IBI Forum Agenda


Pre-Conference Session 1 - Georgian Room

A Fresh Look at Using Data to Drive Organizational Change

Dr. Bruce Sherman, Assistant Clinical Professor,
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Bruce Sherman will explore how one critical variable continues to be missing from the HR strategic equation in most organizations--the health and wellbeing of the employees. The evidence for the impact of health and wellbeing issues on all the dimensions of workplace performance--physical, mental, and psychosocial--is substantial and growing. Yet most companies fail to see health as a vital part of human capital, just likes skills and motivation. Making and acting upon the connection between health and productivity is an exciting new opportunity for HR professionals if they will seize it--bringing their understanding of the nature and needs of the changing work force to help guide the best investments in employee health as measured by gains in business performance.


Pre-Conference Session 2 - Elizabethan B

Transformation to Optimize People, Productivity and Performance: Driving Change Through Innovation

Gary Earl, Founder, Gary Earl Health, LLC

The past three decades have seen a dramatic rise in the percent of the population diagnosed with chronic disease such as diabetes and hypertension. The incidence of these health conditions, compounded with other serious health issues, including obesity and stress, continue to increase year over year. They are eroding our nation’s overall health status and driving health care costs steadily upward at unsustainable levels. Reducing the avoidable costs, while simultaneously addressing the natural and unnatural causes associated with these conditions, is critical in meeting the twin challenges of promoting affordable health care and fostering continued economic growth. We have a choice: continue along the pathway of the status quo in the workplace and community or alter it by modifying our behaviors while focusing on optimizing people, productivity and performance.

Join us as together we both review and consider the power and potential that comes though emerging, collaborative and innovative approaches and solutions that are driving the much-needed change in today’s trends while simultaneously setting a new course of improvement for individuals, companies and our communities alike. 


Pre-Conference Session 3 - Elizabethan C

Supplier Management and Strategy

Chris McSwain, President, Integrated Benefits Institute

Employers continually seek to maximize the value from health-related benefits programs for employees and bottom line. One path toward success is to align supplier partners to take full advantage of their individual capabilities and more importantly, to leverage resources from all of them working together. This pre-conference workshop will show you how one IBI member successfully overcame obstacles at three Fortune 500 companies. You will be presented with practical guidance, tools and case study examples used to establish a higher performing supplier network and improved member experience for employees and their families.


Pre-Conference Session 4 - Elizabethan D

Leveraging IBI Tools

Dr. Brian Gifford, Director, Research and Analytics

IBI Director of Research and Analytics Dr. Brian Gifford will cover practical measurement tools and strategies for linking employee health, wellbeing and productivity. These resources can help employers better understand the opportunities for improving the health and productivity of their people, and improve the value that suppliers provide to their clients and partners.


Lunch - Italian & Colonial Room


Opening of Forum and Welcome Remarks

Chris McSwain, President IBI


IBI Next - Grand Ballroom

Scott Daniels

Innovation. Thought leadership. New ideologies. All of these things embody what IBInext is all about. IBInext is a new, exclusive young professional group geared towards revolutionizing the way we think about productivity, benefits, absence strategy and driving business performance. IBInext will cultivate the brightest talent across our industries.


Keynote Session: The Health Plan as an Enabler of Improved Engagement, Productivity and Improved Business Performance (aka How to capture the attention of the C-Suite when talking Consumer Engagement!) - Grand Ballroom

Craig Kurtzweil, Chief Analytics Officer UnitedHealthcare National Accounts
Greg Tahvonen, Head of Global HR and Total Rewards for Delta Airlines

How does a Plan Sponsor's Health Plan enable improved business performance? How does improved Employee Engagement drive increased Productivity? Delta Airlines was faced with these and other business challenges in a highly competitive industry. Every corner of the Delta Airline enterprise was asked to work creatively to seek new sources of "value" for the organization. The Benefits organization of Delta challenged its Health Plan, United Healthcare, to help them find sources of "value" when seeking to drive improved employee engagement. Working together what Delta and United Healthcare found was not just surprising, but also impactful to their enterprise.


