In This Issue

Spring Member Workshops

Police Risk Management Scholarship Pilot Program

New Subscription Supplement Program for V-Academy Online Training

CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Reducing Loss and Creating a Safer Environment Lead to Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for City of Germantown

City of Niota Preserves, Honors its Heritage

Doris Baron Retirement

Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Physician Education Conference

Tennessee Trivia

Q. What Tennessee city served as the state capital for only one day?

Click here for the answer

Message from the President

Dawn Crawford


The holidays are a fitting time to be grateful for our blessings and to search for ways to help others around us. They also offer opportunities to spend time with family and friends.     

Wishing you all the joys of the season and happiness throughout the coming year.


Special Holidays

We're thinking of you this time of year,
Wishing you happiness, joy, and cheer.
May all your days be warm and bright,
And your nights enhanced by holiday light.

Enjoy your delectable holiday foods,
As parties and gifts create holiday moods.
Favorite people play a meaningful part,
While treasured rituals warm your heart.

You are special to us in many ways,
So we wish you Happy Holidays!

By Joanna Fuchs


From all of us to all of you, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

With Warmest Regards,

Dawn Crawford signature
Dawn R. Crawford


Spring Member Workshops

Topics will include: Understanding risk management and risk control surveys, underwriting basics (including the new application format), and defending employment cases — pitfalls and pratfalls.

CMFO Credit — Pending approval

Dates / Locations:


March 10
Public Entity Partners Training Room

562 Franklin Road
Suite 200
Franklin, TN 37069

March 11
City of Algood – City Hall

215 West Main Street
Algood, TN 38506

March 17
City of Martin – Police Department

732 North Lindell Street
Martin, TN 38237

March 18
City of Bartlett

Bartlett Station Municipal Center
5868 Stage Road
Bartlett, TN 38134

March 24
Greeneville City Schools

West Entrance
129 West Depot Street
Greeneville, TN 37743

March 25
Madison Insurance Group

800 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

March 26
City of Collegedale

4910 Swinyar Drive
Collegedale, TN 373150

Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm (Lunch is provided)

Registration: Call or email Heather Hughes.   800.624.9698

For questions about the workshop, please contact
Heather Hughes or Callie Westerfield.

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Police Risk Management Scholarship Pilot Program

This fall’s Police Risk Management Scholarship Pilot Program wrapped up its third and final class this month in Oak Ridge. The program provides 16 hours of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-approved instruction on de-escalation and response-to-resistance techniques for police officers in critical, high-stress situations. It is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police (TACP) and the University of Tennessee’s Law Enforcement Innovation Center (UT-LEIC).

A total of 40 officers from 15 different police agencies participated in the training conducted by UT-LEIC’s Training Specialist Greg Coker and Captain Nick Godwin of the Germantown Police Department.

Public Entity Partners is planning a full schedule of these classes to be held in 2020. Three classes are already scheduled in East Tennessee. Six additional classes in Middle and West Tennessee will be announced soon.

The East Tennessee sessions will be held:

  • March 30-31
  • May 4-5
  • June 1-2
UT-LEIC (Oak Ridge)
UT-LEIC (Oak Ridge)
UT-LEIC (Oak Ridge)

Police agencies whose Law Enforcement Liability (LEL) coverage is through Public Entity Partners are eligible to apply for this Police Risk Management Scholarship, according to the following schedule:

Scholarship Eligibility Schedule
Agencies with 1-7 FT certified officers
Agencies with 8-15 FT certified officers
Agencies with 16-30 FT certified officers
Agencies with 31-60 FT certified officers
Agencies with 61 or more FT certified officers
Annually Eligible for:

Online registration will begin in January on the Public Entity Partners website ( and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

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New Subscription Supplement Program for V-Academy Online Training

Public Entity Partners is pleased to announce a partnership with Savant Learning’s Virtual Academy (V-Academy) online training program. V-Academy provides a wide variety of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST)-approved online education programs for law enforcement agencies.

Of the more than 240 police departments covered by the Public Entity Partners Law Enforcement Liability (LEL) program, approximately 150 of those agencies already subscribe to the online training program.

