Next month, you can begin to interact with the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation online.
Gov. Bob Taft earlier this summer signed into law House Bill 611, which gives the bureau the legal authority to interact with customers electronically.
State Rep. Gary Cates (R-West Chester) sponsored the bill, which will eventually allow customers to complete almost any workers' compensation transaction electronically through an initiative called the Dolphin Project.
An injured worker will be able to file a claim or an employer will be able to pay a premium through the Internet, and BWC will accept these transactions as official documents. The Dolphin Project will be implemented in four waves beginning with the first next month and wave four coming in April 2001.
The bureau's e-business move will allow its customers to:
- File a claim online and get a claim number.
- View and update claim and policy information.
- Request additional benefits and services.
- Obtain or cancel coverage.
- Select a managed care organization.
- Customize rating plans and simulate cost-saving scenarios.
- Pay premiums electronically.
- Access new financial programs, including deductibles and payment plans.
For more information, visit www.ohiobwc.com/home/dolphin/default.htm.
On a related note, NFIB/Ohio has bestowed its Guardian of Small Business award to Cates for his outstanding leadership on issues critical to Ohio's small business community.
"Representative Cates, in a short period of time, has emerged as an articulate voice for small business in the Ohio legislature," says Roger Geiger, state director of NFIB/Ohio, in a press release. "As chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee, Representative Cates has championed many issues important to the vitality of small business. He has fostered a small-business friendly environment through his leadership that enables Ohio's entrepreneurs to thrive."
Excellence Award names winners
The Ohio Award for Excellence board of trustees has named its first winners for the statewide award patterned after the national Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
"The Ohio Award for Excellence was designed to recognize those businesses, government entities, educational institutions and health care and not-for-profit organizations that understand the positive impact that the quality process can have on an organization," says Thomas F. Casperson, executive director of the Ohio Award for Excellence, which was established in 1998. "These winners have demonstrated that a commitment to quality can make a difference to a company's employees, customers and bottom line."
The program's first tier of awards, Pledge Toward Excellence, is given to organizations beginning their quality journey. Winners are Cleveland Children's Hospital; Council on Rural Service Programs Inc., Greenville; Cuyahoga Work and Training, Cleveland; Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Good Samaritan Hospital, Dayton; Great Oaks Adult Workforce Development Division, Cincinnati; Lester Precision Die Casting Inc., Twinsburg; Lorain County Children Services, Elyria; Muskingum County Children Services Board, Zanesville; Northcoast Community Homes Inc., Cleveland; Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Administration; Ohio Department of Education; Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Water; Ohio Department of Transportation District 10, Marietta; Ohio Education Association; Ohio School for the Deaf; Ohio State School for the Blind; Perstop Polyols Inc., Toledo; Reading Fire Department; Skilled Care Inc., Mason; Southeast Diversified Industries Inc., Cambridge; and United Way of Greater Toledo.
The Commitment to Excellence tier recognizes organizations that have demonstrated a serious commitment to excellence and a process for continuous improvement. Winners are Aurora City Schools; Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland; Cuyahoga Falls Hospital; Hamilton County Educational Services Center, Cincinnati; Northcoast Behavioral Healthcare, Northfield; and Pabco Fluid Power, Cincinnati.
In the third tier, the Achievement of Excellence Award is presented to organizations that have demonstrated, through commitment and practice, significant progress toward excellence. Winners are Aeroquip, Van Wert; Applewood Centers, Cleveland; Kuss Corp., Findlay; and Van Dorn Demag, Strongsville.
No winners were named in the highest tier, the Governor's Award for Excellence, designed for organizations that are outstanding examples of excellence in the state, exhibiting "world class" processes that serve as role models for others.
Award winners will be formally recognized for their achievements Sept. 15 at the Ohio Award for Excellence Quest for Success 2000 Conference at the Hilton at Easton in Columbus.
The award, to be presented annually, is based on criteria covering the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer focus, information and analysis, workforce development, process management and the business results achieved.
For more information, call Casperson at (937) 445-6556 or visit www.oae.org.
Governor appoints business adviser
Gov. Bob Taft has appointed David L. Celona as executive assistant for business and industry.
As executive assistant, he'll advise Taft on business and industry issues and serve as liaison to six state agencies -- the departments of Development, Taxation and Transportation; the Industrial and Public Utilities commissions; and the Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
Celona previously served as chief of staff for the Ohio Department of Transportation, where his responsibilities included overseeing economic affairs, the state infrastructure bank, communications and legislation in a department of 6,300 employees. "It is critical that Ohio's infrastructure and business climate continue to improve and grow," Taft says in a press release announcing the appointment. "Dave's experience at ODOT and his ability to identify and communicate important business and industry issues will be a great asset to the people of Ohio." Joan Slattery Wall (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate editor and statehouse correspondent for SBN.