Refreshment Break - Italian & Colonial Room


Breakout Session #1 - Elizabethan Room D

STD & LTD: Understanding the factors that predict transferring short to long-term disability

Fraser Gaspar, Epidemiologist, ReedGroup’s MD Guidelines
Kara Contreary, Economist, Mathematica Policy Research
Linda Willbrandt, Senior Benefit Analyst, Tower International

Approximately 10% of disability cases attribute 50% of the total leave costs. Understanding the demographic and diagnostic factors associated with cases moving from short-term disability (STD) to long-term disability (LTD) would enable disability managers to target potential high-cost cases. This presentation will describe the findings from a collaborative research project which used data from both Integrated Benefits Institute’s Health and Productivity Benchmarking Data, and data directly from Tower Automative. The presentation will explore factors such as leave diagnosis, job class, age, sex, and income. Using Tower Automotive as a validation data set provides an opportunity to confirm the insights found in the IBI data and expand upon the employee characteristics that are predictive of STD exhaustion. For both datasets, the presenters used novel machine-learning algorithsm to build robust models and optimize predictive ability. The presentation will conclude with a discussion by a Tower Automotive representative on the future of these STD to LTD insights within their company, including the cost effectiveness of triaging cases.


Breakout Session #2 - Elizabethan Room C

Paid Leave, Productivity, and Practicality: A Case Study from Northwell Health

Matthew Bahl, Director, Health & Productivity Analytics and Consulting Practice, Prudential Financial
Barbara Ann Criniti, First Vice President, Benefits Consultant, American Benefit Consulting
Anna Cunningham, Teal Lead, LOA Northwell Health
Jeffrey Jones, Senior Vice President, American Benefit Consulting
Gregg Nevola, Chief and Vice President, Total Rewards, Northwell Health

This case study that will highlight the multi-pronged analysis undertaken by Northwell Health, a 60,000 employee health system headquartered on Long Island, and its partners (American Benefit Consulting & Prudential) as they developed and implemented a paid parental leave strategy and program.  Specifically, this presentation will explore (a) the custom benchmarking Northwell used to inform its decision; (b) how predictive cost and productivity analytics played a role in developing the program; (c) how the unique business headwinds facing healthcare employers, including regulatory uncertainty and operational and personnel challenges  - such as the competition for talent in the face of a national nursing and physician shortage - factored in;  (d) how the team accounted for NY PFL; and (e) how the team plans to measure, evaluate, and monitor the paid leave program from both a cost and ROI perspective.

The presentation will share the nuanced, detailed, and analytical process that considered the unique business aspects of large health systems. However, the lessons are applicable to all employers, large or small, who are seeking to better understand how to address and measure the impact of paid parental leave.


Breakout Session #3 - Elizabethan Room B

An Innovative and Practical Approach to a Total Health Strategy

Dr. Tyler Amell, Morneau Shepell
Dr. Bill Howatt, Chief Research & Development Officer, Morneau Shepell
Sherry Thomson, Chief Human Resources Officer, NB Power

This session will focus on a novel approach to integrated workplace health and productivity.  It is based upon a unique employee assessment approach designed to support strategy development at the organizational level, concurrent with employee-level, personalized directives and support on individual worker’s health needs. Through an applied case study conducted in partnership with an Energy Company, the session will explore mental and physical health drivers, as well as workplace and life behaviors, collectively referred to as the four pillars of health. These drivers will be discussed through the lens of a dual-accountability approach, with shared responsibility for the purpose of improving health outcomes, productivity and engagement at the organization.