Beginning with a police agency’s renewal of its V-Academy subscription after Jan. 1, 2020, Public Entity Partners will be paying part of the subscription directly to Savant Learning based upon the number of officers covered by the LEL Policy, according to the following range:

Officers Covered by PE Partners LEL
31 or more officers insured
16 to 30 officers insured
15 or fewer officers insured
Subscription Supplement

For example, if a police department has 25 officers, the regular subscription for V-Academy would be roughly $1,725 annually. Upon renewal after Jan. 1, 2020, the police department’s new subscription rate will be roughly $862.50 (50%) and Public Entity Partners will be billed for the other 50% ($862.50).

More information will be sent in January to each member with a police department. To view available courses in Savant Learning’s V-Academy, please visit If you have questions about this supplement program, please reach out to your casualty loss control consultant.

Judy Housley

Chester Darden

Paul Chambliss

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CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) holders is a secure online database that gives employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), state driver licensing agencies, and state law enforcement personnel real-time information about CDL holders’ drug and alcohol program violations.

Starting Jan. 6, 2020, the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) is requiring employers to utilize the Clearinghouse in order to conduct queries of CDL license holders and report drug and alcohol violations. Employers and drivers must register in order to access the information.

All CDL drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles on public roads, as well as their employers and service agents, will be affected by the Clearinghouse and its new requirements. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • School bus drivers
  • Construction equipment operators
  • Municipal vehicle drivers (e.g., waste management vehicles)
  • Organizations that employ drivers subject to FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations

CDL license holders can enter their information and confirm whether all the information in the database regarding their license is accurate. While drivers are not required to register for the Clearinghouse, a driver will need to be registered to provide electronic consent in the Clearinghouse if a prospective or current employer needs to conduct a full query of the driver’s record. According to the Department of Transportation, this will include all pre-employment queries beginning Jan. 6, 2020.

To view common questions about this topic and the responses from the Department of Transportation, please visit

Please check with your legal counsel to determine whether these new regulations will impact your organization.

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Reducing Loss and Creating a Safer Environment Lead to Malcolm Baldrige
National Quality Award for City of Germantown

  City of Germantown  

The City of Germantown is one of six organizations across the U.S. that are receiving a 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige Award in cooperation with the private sector. An independent panel of judges reviewed the evaluations performed by the Baldrige board of examiners and recommended this year’s award recipients from a field of 26 applicants. (Photo provided by the City of Germantown.)


The causal links between professional management and liability, workers’ compensation and property losses are clear. As any organization works to implement best practices, process efficiency and effectiveness, the outcome will undoubtedly be a safer work environment and fewer liability losses. The City of Germantown has taken this endeavor to heart and, as a result, won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

Established In 1987, the award is named after the late Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige and is managed by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the nation’s only presidential award for performance excellence and the highest presidential honor in this category. This award recognizes organizations and businesses that have shown an unceasing drive for visionary leadership, operational excellence and innovative solutions to complex challenges. Germantown is the only city to receive the award for 2019.

The award focuses on performance in seven key areas:

  • Leadership: How the organization is led and leads within the community
  • Strategy: How strategic directions are established and implemented
  • Customers: How strong, lasting relationships are built and maintained
  • Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management: How data is used to support key processes and manage performance
  • Workforce: How the workforce is empowered and involved
  • Operations: How key processes are designed, measured, and improved
  • Results: Performance in terms of customer satisfaction, finances, human resources, supplier and partner performance, operations, governance and social responsibility, compared to competitors

Germantown has one defining mission: Excellence, every day. This philosophy guides staff in aligning performance excellence with the city’s vision and long-range strategy, which are represented in the Germantown Forward 2030 Plan. This plan was developed in 2015 by the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen to focus on understanding and influencing the future, rather than simply preparing for or adapting to it, by aligning resources to bridge the gap between their present condition and desired outcomes.

Congratulations to the City of Germantown for their hard work and dedication to excellence. Click here to learn more about the work Germantown completed in their efforts toward creating a safer environment, reducing loss and achieving this award.

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City of Niota Preserves, Honors its Heritage

  City of Niota Depot  

In 2017, the City of Niota was faced with the prospect of losing one of its chief treasures — its historic train depot, which not only holds a significant place in the community’s heart, but also houses the offices of city staff.

