MORA Meeting Minutes
May 9, 2007:
MINUTES MORA May 9, 2007
Attending: Jonathan Lepoff, Carol Eckert, Desi-Rae Severson, Kathy Schulz, Ginger Jordan-Hillier, Ivan Most, Ruth Lawson-Stopps, Kim Lim, Leslie Walleigh, Ted Bradstreet, Terry Hathaway
Call to Order. Jonathan Lepoff called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. in the Marion Martin Conference Room, Central Maine Commerce Center.
Transition of Leadership. Jonathan transferred his leadership duties to Carol Eckert, the new chair. Leslie Walleigh is now the Vice-Chair.
Approval of April 11, 2007 Minutes. Jonathan Lepoff made a motion to accept the minutes of April 11, 2007 minutes as written. Kathy Schulz seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.
Workers’ Compensation Lump Sum Payment Presentation – Ivan Most. Ivan presented a power-point presentation relating to the health experience of workers receiving lump sum payments from the Maine Workers’ Compensation system during the years 2000-2004. Last month, Ivan presented this report to the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board. Ivan worked on this report with his daughter, Sylvia.
In 1992, there was legislation to revamp workers’ compensation. Included in this legislation, the folks who received lump sum payments were to be surveyed. A high percentage of them are very mobile and transient. Attorneys sent out the surveys to the lump sum payment recipients. 99 responses were received out of 399 surveys. A large majority of the responding recipients noted that the lump sum settlement was not adequate to cover all medical expenses after the settlement. At the time of the survey, approximately half of the respondents were working, with more females working than males.
Also, many respondents indicated that their injury prevented them from working full time. Most of the respondents indicated that they took the lump sum payment in order to move on with their life or because a representative suggested it. Over half of the recipients felt that they were treated fairly by Workers’ Compensation and that the lump sum settlement was a good way to end their involvement in the system.
Ivan’s presentation sparked a discussion. Kathy pointed out that the survey did not ask how much the lump sum payment was. Ivan appreciated the comments and feedback.
Kathy Schulz will do a presentation on the “100 Most Costly Claims” at the June 13th Meeting”.
Follow-up of Exploration of Relationship with Harvard School of Public Health – Ruth Lawson-Stopps. Ruth handed out the “Prioritized Interest in Selected Harvard School of Public Health Programs” for the MORA members to review and select the priority that they believe would be the most valuable asset to the knowledge base needed in Maine. Ivan and Ruth Met with Ann Backus, Harvard School of Public health to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Education and Research Center, Harvard School of Public Health.
They also spoke about organizing a meeting of folks in northern New England similar to MORA and how it could be replicated in other states. Ivan asked if MORA should be working with someone else at this time. Carol and Leslie Walleigh would like to be included as well as David Christiani.
Another handout was in Harvard Education and Research Center Pilot Project Application Form.
Ruth also had spoken with Elise O’Neil, Jackson Laboratory, about a joint conference. Both Jackson Lab and Harvard School of Public Health as well as Norm Anderson, American Lung Association of Maine. After discussion by the group, Ruth said that she will work with John Macauley, Jackson Lab. Jackson labor would be responsible for organizing the conference and handling registration, and confirming speakers
The group discussed the role of the Bureau of Labor Standards with MORA. Ruth will check with Leslie Manning, Deputy Director, Bureau of Labor Standards, to get support and what the Bureau needs from MORA.
There was discussion on MORA’s priority areas. Desi-Rae said that MORA now has three priority areas: cost drivers, occupational asthma, and pesticides. As discussion continued regarding the conference, the group does not want to sponsor the conference, but would be willing to partner with Jackson Lab. Ruth and Desi-Rae will work on this and continue to get feedback from MORA. Ginger thanked Ruth for all her work.
Other. MORA will not be holding any meetings in July and August.
The Maine Labor Group on Health is sponsoring a conference entitled, “Together We Can: A Gathering of Allies” on Friday, May 18, 2007 at the Central Maine Community College, Auburn. A handout was available. Carol said it would be a small group, 25 people, and the cost is $10.00.
Ginger updated the group on the Governor’s Task Force to Support Safer Chemicals in Consumer Products. They have come up with draft language and will be writing Federal OSHA. Ginger will get a copy of the interim report to the group. The task force is comprised of DEP (Department of Environmental Protection), DECD (Department of Economic and Community Development), Maine CDC (Center for Disease Control), and Agriculture. Further information can be found at the DEP website.
Next meeting – Wednesday, June 13, 2007. The next MORA meeting will be held Wednesday, June 13, 2007. The location will be at the Central Maine Commerce Center; specific information will be sent to MORA when arrangements have been made.
Adjournment. Carol Eckert adjourned the meeting at 12:08 p.m.