The New York Times reported earlier today that, Zachary S. Weiss, Chairman of the New York State Workers' Compensation Board, is resigning to take a federal judgeship with the United States Social Security Administration. In addition, Governor David Paterson issued an official statement praising Chairman Weiss and his service to the citizens of New York.
The sudden announcement comes on the heels of what is perhaps Chairman Weiss' greatest accomplishment in the job - his successful recruitment of the renowned occupational medicine specialist, Dr. Stephen M. Levin, from Mt. Sinai Medical Center, as Interim Medical Director of the Board. Given the sweeping 2007workers' comp reforms in New York, Chairman Weiss astutely recognized that a Medical Director, a position that had been left surprisingly unfilled for many years in NY, was necessary to develop fair medical guidelines to protect injured workers.
In addition to his success recruiting a new Medical Director, Chairman Weiss will also be remembered for technological innovation and transparency at the Workers Compensation Board, in part by instituting live web casting of Workers' Compensation Board meetings. Weiss, a University of Chicago educated former mob prosecutor with a flair for policy, will be also be remembered as the first Board executive to actually gain traction in implementing the massive administrative changes necessary to implement the 2007 reform law. No easy task!
Certainly, the NY Workers' Compensation Board's loss is the Social Security Administration's gain. The New York Workers' Compensation Alliance wishes Chairman Weiss much success in his new role as a Federal Administrative Law Judge protecting injured and disabled individuals.