Breakout Session #4 - Georgian Room

Work is Changing and Reshaping Return to Work

Dr. Glenn Pransky, Scientific Advisor, Liberty Mutual Insurance

Employment conditions are increasingly less predictable; the large factory of the last century has been replaced by a highly distributed workforce, often working at home or out of a service or delivery vehicle, where the only interaction with co-workers or managers is through electronic communication. Jobs are changing or vanishing due to automation, artificial intelligence, and Uber-ization. The labor market is more diverse, getting older, with a workforce that is less healthy and dealing with more complex medical problems, yet many are delaying retirement due to financial issues.

RTW strategies must adapt. Fortunately, new strategies and tools are emerging, that are better designed to address these challenges, some already implemented.  These include web-based, coaching-supported engagement, tele-medicine, electronic health monitoring, enhanced electronic medical records and RTW coordination, and early supervisor engagement even remotely. Dr. Glenn Pransky, a leading expert on return to work research, will present some of the latest studies on ways to match RTW strategies to these new challenges, with scientific evidence for effectiveness and impact drawing on several recently published controlled trials, and a recently published comprehensive review of the scientific and professional literature on the changing workforce, workplace and disability prevention. This will be followed with an example of an employer-based program, developed to achieve improved work disability results in this evolving context of work arrangements and workforce.


Refreshment Break - Italian & Colonial Room


Plenary Session #1 - Grand Ballroom

Applying Big Data Analytics to Magnify Health Program Engagement

Wendy Lynch, Lynch Consulting
Michael D Parkinson, MD, MPH, FACPM. Sr Medical Director, Health and Productivity, UPMC Health Plan
Andrew Yohe, Vice President, WorkPartners, UPMC

This session will highlight the evolution of a coordinated, proactive outreach program that leverages both comprehensive, integrated data and a Big-Data analytics engine. This one-of-a-kind project uses a data platform that incorporates all benefits, workplace factors, health risks, job performance, business unit characteristics, community metrics (and much more) to improve the wellbeing and business outcomes for over 80,000 employees at UPMC health plan. 

In this presentation, the research team and a representative from UPMC HR will describe the unique, integrated approach the plan is taking to support its employees and how the newest Big Data capabilities are revolutionizing the ability to tailor outreach to individual needs. Specifically, the analytics engine is improving the accuracy of identification of those in need of support for issues such as musculoskeletal, extended absences and mental health. The project is especially unique because "risk" includes not only traditional health behaviors and safety factors, but also occupational risks (such as shift work) and culture issues (such as work engagement).

Further, by leveraging existing touchpoints (such as clinical check-ups, or registration for leave), UPMC programs are seeing five- to ten-fold increases in program engagement.  Examples include coordinated FMLA and EAP services, risk management for extended absence for musculoskeletal conditions, wellness interventions, and business practices that effect unscheduled absence.


Refreshment Break - Italian & Colonial Room


Early Stage Technologies Presentation - Grand Ballroom

Lloyd Mahaffey
Executive Chairman Windancer Technologies, Inc.

Under the direction of its new President, Chris McSwain, Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) and its new subsidiary focused on driving innovation, IBI Labs, has teamed up with Windancer Technologies, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based healthcare technology and services company. The collaboration will identify some of the area's most exciting companies developing technologies, solutions and services focused on improving employee health, wellbeing, productivity, and ultimately, workforce performance.


Opening Night Cocktail Reception – Sponsored by AbbVie


Breakfast - Sponsored by Securian


Plenary Session #2 - Grand Ballroom

IBI Labs People First Panel

Esther Dyson, Executive Founder, Way to Wellville
Gary Earl, Founder, Gary Earl Health LLC
Ray Fabius, MD, CPE, Distinguished FACPE, Co-Founder, HealthNext
David Hoke, Senior Director Associate Health and Wellbeing, Walmart
Chris McSwain, President, Integrated Benefits Institute
Michael Rea, Founder, Rx Savings Solutions
Lance Wilkes, Senior Analyst, Bernstein

The ultimate customer -- our employees, their families and communities -- count on people who care about them enough to believe optimized health, wellbeing and life are possible with todays's available resources. Whether we identify as a supplier or employer doesn't matter to the customer. We are all in this together -- as innovators, risk-takers, and disruptors.

