Safety, health and wellness – it’s a team effort!

Final day at the Greater Columbus Convention Center

The Ohio Safety Congress and Expo continues today with a total of nineteen educational sessions scheduled. Among them, a full day of leading edge technology. From 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. vendors and researchers will come together for a discussion on wearable devices known as industrial exoskeletons, developed to prevent workplace injuries. Read more about them here.

Take the Short North escalator to the second floor and you’ll find a full day of sessions at the Medical & Health Symposium. Presentations run from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vendors will also be available to chat about their programs and services.

A list of all remaining OSC18 and Medical & Health Symposium sessions can be found here.

We’ll be live tweeting from the symposium, so stay tuned to hashtag #BWCmhs and share your experiences too!

Looking for a recap of yesterday’s activities? Take a look at Twitter hashtags #OSC18  and #BWCmhs  or follow us @OhioBWC.

Paralyzed doctor inspires at BWC health symposium

Dr. Dale Hull, the walking definition of irony

By Tony Gottschlich, BWC Public Information Officer

Assisted by a cane, Dr. Dale Hull walked slowly to the podium and pronounced, “I am a quadriplegic” to an audience Thursday morning at the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Medical & Health Symposium.

“You might be asking, ‘Are you sure about that? I just saw you walk to the podium and you’re moving your arms,’” Hull told a hushed audience at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. “I assure you, I am partially paralyzed from the mid-trunk down.”

Hull then shared the story of how a tragedy — a trampoline accident in 1999 damaged his spinal cord and upended his life as a successful obstetrician-gynecologist and married father of four sons in South Jordan, Utah — became a transformation.

“As we go through life, we make plans, we make choices, we feel like we’re in control and we choose to change at times,” he said before revealing the theme of his lecture. “But what happens when change chooses you?”

Hull, who was 44 at the time of his accident, explained that he struggled mightily in the early months of his recovery. The loss of independence was almost too much to bear. His prospects and outlook were dim, and seeing even the most mundane of activities — a neighbor mowing his lawn — would reduce him to tears.

“I felt like a modern-day leper, at times like I wasn’t even a worthwhile human being,” he said. “I thought it was so unfair for God to give me something I wasn’t prepared for.”

He said he had hoped he would just regain enough movement in one hand so he could maneuver a powered wheelchair. But in the months that followed, through faith, family and dedicated health care providers, he regained much more.

It started with a big toe, followed by slight movement in his legs, and then an index finger. He endured intensive physical and occupational therapy, and in two years he could walk again with the aid of arm crutches.

Not satisfied, Hull set his sights even higher. The Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City were coming up, and Hull wanted to carry the Olympic torch. In February 2002, he did just that, topping off the experience when he passed the flame to basketball superstar Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz.

“This was my George Bailey, It’s a Wonderful Life moment,” he said, referring to the Jimmy Stewart holiday classic.

Grateful for the strides he had made, Hull and physical therapist Jan Black started wondering how they could help others recovering from spinal injuries. Then he read a Mahatma Gandhi quote he hadn’t seen before: You must be the change you want to see in the world.

“When I read this quote, I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ Because I knew what it meant.”

In 2004, Hull and Black founded a nonprofit, outpatient neuro-rehabilitation facility in a 1,000 square-foot store front and called it Neuroworx. In the years since, thanks to its success and generous benefactors, Neuroworx has grown into a modern, leading rehab facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a mission to serve adult and child patients alike, regardless of their ability to pay.

“This adventure has been so rich in its experiences and so amazing in terms of what I’ve learned,” Hull said. “If God or Buddha or even (Ohio State University head football coach) Urban Meyer told me I could have a fully functioning body again, but I’d have to forget everything I’ve learned over the last 18 years, I would say no thanks, don’t touch me.”

“I have no idea why I’m so blessed and so fortunate,” he said. “I just know that I am.”

You can watch Dr. Hull give a TEDx-talk about his journey here.

The health symposium continues through Friday.

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Medical & Health Symposium begins today – why you should not miss it!

