Sometimes you need to take time away to allow yourself to reflect, learn and regroup to be the most effective leader you can be.  Our recent HWCF Seminar was a day filled with all of that and more!

Most participants started the day with breakfast and in the photo booth where they spent time ‘getting their groove on’ with the delightful ‘hippies theme’.  The entire atmosphere was designed for everyone to enjoy while working diligently through the day to learn from the speakers, as well as a networking with other leaders and the HWCF team.

Tim Donahue, from Donahue & Associates, LLC started the day by focusing on “Too Late to Turn Back Now – Things That Make Claimant Attorneys Smile”, sharing timely information that can help healthcare organizations navigate the current litigation environment we’re faced with today.  Covering everything from recent Alabama Supreme Court rulings to a deep dive into understanding the changing environment related to ‘spoliation’. Tim shared best practices and practical tools that should be utilized by facilities to ensure they are prepared for this environment. Stating “a jury equates ‘real life’ to TV – everyone has money and things happen in a day”.  He used several recent cases to make pertinent points.

After our own Pansy Donegan shared effectives steps for the HWCF renewal process, Autherine Davis took the stage.  Autherine, who recently retired from over 40 years as the D. W. McMillan HR Director had the crowd laughing and crying at intervals as she shared her journey through the years.  She reminded us that “It’s important to always be there for the staff because some days you’re the only light they see”.  As she shared from her ‘seasons of life’, she expounded on lessons learned through the many experiences she’s had in healthcare.  Several quotes have stuck with me – “You can be legally right but morally wrong”, “You cannot be in healthcare if you don’t  have a servant’s attitude” and finally “You’ve got to have a story to go forward – be the light to somebody today”. Those of us who know Autherine personally understand what an employee advocate she is and the impact she’s had on so many through the years. Today that impact continued as we learned and were inspired by her life’s journey!

After a fantastic lunch in a beautiful outdoor venue, the lessons continued as we joined Fred Fohrell, from Wilmer & Lee, P.A.  If you’ve never heard Fred speak, you’ve missed a great time and learning opportunity!  Fred spent about 45 minutes going through days’ worth of information as he shared “What’s Going On- Updates on the Latest Developments in Workers’ Compensation”.   He again used recent case law to help participants build a better toolbox of best practices for effectively managing the everyday stresses related to employee health and injuries.  His Top Ten list is worth a visible place in each HR’s director’s office to remind us of the practical advice he shared… and you can’t forget “Don’t laugh, stay calm and call Shannon”(i.e., your HWCF rep)!

Dr. Kris Jones was next up on the agenda and he continued the day’s lessons by sharing valuable information for great daily practices as he discussed the relevant topic of “The Fallout Resulting from the Opioid Crisis”. He educated participants on everything from the different classifications of opioids and other similar medications and therapies to the importance of understanding what your drug screen actually tests for, again giving practical tips that will enhance the daily practices at your facility.

We ended the day on a ‘high note’ as Teresa Fields, HWCF Loss Control consultant and grant recipients shared successes and lessons learned through their efforts to promote staff and patient safety with processes made available with grant monies.

All in all – it was a great day!  If you couldn’t join us, be sure to get ready for next year where we’ll again gather to learn from our great partners and from each other.  Thanks to the HWCF team and HWCF Board of Directors for supporting these educational endeavors.  If you need more information on any of these subjects, be sure to contact your HWCF partner.


Article Contributed by Debbie Franklin, Risk Consultant.