IBI Labs wants to make a difference each day as we put people first. We want to discover, test, and learn from others so we can make a difference at scale. Our People First Panel will provide stories and experiences to help us all take the next steps in our journey to impact the ultimate customer.

During this Forum panel, each participant will be asked to describe the bold ideas they are exploring, the failures they have faced, and the key lessons learned. They will be asked to provide perspectives that address the barriers and challenges we all face, and how they would like to see IBI Labs contribute to the value creation impacting our industry. Join our discussion as these seasoned subject-matter experts test our assumptions and challenge us to do more, making us uncomfortable with the status quo.


Refreshment Break - Italian & Colonial Room


Plenary Session #3 - Grand Ballroom

CMO Panel Discussion

Dr. Mark Boquet, Chief Health Officer and Director of Health Services, The Dow Chemical Company
Dr. William Buchta, President-Elect, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Dr. Ron Loeppke, Vice Chairman, US Preventative Medicine
Dr. Brent Pawlecki, Chief Medical Officer, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Dr. Bruce Sherman, Assistant Clinical Professor, Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Dexter Shurney, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President, Zipongo

Employers invest tremendous resources into supporting the health and safety of their employees during work hours. But successful businesses know that investing in the success of their people means also investing in their homes and communities. Beyond the precautions and procedures in place during 9-5, many factors that contribute to a healthy workforce often get overlooked.

Join our blue-ribbon panel of Chief Medical Officers as they share their experiences, knowledge and optimism in developing a holistic approach to employee wellbeing. These leading CMOs have successfully aligned individual, organizational and community needs in the face of emerging technologies, evolving engagement strategies, and an unparalleled flood of data. The panelists represent diverse voices of transformation and innovation as they discuss the rising tide of change in health, wellbeing and economic conditions.


Refreshment Break


Breakout Session #5 - Elizabethan Room D

Managing Behavioral Health in the Workplace

David Beech, Consultant, Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency
Rebekah Montcalmo, Director, John Hopkins Solutions
Douglas Potvin, CFO, Trinity Logistics
Dr. Allen Tien, President, Medical Decision Logic, Inc

To combat mental health issues, employers must recognize and accept that stress, depression and anxiety are commonplace. Employers must let associates know it’s okay to come forward with challenges by making resources available and creating an understanding environment. Delaware-based Trinity Logistics has focused on a culture of wellbeing, setting expectations for continually improving health. Their program architect is CFO Doug Potvin whose vision created a culture of better health & wellbeing through strategic programming and accountability. In 2016, Trinity introduced a program using a tool developed by Johns Hopkins-trained Psychiatrist Dr. Allen Tien, focused on 14 domains of behavioral health. Those deemed at-risk are connected to behaviorists who confidentially work with them. 

Developing a corporate environment to address mental health issues is hard, and creating an open dialogue with managers to embrace those needing mental health breaks and those who seek assistance will begin to marginalize the stigma associated with behavioral health. This presentation will show that addressing the stigma and providing world-class services as an organization will improve your bottom line and create a culture of respect and appreciation.


Breakout Session #6 - Georgian Room

Virtual Care Delivery: new approaches to connected care

Dan Sokoloff, Director of Advanced Healthcare Analytics, Teledoc
Kelli Lucas, Health & Welfare Benefits Manager, Ameriprise Financial

Increasingly, employees are dealing with a broad array of healthcare needs that can be addressed through virtual care delivery solutions. From everyday issues to the most complex and costly conditions, telehealth, combined with data & analytics and an engaging consumer experience, addresses the full spectrum of needs creating a simplified, patient-centric way to resolve their healthcare issues. On the flip side, employers continue to face the balancing act of offering healthcare services and tools to their employees that help keep their overall healthcare cost trend down while also providing value. As digital technology, patient-centered care and population health management converge, telehealth is central to providing convenient, high quality, and cost effective care, empowering employees to make smarter decisions and get the care they need to be both present and productive.