We are excited that our Medical & Health Symposium kicked off today and runs through Friday at the Greater Columbus Convention Center for all providers. Don’t miss hearing international, national and state experts in their fields discuss Comprehensive Care for an Injured Worker in the provider clinical education track.

This year, for the first time, the symposium features a provider staff forum track on Friday for provider support staff.

See through their eyes
In addition, you may also listen to TED-type talks from patients’ perspectives about overcoming obstacles following a catastrophic injury as a physician and as an injured worker. Their presentations (Dale Hull, M.D., and Brad Hurtig) allow you to “walk in their shoes.”

Here is an earlier BWC story about Brad’s catastrophic injury that happened when he was in high school while working on a summer job. He has come full circle from being an injured worker to telling his story as a safety/injury prevention public speaker for students to professionals.

You may also learn about BWC’s new medical initiatives from our Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. If you have time in your schedule to attend one or more sessions, here is the symposium brochure and link to register.

Free continuing education is available for many professions, including attorneys, chiropractors, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, pharmacists, physicians, podiatrists, psychologists, rehabilitation counselors and case managers.

Why participate?
The BWC Chief Medical Officer Terry Welsh kicked off the symposium with a story about the importance of continuing education in health care delivery, not only for providers, but also for health care insurers and managed care organizations.

Dr. Welsh drew on personal experience, eighteenth century history, and the recent evolution of health care delivery payment methodologies to make an argument that the principles of integrity, beneficence, and continuing education are still alive and well in Ohio today.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday and/or Friday at the Medical & Health Symposium!

Be a workplace safety all-star!

It’s day two of the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo! We’re glad to have you here in Columbus once again this year.

Even more important, we’re pleased that so many of you put safety first!

The Expo Marketplace was busy all day yesterday. If you missed anything, make sure to stop by today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Classes ranging from wellness to emergency preparedness took place throughout the day. BWC Administrator Sarah Morrison kicked things off with a sneak peek at our new safety campaign commercial for a standing room only crowd.

Today’s general session will be held in the same location, the beautiful Battelle Grand Ballroom North in the Greater Columbus Convention Center. First, we’ll announce the winners of our Safety Innovation Awards followed by resilience strategist and team engagement expert, Linda Edgecombe.

Thanks to all of you who voted for your favorite innovation in the People’s Choice Award category.

We’ve seen a record number of you posting updates and photos on Twitter. Keep them coming! We look forward to experiencing Safety Congress from your perspective.

Remember to refer to your event guide or the mobile app for session descriptions and locations, expo marketplace map and passport to safety.

If you have questions about BWC programs or services, stop by our booth – #415!

Your winning game plan is at OSC18

By Abe Al-Tarawneh, Ph.D., Superintendent, BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene

Teamwork and planning are the keys to nearly every successful endeavor. This includes making Ohio’s workplaces safer and more productive.

This year’s Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC18) has the resources all Ohio employers need to strengthen their safety team, from frontline workers to upper management. It also shows attendees how to draw up a safety game plan to cut costs and, more important, to protect their workforce.

OSC18 – which tips off today at the Greater Columbus Convention Center – is expected to host more than 8,000 attendees and will feature hundreds of educational sessions taught by safety experts from across the U.S., Canada and Switzerland. It also boasts a lively Expo Marketplace with more than 200 vendors offering the latest in cutting-edge products and services.

While visiting the Expo Marketplace, stop by the Safety Innovation Awards section and vote for your favorite of four finalists for this year’s awards. Then check out the exoskeleton display to see how workplace technology is making the leap from science fiction to reality. We also invite you to visit our BWC booth to learn about our programs including our new Better You, Better Ohio!™ health and wellness program for the workforce.

Safety – It’s a team effort is the theme of OSC18. And it truly takes a team to put together this annual event – now the largest regional safety conference in the country. From planning committees and guest speakers to the expo vendors and BWC staff, I truly appreciate the excellent work of this team in planning and executing this world-class event.

I hope you enjoy your experience while you’re at OSC18. I also hope you take the knowledge you’ve gained back to your workplace to bolster your safety teams and develop a winning game plan to keep all your workers safe and healthy on the job.