List of state departments of labor w contact info (attached)

Jennifer Christian MD

Attached is a list of the state agencies that appear most likely to be taking the lead in a RETAIN proposal.    For each one on the list, there is a link that gets you to their website.  For many, there are street addresses.  For only a few is there a person to contact (sorry).    If you can’t see the attachment, go to the RETAINers website and get it there.


Do you agree that it has turned out to be SURPRISINGLY ( ridiculously?)  DIFFICULT to accomplish steps 1 through 3 on the list below of the things that must happen in order to respond to the RETAIN FOA/RFP.  I propose that we call these first three steps “creating an invisible social infrastructure of multi-stakeholder professional relationships and shared commitments”.  All this must happen BEFORE  purposeful and coordinated action becomes possible.  

  1. Identify WHO the organizations are that you must collaborate with in order to apply for this grant / conduct this project,
  2. Figure out who the RIGHT PEOPLE are that you must connect with in each organization, and WHO has to authorize them to participate / commit their organization
  3. Get to know them and get on the same page with them (create a shared sense of purpose), invite and get their agreement to serve on your leadership team, advisory team, and/or proposal-writing team as appropriate.


  1. Develop a good understanding of the EARLY SAW/RTW dynamics in your state (the layout of the medical community and other private & public sector players involved early on in health-related disruptions)
  2. Distinguish between existing state-funded services that can be extended to the new target population of workers covered by RETAIN (and their employers), vs. new types of services that SOMEBODY will need to organize and deliver to these workers (and their employers)
  3. Figure out WHO will deliver the services – existing employees, new contract employees, a vendor organization – and how you will obtain and pay for their services (hire, contract, RFP).   
  4. Design a program that is likely to be EFFECTIVE given #4
  5. Figure out answers to the questions that must be answered in the proposal
  6. Write the actual proposal
  7. Get letters of commitment / signatures from all of the major parties -- which may involve going up bureaucratic chains of command  (see #2 and #3 above)


I now see that that our now-mothballed 60 Summits Project was a first brave step towards “creating an invisible social infrastructure of multi-stakeholder professional relationships and shared commitments”.   The stated purpose of 60 Summits was to propagate the work disability prevention model across North America (50 US states + 10 Canadian provinces = 60).   While it was active, 60 Summits created multi-stakeholder groups of volunteer professionals who then organized and produced summit-type workshops with our support.  The groups identified individuals of good will with reputations as positive thought-leaders in their stakeholder groups – and invited them to participate in the Summit.  At the Summit, they sat around tables in small multi-stakeholder groups.  The centerpiece of discussion was the 16 recommendations for improving the SAW/RTW process made in ACOEM’s report entitled “Preventing Needless Work Disability by Helping People Stay Employed”.  The small groups were charged to decide whether they liked the recommendations, wanted to see them implemented in their state, and start thinking about what was necessary for that to become a reality.   The positive energy in the room – and the relationships formed during those events – were remarkable and long-lasting.   After a short run, 60 Summits was mothballed due to lack of funding.  I didn’t have the bandwidth to apply for grants or fundraise.  I was personally stretched to the max with learning how to recruit groups of professional volunteers, supporting them in planning and producing their own state’s multi-stakeholder workshop, and speaking/facilitating at those events.   We did end up with 20 events in 12 US states and 2 Canadian provinces.  It was wonderful while it lasted.   And as the leader of the Wisconsin 60 Summits Group said, ideas germinate out of sight -- like seeds underground – and emerge as tiny shoots than may or may not grow into big plants based on soil and weather conditions.  Change takes time, fertilizer and fuel (money)!



Jennifer Christian, MD, MPH

Moderator, RETAINers List-Serv and Website on

(a volunteer activity – not an officially sponsored group)

Chair, 60 Summits Project

(non-profit organization founded in 2006 and mothballed since 2010)