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Breakout Sessions

Basic WC Law – Part 1 [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

David B. Torrey, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh

Previously offered as WC 101, Workers’ Compensation Judge, David Torrey, provides a basic overview of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, including a discussion on its history, basic entitlements, wage loss, course of employment and disability/partial disability.


Legislative Process & Bills Update [Intermediate]

Monday, June 12 — 9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Moderated by: Adrienne Breslin, Esq., Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes Barre
Thomas Previc, Esq., PA Association for Justice, Harrisburg
Jonathan C. Greer, Insurance Federation of PA Inc., Harrisburg

Learn how the legislative process works from beginning to end and hear the status of any pending workers’ compensation legislation from two of the most experienced and respected hands on the Hill.


Employers Unplugged [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Moderated by: Gregory J. Fischer, Esq., Gaitens, Tucceri & Nicholas PC, Pittsburgh
Staci Smith, The Hershey Company, Hershey
Jan Frank, Visiting Angels, York
Keith C. Enochs, Stauffers of Kissel Hill, Lititz

These experienced large and small employers will address topics such as workforce education, pre-injury training, post-injury medical care and the claims management process. The panel will discuss coordination between the adjuster, employer, medical providers and counsel to support a successful modified duty and return to work program.


Ultrasound vs. Fluoroscopic Guided Injections [Intermediate]

Monday, June 12 — 9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Moderated by: Donna K. Sponaugle, The Hershey Company, Y&S Candies, Lancaster
Kelly Williams, DO, NE Rehab Associates, Scranton
Scott Naftulin, DO, NE Rehab Associates, Scranton

Learn when ultrasound may be used as a diagnostic tool and to guide injections. Discuss the differences between ultrasound and fluoroscopic guided injections.


Basic WC Law – Part 2 [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Moderated by: Steven Minnich, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Marie Ehling, SDIC, Lansdale
Joshua L. Schwartz, Esq., Barley Snyder, Lancaster
Nariman P. Dastur, Esq., DeAngelis, Dastur & Associates PC, Pittsburgh

This detailed discussion will follow the flow of the claim process from the moment of injury until the final adjudication. Speakers will address frequently asked questions about the workers’ compensation law and will give basic information about what the law is and what it does.


Driving Safely – Part 1 [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Moderated by: Scott G. Weiant, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg
Diane Brown, Gen Re Treaty, Stamford, CT
Joel D. Feldman, Anapol Weiss, Philadelphia
Thomas Godfrey, AmeriGas Propane, Valley Forge

Discuss the human and financial consequences of driving-related work injuries including distracted driving, fatigue, driving under the influence, etc. and best practices in avoiding accidents.


Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR): The What and How [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Moderated by: Michael Vovakes, Deputy Secretary, PA Dept. of L&I, Harrisburg
David DeNotaris, PA Dept. of L&I, Harrisburg
Denise Verchimak, PA Dept. of L&I, Harrisburg
Joseph Strechay, PA Dept. of L&I, Harrisburg

Provide a complete description and overview of the services provided by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. Discuss the availability for injured workers to use this service to return to work within their limitations.


Understanding the Basics: Mental Injuries, Specific Loss & Scarring [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Moderated by: Joseph C. Huttemann, Esq., Martin Law, Philadelphia
Linda G. Millas, J.P. Mascaro & Sons, Audubon
Tara Hooper, Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Lancaster

To understand the basics of less frequently encountered claims and proactively managing the claims to avoid litigation.


Compound Medications – Part 1 [Advanced]

Monday, June 12 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Moderated by: Suzanne Emmet, Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Lancaster
Craig J. Ross, DO, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Bala Cynwyd
Sean D. Chitwood, PharmD, KeyScripts LLC, Mechanicsburg

Explain what compound medications are, why they are used and their benefits.


Legal Updates (Repeated Tuesday, June 13 at 8:30 am) [Intermediate]

Monday, June 12 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Moderated by: Thomas J. Kuzma, Esq., PA Dept. of L&I, Office of General Counsel - WC Office of Adjudication, Harrisburg -and-
Terry W. Knox, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Reading
Barbara E. Holmes, Esq., Blaufeld, Schiller & Holmes LLP, Pittsburgh
Peter J. Weber, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Philadelphia

An annual favorite, join in this discussion of the leading cases and current, potentially problematic issues facing workers’ compensation practitioners.


Jeopardy: Return to Work Edition [Intermediate]

Monday, June 12 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Edward R. Carpenter Jr., Esq., Carpenter, McCadden & Lane LLP, Media
Christopher A. DiMeo, Esq., Carpenter McCadden & Lane LLP, Media
Jeffrey S. Gross, Esq., Batt & Gross, Philadelphia
Andrea McCormick, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Philadelphia

Test your workers’ compensation knowledge. This fun and informative session will take the attendees through the nuances of workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania.


