Propagating the new work disability paradigm for disability benefits & workers' comp systems

Welcome to The 60 Summits Project!

The 60 Summits Project is taking a grass-roots approach to transforming North American disability benefits and workers' compensation systems and the outcomes they produce. The plan for our national non-profit organization is to inspire people in a variety of professions and organizations to join together as volunteer groups and then to support them as they:

  • Plan and convene Summit meetings in all 50 US states and 10 Canadian provinces on the topic of improving how the stay-at-work and return-to-work (SAW / RTW) process* works. In the Summit meetings, all stakeholders** sit side by side in a workshop format to:
    • Learn about the new work disability prevention paradigm now codified in an ACOEM report entitled "Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed"
    • Decide whether and how to implement each of the report's recommendations and make plans to take the first concrete steps towards improving the SAW / RTW process in their own daily practice, organization, community, and state / province.
  • Form action groups that continue to propagate the work-disability prevention paradigm among their colleagues and constituencies, and take on-going action to implement positive changes in disability benefits and workers' compensation programs in their own organizations, community and jurisdiction.

The 60 Summits Project's founder and national chairperson is Dr. Jennifer Christian, who has received several awards for this work. She led the committee of 21 U.S. and Canadian physicians who developed the guideline for the American College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

SInce its founding in 2006, The 60 Summits Project has been gaining strength and momentum. Our mission and approach appeal strongly to experienced professionals who are uncomfortable with the harm being done to people and the resources wasted by today's "systems." They want to be part of an effort to improve outcomes.

Summits already held:
  • Arizona (May '08)
  • British Columbia (Nov '08)
  • California (Jun '07)
  • Florida (Jun '08)
  • Indiana (Mar '10)
  • Michigan (Apr '09)
  • Minnesota (Jan '08)
  • Montana (3 meetings - Apr '08)
  • New Mexico (Sept '06)
  • North Dakota (4 meetings - Sept '07)
  • Ohio (Mar '08)
  • Ontario (May '10)
  • Oregon (May '06, May '07)
  • Wisconsin (Oct '08)
Action groups formed:
  • Arizona
  • British Columbia
  • California
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Ontario
  • Wisconsin
In active planning:
  • (preliminary discussions underway in several states)
  • Early discussions are underway in several other states and provinces.
  • See the project timeline for more information

The 60 Summits Project is a non-profit corporation equipped to provide thought leadership for this project on a continental scale -- to hold the on-going catalyst meetings that get new Summit planning groups started, to partner with those groups and guide them as they plan their Summit events, to keynote and facilitate the Summits, and to serve as a central administrative and communications hub for all the local groups. Our sponsors underwrite central office activities, enable us to enter new jurisdictions, and support local activities. Additional sponsors are welcome.

If you are intrigued by the idea of a Summit in your state / province or are curious about The 60 Summits Project, look at our vision for what a Summit might look like, ponder the questions that help you decide whether a Summit is worth your effort, view the 60 Summits Partner Attraction Plan, or consider the Summit sponsor fact sheet. Then give us a call at 508.358-5218 or email Dr. Christian.

We welcome your joining forces with us. Let's turn the new ACOEM work disability prevention guideline's vision of a possible future into a reality!

* The SAW / RTW process occurs whenever an employed person becomes injured, ill, or has had a change in their ability to function. It consists of a series of decisions and actions made separately by several parties that, taken as a whole, determine whether, when and how that person stays at or returns to work.

** Stakeholders include all the parties who are involved in or have a significant influence on how the SAW / RTW process works: physicians, employers, benefits administrators, workers, judges, unions, legislators, regulators and policymakers, nurse case managers, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and so on. They are invited to the Summit meeting and sit side by side working on the issues together.

Updated 7/2/10