By distilling the latest findings on how telehealth impacts the health and productivity of one of Teladoc’s clients (TBD), this presentation will share quantitative results of how virtual care delivery solutions such as telehealth effectively enhance the well-being of a population (reducing or eliminating barriers to care) and explore how it transforms the consumer experience, empowering employees with a better way to access quality, affordable care, on their terms.


Breakout Session #7 - Elizabethan Room B

Well-being the Walmart Way: Linking Improved Wellbeing to Business Performance

David Hoke, Senior Director, Associate Health and Wellbeing, Walmart

Walmart is interested in unleashing the capacity of the workforce in order to better serve the customer. Walmart has taken an applied behavior change approach which focuses less on risk reduction and more on actual behavior change at scale. Additionally, Walmart is interested in measuring impact on the business unit vs. individual level. Walmart has implemented two broad well-being initiatives. One targets financial security and financial well-being. The other, ZP Challenge, is an emotional engagement platform that is driving both individual and business results. Attendees can learn alternate ways to drive high engagement, how to move from risk reduction to actual behavior change and gain some insights on how to potentially measure impact on business.


Breakout Session #8 - Elizabethan Room C

Using Data Intelligence in Creative and Innovative Ways to Drive Wellbeing at PSEG

Majd Khabour, Assistant Vice President, Aon
Kathleen Kostecki, Health & Welfare Manager, PSE&G

As the industry moves from a wellness focus to a wellbeing focus, understanding integrated data intelligence becomes even more important. This session will tell the story of how PSEG was able to move from a wellness to wellbeing culture using various sources of business data to drive focus and direction. PSEG enlisted Aon to develop a comprehensive, custom approach to data informatics that integrates multiple data sources to create a dynamic baseline of PSEG’s health, safety and risk, absence, productivity, and wellbeing experience. This approach has been named Health Intelligence on Demand (HIOD).  In this session we will discuss:

  • How HIOD was customized for PSEG
  • How PSEG has used the information and findings to influence strategy, design, culture, environment and vendor focus
  • Why PSEG uses HIOD as a decision-making tool
  • How the optimal wellbeing metrics plan and the overall wellbeing composite metric were developed using data and information from HIOD
  • Examples of specific outcomes based on using data intelligence to drive direction and focus

The speakers will provide education, information and clear examples of program outcomes across health, absence, safety and productivity.


Networking Lunch – Sponsored by AbbVie


Breakout Session #9 - Georgian Room

Case Study: Driving Workplace Productivity with the Right Support

Melanie De Silva, Workplace Possibilities Coordinator, The Standard
Jeffrey Smith, Disability and Productivity Consultant, The Standard
Karen Butts, Benefits Manager, Terracon

According to a recent study, 44% of employees who worked with their HR department and received communications from their employer returned to work more quickly and 93% of employees who received support said they could do their jobs more effectively.

This case study will examine how Terracon, a leading provider of engineering solutions across the US with over 4000 employees, improved employee satisfaction and reduced absence and lost productivity. In addition, they’ll share how their disability program is enabling increased integration between their leave management, safety and well-being initiatives. They found that their disability durations and absence results, particularly due to preventable musculoskeletal health issues, were rapidly growing longer than benchmarks. To address this issue they focused on aligning their disability management benefits strategy with their Incident and Injury Free mission, to have each employee return home safely to their family every day.

Presenters will share how the partnership has benefited Terracon, from the HR team to managers and front-line employees. They’ll describe how the current program drives value for employees with dedicated support though early identification and intervention, customized accommodations solutions and improved outreach and communications. The presentation will use IBI benchmarking data to demonstrate current STD and disability durations and how these results can be applicable to other environments besides engineering.


Breakout Session #10 - Elizabethan Room B

Mental Health in the Workplace. Challenges. Strategies. Opportunities!

