Dynamic Chiropractic – May 29, 2000, Vol. 18, Issue 12

A Moment of Silence for Paul Tullio,DC

By Editorial Staff
While chiropractic is a profession where commitment and service run passionately deep, there are only a few doctors whose names are intimately linked to chiropractic organizations. The name of Paul Tullio,DC, brings to mind immediately the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE).

It is a sad twist of fate that Dr. Tullio, president of the NBCE, died in Chicago on Saturday, May 6 - the last day of his last term as president of the NBCE.

Dr. Tullio balanced a professional practice of 44 years with extensive volunteer service in education, regulation and examination. A 1955 graduate of the National College of Chiropractic, he served as executive secretary to the NCC Alumni Association (1964-1980), as a member of its board of trustees (1978-1983), including the last two years as chairman, and as interim president of the college in 1983. He also contributed time and expertise as a guest lecturer, consultant to the college clinics and member of the fundraising committees.

Active in the Illinois Chiropractic Society, he was president of its Chicago district and held various Society offices, including three terms as president (1968-70). He was honored as Illinois "Chiropractor of the Year" in 1972.

In 1973, he was appointed by the governor to the Illinois Medical Examining Committee, a composite regulatory board including medicine and chiropractic. He served as both secretary and vice chairman. Dr. Tullio's service on the IMEC qualified him for leadership on the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Board of Directors beginning in 1981.

In 1982, Dr. Tullio was elected District II Director for the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, a position he held until 1994. He maintained a strong and vigorous presence in the discussion of accreditation standards. It was not unusual for the annual meeting of the Council on Chiropractic Education to include a challenge by Dr. Tullio for higher standards and more clinical experience.

He worked tirelessly to enhance the services of the FCLB, which included the development of the CIN-BAD database system, an improved Official Directory, and upgraded educational programs at both the regional and annual conferences. Dr. Tullio was honored as co-winner of the FCLB's George Arvidson award for "Meritorious Service" in 1996, recognition he shared with his closest friend Frank Hideg Jr.,DC, of Kentucky.

But it was in testing that he found his final home, and where he became synonymous with the NBCE. He held numerous offices on the board, most notably as chairman (1988 to 1999), and ultimately capped his career as president of the NBCE. He was both worrier and warrior on the NBCE Board, and was fiercely passionate in expressing his opinions and his dedication to the protection of the public.

Dr. Tullio was most often characterized by his financial and program vision, with his values dating back to his childhood. As a youngster, he had a paper route that earned him $1.50 a week. He often told how his mother insisted that 50 cents went to the family, 50 cents to him, and 50 cents to savings.

His lifelong focus on developing financial stability through vigorous savings and cautious investments has resulted in the exceptional financial health of the NBCE today. This financial stewardship positioned NBCE to handle the development costs of adding the Part III Written Clinical Competency and Part IV Practical examinations.

He was actively involved in accreditation and legislative issues worldwide from the platform of examinations and assessment. Dialogue and exchange are ongoing with European, Japanese and Mexican authorities in the area of chiropractic testing.

Dr. Tullio was an accomplished, professionally trained artist and an author. He loved a challenge, demanded and returned loyalty, and twinkled at the prospect of a tease.

An intensely private man, he guarded closely the status of his declining health, shielding even the NBCE Board of Directors and staff from the truth of his physical condition. He had recently been hospitalized and was at home with family at the time of his death.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly, daughter Debra Zabloudil, and granddaughter and light of his life, Julia Christine.


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