MIIA workshops to address health costs, cybersecurity, thriving workplace

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MIIA workshops at this year’s MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 19 and 20 will tackle important topics such as rising health care costs, cybersecurity risks, and promoting a thriving workplace.
 
At the annual MIIA luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 20, the featured speaker will be Dr. Jennifer Michaels, medical director of the Brien Center in Pittsfield (Berkshire County’s largest behavioral health agency), attending psychiatrist at Berkshire Medical Center, and assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
 
Dr. Michaels, who has spent more than 20 years in the fields of psychiatry, neurology and addiction medicine, will discuss the opioid crisis facing Massachusetts and the nation. In a recent presentation, Michael’s pointed out that, in Massachusetts, a person is more likely to die from a drug overdose than a motor vehicle accident.
 
“Currently, opioid overdose is the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50,” Dr. Michaels said, “but we can all take steps to effectively battle this epidemic.”
 
Dr. Michaels will discuss specific ways that municipalities can address the opioid crisis.
 
MIIA workshops
“Strategies for Managing Health Care Costs”
As health care costs continue to rise, municipalities must allocate a higher percentage of their budget each year to provide health insurance to their employees and retirees. This reality is straining municipal budgets and crowding out essential services. Municipalities must find ways to bring health care costs under control without sacrificing the quality of care that is being provided to their employees and retirees.
 
Workshop attendees will learn more about key programs that target two of the highest cost drivers in health care today: musculoskeletal disorders (conditions and injuries affecting the bones, joints and muscles that can be painful and debilitating), and diabetes.
 
An estimated 126 million Americans (one in two adults) are affected by a musculoskeletal condition – comparable to the total percentage of Americans living with a chronic lung or heart condition – costing an estimated $213 billion in annual treatment, care and lost wages, according to a report issued by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative.
 
Panelist Ron Donelson, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and founder and president of SelfCare First, a consulting, publishing, and low-back pain disease management company, will discuss the various musculoskeletal issues that occur.
 
On the diabetes front, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, in 2017, 30.3 million Americans suffer from diabetes (9.4 percent of the population), and 84.1 million adults (33.9 percent of the adult population) have pre-diabetes, including 23.1 million aged 65 or older (the age group with highest rate).
 
The workshop will feature two panelists from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts: Jenna Doucette, a wellness consultant and certified health education specialist, and Dr. Thomas Hawkins, senior medical director of population health and analytics. Hawkins is also a clinical instructor of population health and clinical epidemiology at Harvard Medical School.
 
Chris Bailey, manager of the MIIA Health Benefits Trust, will moderate the discussion, which will be held on Friday, Jan. 19, 2-3:30 p.m.
 
“A Practical Approach to Mitigating Municipal Cybersecurity Risks”
Seth Berman, a partner with the law firm Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP and a national cybersecurity expert, will discuss the different ways that cyber attacks can occur in municipalities, as well as critical steps local officials can take to prevent an attack. Attendees will also learn what they should do after a cyber breach happens, the legal obligations of cities and towns to report cyber incidents, and whether buying cyber risk insurance is enough to mitigate risk.
 
Berman leads Nutter’s Privacy and Data Security practice group. Organizations and their boards engage Berman to address the legal, technical and strategic aspects of data privacy and cybersecurity risk, and to prepare for and respond to data breaches, hacking and other cyber attacks.
 
Prior to joining Nutter, Berman led the Boston, New York, and Washington offices of Stroz Friedberg, a leading cybersecurity and digital forensics investigations consulting firm. He also spent six years in London as head of the consulting firm’s international practice, where he regularly assisted clients with international criminal and digital forensics investigations.
 
Berman teaches a cyber crime law class at Harvard Law School, has appeared on the BBC and SkyNews to comment on cybersecurity issues, and has written extensively on the subject.
 
MIIA Operations Manager Nancy Kiely Fermano will moderate the discussion, which will be held on Friday, Jan. 19, 3:45-5 p.m.
 
“Leading the Way To A Thriving Workplace”
What does it take to make a difference in your organization’s culture and the well-being of your workforce? It’s not what you might think.
 
Successful companies and enlightened leaders build and maintain workplace cultures where people are freed, fueled and inspired to bring their best selves to work – and home – each day. They challenge the status quo and move from traditional wellness to an integrated approach, fusing organizational and individual well-being.
 
Attendees of this workshop will learn from Dr. Rosie Ward, co-owner of Salveo Partners, LLC, a certified Judgment Index consultant, a certified valuations specialist, and a board-certified coach. Dr. Ward will discuss how to refocus your efforts to create and influence a workplace where everyone can thrive.
 
Salveo Partners was founded to leverage the fusion of organizational and employee well-being to create thriving workplace cultures. Dr. Ward works with executive and leadership teams to create a comprehensive leadership development strategy centered around shifting thinking patterns, and she helps organizations develop and implement strategies to create a thriving workplace culture that values and supports well-being and the unique, intrinsic needs of employees. She also trains and mentors others to help shift the trajectory of the worksite wellness industry and improve organizational culture.
 
MIIA Wellness Manager Wendy Gammons will moderate the workshop, to be held on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2-3:30 p.m.
 
“Employment Liability Best Practices: Ways to Identify and Eliminate Discrimination in the Workplace”
Given the current climate in our nation, with harassment and discrimination allegations in the news on an almost daily basis, MIIA wants to provide practical and topical skills that can help local officials address these important issues in their workplace.
 
This workshop will help participants recognize and eliminate harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and will feature the following topics: an overview of protected classes, how to handle complaints of discrimination, and when to investigate. There will also be an analysis of recent Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination decisions and cases to highlight mistakes that supervisors have made, the resulting consequences, and ways to avoid making these mistakes.
 
This workshop will be presented by MIIA Member Training Manager Lin Chabra on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2-2:30 p.m.
 
MIIA Rewards
MIIA members are eligible for Rewards credits for attending the following MMA Annual Meeting workshops:
 
Friday, 2-3:30 p.m.
• “Labor Law Update: Recent Cases and Agency Decisions”
• “Marijuana Law: The Way Forward for Municipalities”
 
Friday, 3:45-5 p.m.
• “A Practical Approach to Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks”
• “Hiring and Training a Modern Police Force”
• “Successful and Effective Land Use and Zoning Policies”
 
Saturday, 2-3:30 p.m.
• “Do’s and Don’ts of Municipal Social Media Policies”
• “Employment Liability Best Practices”
• “Municipal Law Update”