Newport, RI (WorkersCompensation.com) - – As part of the IAIABC 98th Annual Convention in Newport, Rhode Island, IAIABC President Mary Ahearn, President and CEO of the Maryland Workers' Compensation Commission, recognized eight individuals who have been successfully navigating the shifting winds of workers' compensation with their leadership, contributions, and dedication.
Joe Paduda, Principal of Health Strategy Associates,was recognized with the President's Award, ”in recognition of your efforts to raise awareness and identify solutions to eliminate the inappropriate use of opioids in workers' compensation.” Through his weblog, during speeches, and in the course of his ongoing work with workers' compensation stakeholders, Mr. Paduda has urged discussion and action on the growing use of opioids in the treatment of work injury. These powerful drugs can be destructive to injured workers and their families, create ongoing challenges for employers, and add cost and liability to the system. Mr. Paduda is commended for continuing to address this national challenge.
The Samuel Gompers Award was given to Glenn Shor, who recently returned to his position as Chief of the Electronic Adjudication Management System with the California Division of Workers' Compensation. Mr. Shor carries on the spirit and work of twentieth century labor leader, Samuel Gompers, by working tirelessly on public policies that encourage and incentivize workplace safety programs. His engagement in IAIABC committee activities, authorship of scholarly papers, and research with various organizations helps promote the importance of safety in creating a healthy and productive workplace.
Dr. Kathryn Mueller was the recipient of the Frances Perkins award. Dr. Mueller follows in the footsteps of Frances Perkins through her more than two decade long career as the Medical Directory at the Colorado Division of Workers' compensation. Under Dr. Mueller's leadership Colorado was one of the first states to adopt evidence-based medicine treatment protocols. Dr. Mueller continues her work by assisting other states in understanding the implementation and management of treatment guidelines. Dr. Mueller's work helps support high quality medical care for injured workers across North America.
The Associate Member Award of Merit was conferred upon Ken Eichler of Reed Group. Mr. Eichler's insight and leadership on successful strategies to implement treatment guidelines has helped to revitalize the Medical Issues Committee. Mr. Eichler also assists with several committee projects and serves as a vocal ambassador about the benefits of participating in the IAIABC with industry groups across the country.
Christine Siekierski of the Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau was recognized with the Award of Merit for her “outstanding contribution of leadership, commitment, and professional talent in furthering the goals of the Association.” Ms. Siekierski has actively participated in the IAIABC as the WCIO liaison for more than a decade and was the chair of the EDI proof of Coverage Committee for many years. Mr. Siekierski has represented WCIO and the EDI Council and can be counted on for her keen insights, her willingness to speak up for what is right, and her sense of humor.
The Outstanding Achievement in EDI Award was given to Gregg Lutz of NCCI. Mr. Lutz has been Chair of the EDI Proof of Coverage Committee since 2010. It was under Mr. Lutz's leadership that the committee developed and published the IAIABC's Proof of Coverage Release 3.o. He has actively participated in the development of the EDI POC Training program, which is serving the educate stakeholders on key aspects of the new release. Mr. Lutz's organizational skills and his conscientious approach to being sure that each step of the development was clear and justified have proven that his leadership style is one to be emulated.
Terry Bogyo of WorkSafeBC and Mike Manley of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services were both recognized with the International Collaboration Award for “excellence in promoting collaboration and understanding between international workers' compensation and social security agencies.” Mr. Bogyo and Mr. Manley are recognized for their hard work and leadership in developing and international benchmarking survey, a current project of the IAIABC Research and Standards Committee. This survey will be an invaluable resource for understanding how different occupational health, safety, and workers' compensation programs count, adjudicate, and manage work injury claims. They have overcome many institutional, cultural, and language barriers to craft this survey and look forward to publishing initial survey responses later this year.
About the IAIABC
The IAIABC is an association of government agencies that administer and regulate their jurisdiction's workers' compensation acts. Along with these government entities, various private organizations involved in the delivery of workers' compensation coverage and benefits participate in the IAIABC. Since its inception in 1914 the IAIABC has worked to improve and clarify laws, identify model laws and procedures, develop and implement standards, and provide education and information sharing. The IAIABC strives to gather the best resources available to solve the practical administrative and operational problems of its members.