Marti Cardi, Matrix Absence Management
Dr. Nancy Spangler, The American Psychiatric Association Foundation
Nadia Isidoro-Reyes, Stanford Health Care

An employee’s place of employment is many things.  It is the place that allows them to provide for themselves and their families. It is part of their identity. It is (or should be) a safe place.  But what happens to those same employees when they’re suffering from mental illness?  And how does that same employee’s mental illness affect their co-workers?  Approximately 20% of the US workforce suffers from mental illness.  The stigma attached this diagnosis causes two-thirds of these employees to never seek treatment and suffer in silence.   

Learn how you can increase awareness about mental health and encourage people to access education, support, and treatment through your company’s programs and benefits.  Hear how a cutting-edge employer deals with mental health issues through an effective EAP program, company philosophy, supervisor training, and more.  Understand the employer’s legal options under the ADA such as obtaining sufficient medical information, considering various accommodations, and dealing with performance and conduct issues.

As an employer, you’re in a powerful position to make a difference.  This panel presentation will address the specific challenges of mental illness in the workplace from the perspectives of a workplace mental health specialist, an employer, and an ADA attorney.


Breakout Session #11 - Elizabethan Room D

Unlocking Data to Analyze, Benchmark and Diagnose Absence Drivers, Culture and Impacts on Outcomes

Thomas Cullen, Regional Practice Leader, Trion Group, a March & McLennan Agency
Phil Lacey, Absence Health & Productivity Practice Leader, Trion Group, a March & McLennan Agency
Kimberly Mashburn, National Accounts Practice Lead, The Hartford
Beth Rohlfing, Senior Director, Total Rewards & Human Resources Technology, Children’s Hospital Association
David Spizman, Vice President, Children’s Hospital Association

The objective of the session is to communicate the opportunity employers have to better understand the costs, utilization patterns, potential balance sheet implications, and culture associated with their absence programs and to convey how to use quantitative and qualitative information to help decrease and control the impact absence has on an organization.

Most employers agree that they have challenges related to absence but most fail to dedicate the time to fully diagnose their issues or chart paths toward improvement.   Our session will focus on several of the Children’s Hospital Association member hospitals where work has been completed to identify absence costs, utilization patterns, balance sheet liability, and cultural issues. The hospitals will discuss measured utilization costs, accrual liability, employee absence culture, absence program policy design and administrative processes associated with absence programs.

The findings from these studies were used to set baseline for measurement, to benchmark plans and utilization, to modify program plan designs, to improve program administration, to develop new ways to track information, to develop internal training resources, to optimize plan expense and minimize plan liability. Hospitals have experienced cost control, decrease in utilization, shorter absence durations, reduction in suspected abuse and increased knowledge about how absence is impacting their organizations.


Breakout Session #12 - Elizabethan Room C

Paid Family Leave: Outcomes, Measures and Benchmarking

Michelle Jackson, Assistant Vice President, Unum
Kristi Stormer, Human Resources Benefits Senior Specialist, American Family Insurance

Paid parental leave is increasing in prevalence and adoption nationwide with employers implementing corporate policies in the absence of a federal policy. Employers often request information and data around what to expect, how to develop their benefit and what cost considerations to include. Hear from several employers who have adopted a paid family leave policy to include their goals and needs assessment work. The presentation will include details on the business review conducted prior to implementing a PFL benefit and what post-implementation review data has revealed in regards to who is using the benefit, for what amounts of time and the bottom line cost. Additional rending and benchmarking information will be provided by Unum from their BOB on in force customers for whom PFL is managed.


