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DMEC Announces Behavioral Risk in the Workplace Conference Program


Leading companies will share their strategies for “Cost Containment in a New Economy” by addressing behavioral health risk management in the workplace.

Companies such as 3M, Caterpillar, General Electric and Time Warner Cable will share their insights and strategies at the Disability Management Employer Coalition’s (DMEC’s) 5th annual Behavioral Risk in the Workplace conference, taking place April 21 – 23, 2009, in Minneapolis. The three-day conference will provide disability management and HR professionals with real-world examples of best practices as well as emerging strategies that can minimize the costs of behavioral health risk management in the workplace.

Attendees will learn about “Cost Containment in a New Economy” at 16 solutions-packed sessions plus an employer-only roundtable and scheduled networking opportunities.

The conference keynote address will be presented by Barbara Campbell, Assistant Vice President, Risk Management, in The Hartford’s Group Disability Benefits Division, and will address the impact of stage—not age—on employees’ physical and behavioral health.

For the first time ever, DMEC and the Employee Assistance Roundtable (EAR) have teamed up to offer an employer-only roundtable summit. This 3-hour interactive session will explore emerging issues and challenges in behavioral risk:

• Stress and Resiliency—Stress plays a significant role in the onset of mental and physical illness, and people vary in their ability to “roll with the punches.” In the best interests of employers and employees alike, how are we building skills, strategies, and sound corporate practices to best identify stressors and build resiliency in both our workforce and organizations?

• Mental Health Parity—What have we seen so far? Are the “parity benefits” having the expected impact on employees and their families? Are there new challenges to ensure success?

Educational sessions at the conference will cover 4 focus areas, and include sessions on:

• Employer Response to Employee Financial Distress, with Dianne Carroll, Director Employee Assistance, Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati. Attendees will learn about the nature of worker absence and disability risks associated with employee personal financial distress, its multiple causes, and who is most affected. They will discover what employers can do through changes to support structures, benefits, and educational programs.

• Managing Ambivalence and Resistance: Unique Employer Solutions for Solving Complex Behavioral Health Impairments, with Jennifer Hertzfeld, Team Leader, Integrated Disability, Ohio State University; Cortney Silva, Disability Program Manager, Ohio State University; and Kenneth Mitchell, PhD, Consultant, Unum/Managing Partner, WorkRx Group Ltd.. Employers spend an inordinate amount of time and resources managing employees with behavioral health impairments who are all too often characterized as being unmotivated. Current research suggests that this lack of success may not be related to the degree of impairment, but rather to being stuck as a result of the competing psychosocial factors and co-morbid behavioral health dysfunctions present.

• Cost-Effective Management of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, presented by Linda Weaver, PhD, JD, Clinical Psychologist, Clinical and Behavioral Health Solutions Group, Mercer. Today’s turbulent economy is sending a wave of stress through the workplace. Workers are worrying about their companies, their jobs, their expenses, their coworkers and their family and friends. This cascades into stress on and off the job, greater benefit costs and less productivity. In this era of change and challenge, there are specific actions employers can take to manage how stress and depression impact their employees and cut into the company’s bottom line.

• Behavioral Disability and the Role of the Employee Assistance Program, presented by Chris Pawson, Manager, EAP/Behavioral Health & Life Balance Solutions, Owens Corning and Kathleen Cavinee, Disability Management Leader, Integrated Case Management. As Mental Health now accounts for a large percentage of disability claims, an employer must work toward innovative ways to manage these claims. This session will cover the definition, criteria and the nuances of psychiatric disability. This includes the partnership of the disability integration team which includes EAP. EAP plays a vital role in all phases of a disability case to ensure the best possible outcome for the employee and the employer.

About DMEC: The Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) is a non-profit organization that provides educational resources to employers in the areas of disability, absence, health, and productivity. The primary goal of DMEC is to assist employers in developing cost-saving programs, encouraging responsive market products, and returning employees to productive employment. Visit for more information about educational publications and events.

Members of the Media: Please join us for our 5th annual Behavioral Risk in the Workplace conference. To receive a brochure and schedule of events, or to register for a complimentary press pass, contact Rebecca Milot-Bradford at 970.824.1974, or email


 disability management
 behavioral risk
 behavioral health
 risk management
 workforce management

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