2021 Montana Governor's Conference on Worker's Compensation

The 2021 Governor’s Conference on Workers’ Compensation, held this year in West Yellowstone, Montana was excellent. A slate of informative and inspirational speakers across the full 3 days of the conference were heard by the more than 225 claims examiners, Plan 1, 2 and 3 staff, and industry vendor representatives.

The annual meeting of the Montana Self-Insurers Association was held on Wednesday morning before the "official" start of the conference, led by the new Executive Director Peter Strauss. A highlight of the MISA meeting was guess speaker (by Zoom) Bob Wilson of workerscompensation.com. Mr. Wilson was as usual a combination of serious, kick butt work comp expert in combination with his "other job" as comedian.

At the suggestion of Mr. Marsh, Peter Strauss began the process of organizing a replacement for the previous group called the Governor's Labor Management Advisory Council ("LMAC"). With the new gubernatorial administration, the decade plus tenure of the LMAC was not reauthorized going into 2021. Those familiar with the process understand the importance of bring all stakeholders to the table, with a shared goal of making the system better, more effective and efficient. It is likely that in 2022 this effort will lead to a new "ad hoc" group of workers' compensation stakeholders, Labor Business Communication Council. 

The main conference was well attended despite the uncertainties of the 'seems to be resolving' COVID pandemic. Kids' Chance of MT held its board meeting and then proceeded to make 50/50 and raffle tickets available for attendees and vendor staff. $2,155 was raised through the generosity of the event attendees.

The program over Wednesday through Friday included:

  • Kids' Chance Update - Peter Van Nice - MT DOLI
  • Two Pandemics: Comparing 1918 Spanish Flu to COVID 19 - Todd Harwell - MT DPHHS
  • Legislative Update - Kevin Braun - MT State Fund
  • How COVID 19 Reshaped Workplace Safety - Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek - MT DOLI
  • Post-COVID Syndrome - Dr. Greg Vanichkachron - Mayo Clinic
  • MT WC Court Case Review - Judge David Sandler
  • Sparking Change in Workers' Compensation - Jennifer Wolf - IAIABC
  • ERD Research Hour (Statistics Galore) - Bri Lake and Emily Healy - MT DOLI
  • Powering the Next Evolution of MSK Care - Ryan Eder - IncludeHealth
  • Flipping The Script - Dr. Claire Muselman, PhD - North American Risk Services
  • Social Media Evidence Issues - Judge Rod Souza
  • Connect, Communicate, Collaborate - Dr. Neil Dempster, PhD, MBA, CSP

Thanks to Peter Van Nice and the entire staff of the MDLI / ERD Governor's Conference committee for such a high quality, world-class event.

Midland Claims Service, Inc. and Industrial Injury Claims (R) was proudly a Governor's level sponsor of the 2021 conference. MCSi has sponsored the event for nearly 2 decades. We are proud of Montana and everything we can to make the system a bit better.