Refreshment - Italian & Colonial


Plenary Session #4 - Grand Ballroom

How Whole Health Solutions are Revolutionizing How Companies Care for Employees

Dave North, President & CEO, Sedgwick
Raj Singh, CEO, Accolade
Anas Al-Hamwi, Senior Director of Safety & Injury Management, Walgreens


Employers have discovered that engaging consumers in protecting and maintaining their health can have a positive impact on workforce productivity and healthcare costs.  Advocacy and employee engagement continue to dominate all levels of conversations involving workers’ compensation, disability and leave programs. Popular whole health solutions and concierge plans offer employees access to health assistants who can answer questions and provide direction for all incidents involving workplace absence and related benefit plans.  Companies are finding these types of solutions streamline the benefits delivery process, increase employee satisfaction, reduce lost workdays and claim durations, and produce a positive impact on overall workforce health and productivity. This session will feature practical insights from senior executives who have been instrumental in the development of these programs and a valuable discussion about how they are revolutionizing the way companies care for their employees.


Brian Gifford - Parry Fellowship Award - Grand Ballroom


Case Study

Scott Danials, Director of Disability, Comcast Corporation

Executing an Enterprise-wide Return-to-Work Strategy over the last two years, Comcast has implemented a return-to-work (RTW) strategy focused on navigating the employee through the process, regardless if the injury was work-related or not. Their out-sourced model successfully brought two large scale administrators together for the purpose of achieving one goal - create foundational processes that focus on helping the employee come back to work while simultaneously driving down claim costs, durations and incidence. In this case study, you will learn about Comcast's integrated, employee-centered solution that combines disability, leave and workers compensation.


Board Secretary Membership Voting proxy - Grand Ballroom

Bill Stafford, National Director, Pfizer, Inc.

Executing an Enterprise-wide Return-to-Work Strategy over the last two years, Comcast has implemented a return-to-work (RTW) strategy focused on navigating the employee through the process, regardless if the injury was work-related or not. Their out-sourced model successfully brought two large scale administrators together for the purpose of achieving one goal - create foundational processes that focus on helping the employee come back to work while simultaneously driving down claim costs, durations and incidence. In this case study, you will learn about Comcast's integrated, employee-centered solution that combines disability, leave and workers compensation.


Employer Dinner Cruise on San Francisco Bay


Breakfast - Italian & Colonial


Breakout Session #13 - Elizabethan Room B

Evolving Your Absence Management Strategy: Let's Talk Best Practices

Kerry Daley, Program Manager, Robert Half
Karen English, Partner, Spring Consulting Group
Gene Lanzoni, Assistant Vice President of Marketing, The Guardian Life Insurance Company
Nicole McKernan, Director, Employee Services HR Shared Services Adventist Health System
Claudia Ruggiero, Team Lead, Disability Management, Chevron

This panel will examine how each participating company and the industry at large have respond to the latest absence trends.  The employers will talk about their company culture, the general state of their programs, and the development of their best practices. 

Panel members will comment on how they are making adjustments to their programs and processes and how they are influencing outcomes.  They will speak to the most surprising results to date, changes they have made based on their experience, and the effect on employee morale. They will also discuss challenges and lessons learned.

The objective for this panel discussion is to provide real examples and insights that can be used in the audience’s company including:

  • Providing strategies on how identify trends within your own company regardless of where you are within your process.
  • Discussing steps and action plans used to work successfully with vendors and/or new teams.  Specifically setting expectations and evaluating processes during transition.
  • Highlighting the importance of the key stakeholders and supplying tips to elicit feedback and buy in.
  • Understanding the role metrics play and creating an understanding of how to adjust based on updated information.


Breakout Session #14 - Elizabethan Room C

Building a Culture of Health in the Workplace and in the Community

Nancy Celesnik, Global Health Operations Manager, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

This presentation will will discuss the evolution of Goodyear’s health strategy, including past and present efforts to develop an integrated health system.  It will share Goodyear’s ultimate goal of maximizing the health and wellbeing of associates, controlling benefit costs and improving productivity by:  preventing illness; when prevention is not possible, securing the right care at the right place at the right time; and when treatment is no longer possible, assuring that people have the information available to support advanced illnesses. 