As the Claim Turns – Part 1 [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Moderated by: Cathleen A. Sabatino, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Allentown
Deborah J. Schwartz, Esq., Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Office of Chief Counsel, Harrisburg
Harriet A. Gaither, CM Regent Insurance Company, New Cumberland
Hilbert W. Gavel, Bridon-Bekaert, Hunlock Creek
C. Robert Keenan III, Esq., Gaitens, Tucceri & Nicholas PC, Pittsburgh
Lawrence R. Chaban, Esq., AlpernSchubert PC, Pittsburgh
Roy Patton, Presque Isle Rehabilitation Services LLC, Edinboro

This year’s session will focus on a WC claim from start to finish. This year, we will highlight return to work scenarios and earning power assessment/labor market surveys.


Compound Medications – Part 2 [Advanced]

Monday, June 12 — 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Moderated by: Kelly K. Smith, Esq., Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Office of Chief Counsel, Harrisburg
Patricia Clemens, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg
Daniel J. Siegel, Esq., Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel LLC, Havertown
Adrienne Breslin, Esq., Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes Barre
Mitch Freeman, PharmD, Mitchell International, San Diego, CA

To inform on the process for reimbursement, review and handling of claims involving compound medications.


Driving Safely – Part 2: Who’s Asleep at the Wheel? [Intermediate]

Monday, June 12 — 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Moderated by: Scott G. Weiant, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg
Kimberly Olszewski, Mid-State Occupational Health Services Inc., Lewisburg
Jean A. Tyrell, AmeriGas Propane, Valley Forge

This session will discuss programs to assess your employees, who drive for business, for sleep apnea. Learn how to minimize the safety hazards for drivers and those with whom they share the roads. This session will also examine protocol for treatment to implement in the workplace.


Current Trends in the Insurance Market - How to Manage Your Risk [Basic/Intermediate]

Monday, June 12 — 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Moderated by: Cheryl M. LaPotin, SDIC, Lansdale
Joseph C. Peiser, Willis Towers Watson, New York, NY
William V. Taylor, Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau, Philadelphia

This session will evaluate insurance market past, present and future trends as well as provide real-world market indications for workers’ compensation claims professionals, employers and risk managers.


As the Claim Turns – Part 2 [Basic]

Monday, June 12 — 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Moderated by: Cathleen A. Sabatino, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Allentown
Deborah J. Schwartz, Esq., Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Office of Chief Counsel, Harrisburg
Harriet A. Gaither, CM Regent Insurance Company, New Cumberland
Hilbert W. Gavel, Bridon-Bekaert, Hunlock Creek
C. Robert Keenan III, Esq., Gaitens, Tucceri & Nicholas PC, Pittsburgh
Lawrence R. Chaban, Esq., AlpernSchubert PC, Pittsburgh
Roy Patton, Presque Isle Rehabilitation Services LLC, Edinboro

Continuation of part 1.


Kids' Chance of Pennsylvania…We are all about the Kids!

Tuesday, June 13 — 8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Christian A. Davis, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Philadelphia/President, Kids’ Chance of PA

The mission of Kids’ Chance of Pennsylvania Inc. (Kids’ Chance of PA) is to provide scholarship grants for college and vocational education to children of Pennsylvania workers who have been killed or seriously injured in a work-related accident resulting in financial need. Join Chris Davis, Kids’ Chance President, to learn more about the organization and how you can help us spread our mission to reach more students in need of our scholarship.


You Can Go Home Again: Return to Work with the Time of Injury Employer - Part 1 [Basic]

Tuesday, June 13 — 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Moderated by: Cheryl M. LaPotin, SDIC, Lansdale
Robert B. Schiller, AmeriHealth Casualty Services, Philadelphia
Terry Leslie, Leslie Vocational Consulting, Lancaster
Sarah Tayts, Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Lancaster

This session will explain the definition of a return to work program that the time of injury employer has in place and its benefits. Speakers will discuss how to develop a proactive return to work policy and program from start to finish, including measuring success of the program.


The Misclassification of Employees in Construction Work (Act 72) [Advanced]

Tuesday, June 13 — 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Moderated by: Colin M. Vroome, Esq., Anthony J. Bilotti & Associates, Media
Sean Ramaley, PA Dept. of L&I, Harrisburg
Alfred J. Carlson, Esq., Martin Law, Philadelphia
Christian A. Davis, Esq., Weber Gallagher, Philadelphia

To provide information and education to employers and employees on the provisions and requirements of Act 72. Review how the principle of “statutory employer ” may apply to worker classification in the construction industry.


PRP and Regenerative Medicine [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 13 — 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Moderated by: Donna K. Sponaugle, The Hershey Company, Y&S Candies, Lancaster
Michael J. Mehnert, MD, Rothman Institute, Philadelphia

Discuss current science of restorative medicine now and in the future.


Know Who’s Going to Get Hurt at Work: Predictive Modeling [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 13 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Moderated by: Suzanne Emmet, Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Lancaster
Stanford A. Smith, Milliman, Wakefield, MA
Kent Szalla, Predictive Solutions Corporation, Pittsburgh

To explain what predictive modeling is and how it may be used to prevent injuries and manage claims more effectively.


