Thomas Wickizer, University of Washington
For the 2008 Nachemson Memorial Lecture, Dr. Thomas Wickizer will discuss how Washington State has improved the quality of health care in its workers’ compensation system. He will describe the evolution of these efforts since 1995, leading to a major system intervention that provided financial incentives to physicians and introduced structural changes in the workers’ compensation health-care delivery system. An evaluation of this intervention indicates these changes are associated with reductions in disability for injured workers, and decreased costs. Dr. Wickizer will also speak about the importance of collaboration among researchers, the state’s Department of Labor and Industry, and business and labour stakeholder groups in order for research to influence policy.
David Stuewe, Dalhousie University
There is increasing recognition of the influence of workplace safety culture and safety climate in protecting the health of employees. With this recognition comes a heightened interest in effective approaches for strengthening workplace safety climate and safety culture. This lecture will explore the role of executive and front-line leadership in creating and maintaining workplace cultures that promote safety. Professor Stuewe will present case studies showing the importance of measuring workplace climate through the eyes of workers. He will describe the effectiveness of leadership training of both managers and supervisors as a key instrument in strengthening the safety culture of a workplace.
Barbara Silverstein, Safety & Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP), Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
In this important lecture, Dr. Silverstein will look at the enormous burden work-related musculoskeletal disorders has on employees and will review what has worked in primary and secondary prevention. She will also consider the impact of regulatory approaches in the United States and other countries.
Glenn Pransky, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety
In this lecture, Dr. Pransky, who is the Director of the Center for Disability Research at Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health and whose research interests are in the areas of disability and outcome measurement particularly for work-related musculoskeletal disorders, talks about the current state of research aimed at reducing disability and improving return to work and the next steps.
Graham Lowe, The Graham Lowe Group
Employers want efficiency, productivity and adaptability. Employees want decent jobs that offer dignity, respect, personal development and economic security. Communities and citizens want ethical corporate behaviours. Unions want equity and fairness. Governments are promoting innovation and skills as the route to a better quality of life. And not least, researchers want the best evidence on healthy workplace determinants translated into practice. While now separate, these discourses converge in a composite picture of what a healthy, productive and responsible organization looks like. This vision points the way to positive workplace change and can be a rallying point for a societal project—Canada's Next Big Idea that, over time, can shift how we think and act at work.
Jeremy Grimshaw, University of Ottawa
Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has come a long way in the last decade, but the important “next step”–turning scientific knowledge into evidence-based practice (EBP)–is proving to be more of a challenge. At the inaugural Alf Nachemson Lecture, Dr. Jeremy Grimshaw, co-ordinating editor of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Review Group, Director of Clinical Epidemiology at the Ottawa Health Research Institute and an expert in evidence-based practice, talks about the misconceptions about and obstacles to evidence-based practice.