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

 Arizona Summit

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A feasibility meeting was held in January, 2007, out of which arose a Summit planning team with volunteer members from a wide array of stakeholder groups. From the beginning, the intention of the Summit planning committee was "to become an on-going force for positive change in Arizona."

The Arizona Summit was held May 8, 2008 at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix with about 100 attendees.  You can now download the full Final Report or just the Executive Summary.  (Also see the summary below, and see an article about the Arizona Summit in the July 2008 issue of The Bridge: News from the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living.)

A follow-up action group -- the Arizona Work Disability Prevention Association (AWDPA) -- has been meeting regularly since its first meeting in June 2008 in Phoenix. For more information or toget involved, go to the AWDPA website (   or   contact Jennifer Hallden, president of AWDPA, at

Summary of the 2008 Arizona Summit

The multi-stakeholder group that planned the Arizona Leadership Summit to Prevent Needless Work Disability produced a flawlessly executed conference in a very well appointed facility with a tightly-managed and stimulating agenda -- and in turn generated high enthusiasm and serious engagement among the participants.

One attendee commented "I have never been to an event that was so well organized, clearly communicated, smooth and well-run. You all did an amazing job!"

The format was an all-day workshop followed by a cocktail reception. The day was kicked-off by an inspiring testimonial from a woman who is now successfully rehabilitated and re-employed following a devastating work-related motor vehicle accident. Her story exemplified the kind of personal motivation and grit that is required to get life back to normal despite major medical misfortune, physical and functional challenges -- along with abandonment by those who might otherwise have been helpful.

Dr. Christian keynoted and moderated the rest of the workshop. The eight multi-stakeholder workgroups were led by professional facilitators who had received additional special training from 60 Summits Project staff.

The mix of attendees was notable for the breadth of organizations represented, including major employers (e.g., Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, Raytheon, the City of Phoenix, Mayo Clinic, Fry’s Food & Drug Stores), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFSCME, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the US Small Business Administration, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Arizona Office for Americans with Disabilities, the Arizona Employment and Disability Partnership, the Industrial Commission of Arizona, the State Compensation Fund of Arizona, AIG, Prudential, Schaller Anderson Healthcare, Banner Health System, and Concentra among many others.

Major financial support was provided by Prudential Financial, the Arizona Medicaid Infrastructure Grant, Webility Corporation, the State Compensation Fund of Arizona, and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold.

Roughly half of the attendees signed up to be part of the newly-formed Arizona Work Disability Prevention Association (AWDPA) in order to carry out the action plans they had made during the Summit.

See the Final Report.

See an article in the July 2008 issue of The Bridge: News from the Arizona Bridge to Independent Living

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