Most of you are likely starting to resume a few activities outside your home, but are still cautious about fully normalizing your day to day schedule. We are certainly not at the end of the road, but I am optimistic that soon we will once again be able to enjoy things like sporting events, concerts or going to the movies. As I last reported, we were eager to resume our June and August IWCI events, potentially with the addition of a virtual component. However, after much deliberation and diligence, the IWCI Board has elected to cancel the June luncheon and the August Seminar.
We appreciate the feedback many of our members provided. Although a handful were eager to attend a live event, many were not ready or allowed to by their employers. Some of our speakers also expressed concern about attending a live group event. In addition, sponsor attendance and thus, their financial support, was on shaky ground. Lastly, the costs to host a virtual event would almost double our expense and was somewhat prohibitive. Given all of these factors, the IWCI Board felt the most prudent decision was to cancel the Annual Seminar.
On an optimistic note, we have decided to reschedule the June luncheon to October. The IWCI website will be updated soon with the specific date. If you previously registered to hear Dr. Schwartz speak on “Spine – Surgical Decision Making in Work Comp”, we would ask that you remain patient as we anticipate his presentation will be just as exceptional this fall. Although cancelling the ‘big event” this summer was a very tough decision, know that we are committed to our members and need to keep everyone’s health front and center.
As disappointing as this news may seem, I would remind you that our Golf Outing is scheduled for October 2nd with a theme of “Legends in Sports”. In addition, this will be the inaugural “Coriden Cup” in honor of attorney Terry Coriden. I am assured that this year’s winners will not only have bragging rights but also their names engraved onto this trophy recognizing Terry and his years of service in the workers comp community. We are also actively planning the Holiday Party, which promises to be another great time at the Columbia Club Friday December 4th.
We will miss seeing many of you over the next couple of months but that will make our reunions in October all the more special. Thank you in advance for supporting IWCI during these unusual times.
Robert Gregori, M.D.
Equanimity: A good word anytime, but especially now.
For those of you who practice meditation, the word equanimity is part of your vocabulary. As I try to start my day with a dedicated time for mindfulness, I often hear those guiding my breath using this word. Equanimity is the ability to maintain an evenness of mind, especially under stress. Getting through these times, maintaining calm can be challenging. Pause and take a deep breath as we start to get to the other side of this pandemic.
I am sure most of you have experienced virtual meetings like Zoom with colleagues or friends as a way to maintain some social connectedness. The IWCI Board has used this tool to meet and plan our course in these uncertain times. We held off on hard decisions but feel we have a good plan for future IWCI events that we can now share. Our goal is to offer these events in the safest possible manner that follows the Federal, State and Local guidelines.
For those of you registered for the luncheon with Dr. Schwartz postponed due to COVID-19, we are hoping to have the event as planned, on June 25, 2019, at the Ritz Charles. I am assured from the venue that they can accommodate us, making sure to space seating so that appropriate social distancing can be maintained. However, for those of you preferring to stay home, we will also offer a live stream of the event so you can “virtually” attend. In the next few days, those that have registered will receive a survey regarding their preference so we can adequately prepare.
I hope most of you have blocked your schedule for our Annual Seminar on August 13th and 14th at the Eastside Marriott. We have an agenda packed with informative medical and legal topics. We are also pleased to announce the Indiana Work Comp Board will again participate this year. Currently, we are planning a live event with a virtual attendance option. Recognizing we cannot predict the future, we are planning to have CEU credits available regardless of the meeting format. The Marriott also assures me they will do everything in their power to ensure safety of their guests and staff. Hopefully, three months from now we will all be comfortable attending an event of that size.
For those who participate in our Annual Golf outing, please note this year’s event will be postponed until October 2nd. Our Holiday Party is still scheduled for December 4th at the Columbia Club. Although many of these dates are months down the road, hopefully they give everyone something to look forward to. While we are all eager to gradually resume some form of normalcy, we recognize we must all continue to do our part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. I am hopeful that scientific research being conducted today will help us to minimize future effects of this devastating virus. Hopefully, we will be better prepared for what lies ahead of us and can face any challenges to come with equanimity.
Dr. Robert Gregori
Fellow IWCI Members,
Like many other organizations, we have elected to scale back activities in the near future to be proactive in our efforts to slow the spread of this pandemic virus. For years, the medical community has discussed the inevitable expectation of a pandemic virus of significant consequence. Clearly, it is difficult to be fully prepared for such an event. While it is important not to let fear overwhelm our ability to make rational decisions, caution and safety must be paramount. We are all very much impacted by COVID-19 whether exposed or merely affected by the social impact. We are doing our small part to keep our members safe by cancelling next week’s Indy and Northwest luncheons. Fortunately, Dr. Schwartz understands our decision and kindly offered to reschedule the event. We are looking at potential dates in May or June, should the venue be available, and we will keep you all posted regarding specifics. The Northwest luncheon will not be rescheduled.
I trust all of us can do our part to help contain this virus, so in the next month or two our lives may regain normally. There is value in experience, and I trust we will be better prepared for future incidents. I am hopeful that we can all stay safe and find some hope knowing that this too shall pass.
As January flew by, we saw little snow and barely as much sunshine. So, I will attempt to brighten your day with a few positive thoughts. We are less than 40 days away form the first day of spring, gaining almost 2 minutes of daylight each day! To celebrate
the end of winter, we have scheduled our next luncheon for Thursday, March 19th. Dr. David Schwartz, spine surgeon with OrthoIndy, will be educating us on spinal injuries and when to consider surgical treatment.
