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The California Self-Insured Association’s (CSIA) Annual Meeting and Educational Conference took place April 3-4 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. Amid the bustling spring break crowd at, “The Happiest Place On Earth,” the CSIA orchestrated another sold-out event. The multitude of California self-insureds in attendance included (among others) Southern California Edison, Nordstrom and, of course, Disney.
Established in 1929, the CSIA’s mission is to champion and promote the interests of self-insured employers in California by providing leadership on workers’ compensation matters. It provides educational opportunities as well as legislative and regulatory support and analysis to its 100+ members.
This year the conference discussion topics ranged from innovative return-to-work strategies and holistic healing and its interaction with western medicine, to the use of social media in workers’ compensation and the impact of the recently-passed marijuana bill. There were also updates from the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
This was Pinnacle’s debut year to attend and exhibit at the conference. We enjoyed the keynote presentation by Mr. Tim East, of Walt Disney Company. Mr. East started his career at Disneyland as a street sweeper while in high school and is now Disneyland Corporation’s Director of Risk Management.
Mr. East spoke passionately about the importance of adapting to change in today’s workers’ compensation environment, just as Disney is constantly reinventing itself to provide its customers with the most creative and innovative entertainment experience. As the work landscape and workforce demographics change, so too must the way we handle workers’ compensation based on the expectations of today’s injured workers. Just as workers at Disney resorts and parks are often affectionately referred to as “cast members,” Mr. East emphasized the importance of treating each injured worker as a “client” rather than a “claimant.” Using an “advocacy-based claim model,” Disney’s risk-management team tries to enhance each injured worker’s “claim experience” -- rather than “claim process” -- through encouragement, assurances and transparency. Mr. East emphasized the need to harness technology and social media to engage injured workers and facilitate their recovery. This thought-provoking keynote address set the tone for the rest of the conference.
I also had the opportunity to visit with other event exhibitors. There was one particular booth that stood out – Kids’ Chance California. Kids’ Chance is a non-profit organization that provides needs-based educational scholarships to children of California workers who have been fatally or seriously injured on the job. The CSIA is a founding sponsor of this charitable organization. Some of the scholarship recipients spoke at the conference about their experiences.
While the sessions were mostly about issues affecting California workers’ comp, attendees did get a sneak peek into the next “big” attractions coming our way at the Disneyland Parks! As someone who considers herself rather immune to the effects of “Disney Magic,” I walked away highly energized knowing that many in our industry are working to resolve the wide array of pertinent California workers’ compensation issues while also contributing their time and money to charitable causes like Kids’ Chance of California.
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