Dealing with the Unimaginable: Hate Crimes and Mass Violence [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 13 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Moderated by: David B. Torrey, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh
Kyle D. Black, Esq., Post & Schell PC, Pittsburgh
Patrick M. O’Rourke Sr., The Hershey Company, Hershey
Robert Gilpin, Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Lancaster

Analysis of the law and risk management concerns implicated by hate crimes and mass violence. Learn how to prevent and mitigate the consequences of such incidents.


Employment Law Interaction with Workers' Compensation: A Case Study – Part 1 [Advanced]

Tuesday, June 13 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Robert J. Baker, Esq., Chartwell Law Offices LLP, Harrisburg
Sean A. Casey, Esq., Casey Legal, Pittsburgh

This two-part case study will address proper and effective administration of a workers’ compensation claim in the context of issues raised by the ADA, FMLA, COBRA and the Unemployment Compensation Law.


WCAIS & EDI Updates [Basic]

Tuesday, June 13 — 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Moderated by: Gina Signore, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg
Harte Pricer, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Harrisburg
Elizabeth A. Crum, WC Office of Adjudication, Harrisburg
Alfonso Frioni Jr., WC Appeal Board, Pittsburgh

Come hear about new features that will bring smarter technology to all stakeholders. These features will include an introduction to the EDI Claim Type Code “B” for claims that transition from indemnity to medical only and a live demonstration of the new WCAIS mobile app.


You Can Go Home Again: Return to Work with the Time of Injury Employer - Part 2 [Basic]

Tuesday, June 13 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Moderated by: Cheryl M. LaPotin, SDIC, Lansdale
Robert B. Schiller, AmeriHealth Casualty Services, Philadelphia
Terry Leslie, Leslie Vocational Consulting, Lancaster
Sarah Tayts, Eastern Alliance Insurance Group, Lancaster

Focus on best practices in returning injured workers to work with the time of injury employer. Walking through the process from start to finish with practical guidance for successful return to work for employers and injured workers.


60 Tips in 60 Minutes [Intermediate/Advanced]

Tuesday, June 13 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Moderated by: Lawrence R. Chaban, Esq., AlpernSchubert PC, Pittsburgh
Jason Krasno, Esq., Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo, Philadelphia
Gregory J. Fischer, Esq., Gaitens, Tucceri & Nicholas PC, Pittsburgh
Kenneth Kunzman, MEMIC Indemnity, West Conshohocken
Robert Hilgar, Corvel, Norristown
J. Joseph Grady, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Scranton

You will get 60 tips in 60 minutes in this fast-paced presentation. Hear from leading participants in the WC system some of the most unique tips from their areas of expertise. There will be time for questions at the end.


Employment Law Interaction with Workers' Compensation: A Case Study – Part 2 [Advanced]

Tuesday, June 13 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Robert J. Baker, Esq., Chartwell Law Offices LLP, Harrisburg
Sean A. Casey, Esq., Casey Legal, Pittsburgh

Continuation of part 1.


Judges Unplugged [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 13 — 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Moderated by: Peter A. Pentz, Esq., Pentz Law, Erie
Ada Guyton, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Greensburg
Joseph A. Stokes, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Upper Darby
Brian G. Eader, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Harrisburg
Bruce Doman, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Allentown

Come and hear some of the most experienced workers’ compensation judges share their wisdom and offer their perspectives on the litigation and mediation process.


Best Practices in the Utilization of Case Management: Being Ethical & Effective [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 13 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Moderated by: Ann Marie Loiseau, NE Rehab Associates, Scranton
Holly Thompson, Everest Care Management, Lancaster
David B. Torrey, WCJ, WC Office of Adjudication, Pittsburgh

Discuss the role of the case manager as an advocate for the injured worker, who also functions as an effective liaison among the insurance carrier, medical providers, injured worker and attorneys.

Complications Down the Road: Consequential Injuries [Intermediate/Advanced]

Tuesday, June 13 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Moderated by: Colin M. Vroome, Esq., Anthony J. Bilotti & Associates, Media
Jason Woodruff, Lackawanna Insurance Group, Wilkes Barre
Marla A. Joseph, Esq., Law Office of Marla A. Joseph LLC, Jenkintown

Understand how the law addresses accidents and medical conditions that unfold in the wake of the original work injury.

Avoiding Litigation [Intermediate]

Tuesday, June 13 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Moderated by: Linda G. Millas, J. P. Mascaro & Sons, Audubon
Perry D. Merlo, Esq., Lavery Law PC, Harrisburg
Glenn S. Sinko, Esq., Sinko Zimmerman LLC, Seven Fields
Joseph C. Rietmulder, TE Connectivity, Middletown

In this session, the panel will present collaborative strategies and insights to facilitate the WC claim process and avoid adversarial outcomes.

OSHA Updates [Basic]

Tuesday, June 13 — 2:45 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Moderated by: Bernadette Heckman, Heckman Group, Duncannon
Dale Glacken, U.S. Dept. of Labor, OSHA, Harrisburg

This session will review what is new with OSHA by taking a look back at OSHA’s new reporting requirements and OSHA’s penalty adjustments. Learn the final rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses and whether you are permitted to conduct post- accident drug testing.