In addition, I am excited to report that our Annual Seminar is scheduled for August 13th and 14th at the Marriott East. We are finalizing the agenda and plan to repeat the format that was popular last year. We are again collaborating with the Indiana Work Comp Board, as they will be presenting on legislative and procedural updates to include a lively discussion on EDI and the forms that accompany claims. We have several surgeons updating us on spine, shoulders and knees. We will have a presentation on bad faith and another on ethics in the workplace. We are also going to cover mild TBI/Concussions and include a presentation on when and how a neuropsychological consult can help manage an injured worker. Due to many of your requests, we will have our first presentation on marijuana and CBD, titled “Purple Haze”. Lastly, our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jennifer Christian, will be entertaining us over the lunch hour. In her presentation, “Words Matter”, she will give us pointers and insights on communicating with others. Be sure to put this enjoyable, 2-day event on your calendar!
Lastly, I want to thank Dr. Dion Chavis and all of you that attended our luncheon last week. We had over 50 members gather for what proved to be an lively discussion on upper extremity injuries. The IWCI Board is working hard to provide another year of educational opportunities for our members so that as a work comp “family”, we can provide appropriate, quality care to the injured workers of Indiana.
So, don’t put those heavy winter coats away just yet, but keep smiling, as there will be more sunshine and longer days to enjoy in the weeks ahead! I look forward to seeing you all in March.
As I begin drafting this first of many IWCI Newsletters, I find my self reflecting on the past. It is certainly a challenge to replace Dr. Hale who has served this office with tremendous leadership. We should all be thankful for his loyal service over the years. I am also proud to serve with a dedicated team of IWCI Board members and look forward to fostering relationships with our NE and NW chapter officers over the next 2 years.
As October starts with 90 degree days I am having trouble letting go of summer. August 2019 proved to be one of our most successful Annual Seminars and for all that attended we hope you enjoyed the new schedule format. As we begin to develop next year’s curriculum, I strongly encourage any of you with subjects of interest to notify us so we can develop another diverse and pertinent seminar for August 13th and 14th of 2020. Be sure to mark your calendars.
Before 2020 gets here, there are several other educational opportunities. The INDY luncheon October 3rd will be an interesting discussion on Symptom Magnification and Malingering. Michelle Despres P.T. with OneCall will lead that discussion. As some of you know I have a few thoughts on that topic.
The NE chapter features a luncheon October 9th. Dr. Ghori from ONE will be speaking on managing spinal conditions. The NW chapter has their Annual Seminar and Networking Event on October 10th at the BlueChip Casino in Michigan City. They have brought together many seasoned providers to share their knowledge. See the Website for details. On November 7th we are back in INDY for a breakfast seminar on Work Place Violence presented by Anastasia Settle early that morning.
To end the year in grand style we are hosting our Annual Holiday Party on Friday December 6th at the Columbia Club downtown. Last year was such a success we plan on repeating the Casino theme. Abbe and the Holiday Party committee promise to entertain us again this year. I am hopeful all of you can join us to reflect on what has been a very good year.
Lastly I am humbled to be serving as your president the next 2 years. Please know that my door is always open. All of us at The IWCI Board look for ways to grow. If you have ideas or thoughts that might help us best serve our members please share them. Since 1991 IWCI has promoted education to assist members in sharpening their skills. We all hope to see that injured workers in our fine State receive appropriate care to facilitate recovery. I am very excited to have this opportunity. I hope to see all of you soon.
As the weather warms we are looking ahead to a busy time with IWCI. The IWCI chapters in NE and NW Indiana maintained strong educational programs so far this year. If you are located in those areas, please mark your calendars and attend the monthly luncheon meetings. The President of the NW Chapter, Jason Hazelett, recently spoke at a breakfast meeting in Indianapolis on Dry Needling. The audience participation portion of the talk made for an interesting way to start the day. We were very appreciative of Jason coming to Indianapolis early in the morning. We thank him for his committed service to IWCI the last several years and wish him well as he turns over leadership this year. Although getting away in the morning or lunch can be a challenge to our workday, IWCI remains committed to providing relevant teaching and exposure to others in the worker’s compensation community.
The next big event for IWCI is the upcoming Golf Outing at Ironwood in Indianapolis. This is scheduled for Friday June 7. Please go to the web site to get registered. Also, plan to wear your best Woodstock apparel. This is always a fun event. Please remember you are funding the Betty Croshaw scholarships at Ball State University and Indiana State University with your participation.
We are in high gear preparing for the 2019 Annual Seminar. We will go live for registration and vendor signup on June 3. This year we are meeting on August 15 and 16. The seminar will be all day on Thursday, with the cocktail event beginning at 4 p.m., immediately following the last session. We have an excellent slate of speakers and topics this year. Our presenters on Thursday include Dr. Ratzman – Anesthesia Pain Consultants of Indiana, Gwen Eschelman – Team Rehab, Dr. Jaggers – Methodist Sports Medicine, Dr. Soldatis — OrthoIndy, Patrick Conley and Tim Ruth – Kenney Orthopedics and Dr. Reecer – Fort Wayne Physical Medicine. After a full day on Thursday, we will meet Friday from 8 to 12:30. The presenters will include attorney Jane Callies, Kopka Pinkus Dolin and case manager Tim Rankin – Preferred Disability Management. We will end the Friday sessions with presentations from Linda Hamilton, WCB Chairman, and staff at the WCB. This has been a year of change at the WCB and we will all want to get these updates.
We look forward to seeing you soon at the June Golf Outing and then in August at the Seminar. If you want a room at the Marriott East for the seminar please use this link Marriott Reservations to access the IWCI discount. These rooms are going fast (seriously), so please do not delay. Also, set your calendars for June 3 to register for the seminar and get the early bird registration rates.
Enjoy the race!
Greg Hale, Ph.D.
President – IWCI