone. The pride you take in your job is what makes CORA the best PT provider.
7. Mind. Body. Spirit.
Whether it is a Work Comp case involving an injured worker or a general medical situation that calls for physical therapy, it’s important to understand pain as it relates to the healing process which is not always one in the same. Understanding and addressing fear avoidance and providing education about the body’s natural healing process helps tear down barriers so the patient can truly focus on getting better, faster. Work Comp cases are challenging enough as-is because each stakeholder (attorney vs. risk manager vs. adjuster vs. medical provider) has their own priorities yet each component plays an important role in executing a successful return-to-work program for the patient. Same goes for any and all PT. Defining expectations from the start and communicating information clearly throughout the process is important so the patient can be treated holistically. Such communication between all parties involved is essential to avoid any sort of conflicts or setbacks during a patients’ rehab. A holistic approach is often the best approach to achieve positive outcomes.
8. Health Education is Critically Important.
Patient-centered care is critical, and becoming more important with each passing day. Understanding what motivates the patient and providing them with a sense of control, options, and choice over their long-term health establishes trust and credibility in the eyes of our patients. As medical providers, it’s important to keep in mind that people make changes at their own pace. Take time to truly connect with patients. Build trust in the moment. Educate them about their health. Make it known that they don’t have to be reliant on medication and medication only to move forward living their best life … and provide them with your medical skills and expert knowledge that will inevitably help the patient restore function, mobility, and faith in living a pain-free life.
9. Build Relationships and ‘They’ Will Come.
How you approach your own life often impacts relationships with those around you. It’s why we value each and every one of our CORA employees as much as we do. And it’s the reason why we encourage our therapists to include patients in their recovery plan design while seeking alignment with employers’ return-to-work plans. Our WorkTracks program is so successful in streamlining recovery and costs for employers because relationships matter. That’s why it’s important for us to understand motivational factors to ensure better outcomes, faster. And it’s why we have such a blast each and every year at our annual networking mixer, a time best spent catching up with our partners and friends.Thank you to everyone who came out to support our CORA Team at this year’s WCI Happy Hour!
10. Be Intentional.
This means in everything we do … as physical therapy providers, as leaders in our communities as goal-setters and as advocates for our patients and our peers and as expert educators and innovators in the healthcare industry. Always be intentional in your efforts to always be at your best for others.
Ready to make a change? Ready to improve your company’s safety culture and work comp claim management? Prepare to be different, be better. Contact our Rapid Referral Department or call 866-443-CORA (2672). At CORA, we want to make it easy for you to refer patients with 200+ convenient locations in nine states.
Visit our CORA Newsroom and on social media for more news, notes and Coast To Coast coverage of WCI 2019, including:
Telehealth – Managing Pain Through The Power Of Technology
Let’s Get Physical … Therapy by Jaime Sigurdsson, CEAS, Director of Work Comp
WCI 2019: Keynote Speaker Maria Taylor Delivers Powerful Message