Metrics used to measure progress toward the goal of creating a culture of health will be discussed, particularly the CDC scorecard.  It will show how Goodyear was able to assess and subsequently improve the health of worksite environments using this tool.  The expansion of this effort from domestic to global will also be described.  Examples of some of the improvements seen in the worksites will be shared and tips for replicating these ideas will be offered.

The presentation will also review how Goodyear’s global health strategy encompasses the community.  It will discuss how the Chief Health Officer helped to create a local health consortium comprised of businesses with similar vision to create a healthier community.  It will share how the consortium promoted the CDC’s Community Health Design to draw in members of the community to work together on a health improvement initiative. Challenges encountered by Community partners as well as success stories will be reviewed.


Breakout Session #15 - Elizabethan Room D

Improving Mental Health Without the Stigma: Start with Sleep

Jenna Carl, PhD, Medical Directory, Big Health
Milt Ezzard, Senior Director of global Benefits, Activision Blizzard

Home Depot and Comcast will share their perspectives on the challenge of addressing mental health in the workplace, focusing specifically on overcoming stigma, building resiliency to prevent poor mental health, and increasing access to care / utilization of EAP. These leading employers will share their ideas on what it takes to overcome stigma, raising the question:

What if we can begin addressing mental health in a destigmatized way using sleep? Professor Colin Espie, contributing researcher and author on the largest ever randomized controlled trial of a psychological intervention for mental health, will discuss how that trial definitively showed that digital cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia was an effective means of addressing all kinds of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, delusions, paranoia, and overall psychological wellbeing - without the stigma.


Breakout Session #16 - Georgian Room

The Business Case for an Employer-Sponsored Weight Management Program

Mary Catherine Person, President, HealthSCOPE Benefits, Inc.
Damon Haycock, Executive Officer, State of NV (PEBP)

This session will share the State of Nevada Public Employees Benefits Programs (PEBP) journey with their Obese and Overweight Care Management (OCM) program, highlighting how a weight-based program is a foundational building block to many important health, productivity and engagement outcomes. During this session, PEBP staff, HealthSCOPE Benefits, and a community physician will share their perspectives on how the program has evolved in recent years, as well as information on program participation and outcomes. The session will highlight what is possible through collaboration between a large employer, the local provider community, and creative payers/administrators.

In addition to health and productivity related outcomes, presenters will share their insights on program administration, lessons learned to date, and ideas for future program design and communication. Since most members are enrolled in a high deductible plan, and most of those have a HSA, challenges associated with plan design and incentive structure will also be addressed.


Refreshment Break - Italian & Colonial


Plenary Session #5 - Grand Ballroom

Turning Strategies and Policies into Actions That Help Women and Business Thrive

Lorna Friedman, Global Health Leader, Multinational Client Group, Mercer
Rhys Gwyn, Research Associate, Stanford Longevity Center, Stanford University
Pat Milligan, Global Leader, Multinational Client Group & When Women Thrive, Mercer
Sheilesha Willis, Ph.D., Senior Manager, Global Benefits, Total Rewards, AECOM

This panel will be a future-focused exchange on the key leadership, talent management, health and financial practices that must be addressed in order for women to actively participate, advance and thrive in the workplace. 

Disruption caused by technological advancements and a changing workforce is reshaping businesses and societies.  Employers are adopting a variety of strategies to make the workplace more female-friendly, including the expansion of paid parental leave programs and efforts to reduce the pay equity gap. Those responses, motivated by innovation and optimism, define what it means to lead and thrive during such unprecedented times.  Yet, the rate of female workforce participation is declining and the jobs traditionally held by women are being displaced.

Leaders and organizations must ask themselves are we making progress or noise?  Have we been too focused on adding programs and benefits and as a consequence ignored what’s actually happening to women in today’s jobs, including their personal wellbeing?  What does it take to turn opportunity into action?  When will women thrive?


Closing Remarks - Grand Ballroom