The depot, which was built in the mid-1850s, survived the Civil War and the ensuing years of reconstruction. More than 160 years into its lifespan, though, the collapse of the structure’s chimney threatened to condemn the building to the wrecking ball. Residents and officials rallied to save this important icon of the city’s history, which is the oldest standing railroad depot in the state. With the help of a Tennessee Department of Transportation grant, the depot was renovated top to bottom and reintroduced to the public in November 2019.

In addition to rallying around the depot, the City of Niota has dedicated time and resources to honoring the city’s tie to the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. A mural honoring Harry T. Burn, a member of the Tennessee General Assembly who cast the deciding vote when the State of Tennessee ratified the 19th amendment, will be unveiled in Jan. 2020, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Tennessee’s ratification of the constitutional amendment.

During the debate on the amendment, Tennessee’s General Assembly held two votes, both of which resulted in a tie. Congressman Burn had voted no in this process and planned to do so again — until a letter from Febb Burn, his mother, was delivered to him on the steps of the capitol building in Nashville, encouraging him to change his mind. Burn’s vote broke the deadlock and ensured the ratification of the amendment, making Tennessee the last state needed to tip the scales in favor of national passage of the law.

Scott Schroder, executive director of Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association, said of the mural, “I am extremely happy for the city. A truly pivotal moment of history such as this deserves to be celebrated proudly, publicly and permanently. This art will be a source of community pride for years, and will show future generations that small towns have a lot to offer and one voice can truly impact the world.”

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Doris Baron Retirement

If you have worked with our underwriting department, you have probably spoken with Doris Baron. Doris has held many responsibilities at Public Entity Partners, including rating renewal policies, processing workers compensation audits and property valuations, and issuing certificates of insurance and underwriting renewals.

After a nearly two-decade career with PE Partners, Doris has announced she will be retiring at the start of January 2020.

“I have loved working for Public Entity Partners and with local governments,” Doris said. “I am from a small town, and appreciate the sense of community and tradition that is valued there. I am fortunate that, at Public Entity Partners, we also have that sense of community and tradition with our members. The most enjoyable part of my job over the past 18 years has been speaking with our members and local agents.

“In the last decade, we have seen an enormous amount of change in the underwriting department, including the move to a more paperless environment. It has been really rewarding to see some of the changes that have been made within the department as we have automated some processes. These changes have freed us up internally to continue to work with our members to better understand their coverage needs.”

Originally from the Manchester area, Doris spent her last year of high school in South Pittsburg and attended Middle Tennessee State University, where she studied accounting. She resided in South Pittsburg for several years and previously owned a restaurant there. She is a frequent attendee at the annual South Pittsburg Cornbread Festival.

Doris and her husband, Stan, have recently moved to Murfreesboro and are looking forward to gardening in their new home. They also share a love of cooking and entertaining. Doris and Stan have three daughters, two sons and eight grandkids scattered across Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee.

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Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Physician Education Conference

The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Physician Education conference will be held Feb. 29, 2020, in Nashville.

This education conference is offered in association with the International Workers’ Compensation Foundation, and focuses on medical topics of interest to physicians, attorneys, mental health providers, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, medical and administrative staff, and other professionals who are interested in issues involving Tennessee workers’ compensation claims. It is a great resource to share with the physicians you have listed on your panel of physicians for initial treatment that you provide to any injured employees.

Topics to be covered at the conference include:

  • Practical Aspects of Causation Opinions
  • Marijuana, Evidence and Update for Tennessee
  • Risk Factors for Long-Term Use of Opioids in Workers’ Compensation
  • Alternatives for Opioids in Pain Management
  • Return-to-Work

The conference brochure includes the complete agenda, schedule and attendee registration instructions, and can be viewed here.

Under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation statute, the medical provider selected from a panel of physicians will become the authorized treating physician. This is important because the authorized treating physician’s opinions on medically necessary treatment and a potential impairment rating will be presumed correct, only rebuttable by clear and convincing evidence pursuant to TCA §50-6-204. More importantly, the authorized treating physician’s opinion on causation will be presumed correct, only rebuttable by the preponderance of the evidence, pursuant to TCA §50-6-102(14)(E).

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Tennessee Trivia

Q: What Tennessee city served as the state capital for only one day?

A: The City of Kingston served as Tennessee’s state capital for one day (September 21, 1807)
as a result of treaties negotiated with the Cherokee Indians.