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Dynamic Chiropractic – March 23, 1998, Vol. 16, Issue 07
Dynamic Chiropractic
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Dynamic Chiropractic

Palmer College Will Headquarter Research Consortium

Nat'l Institutes of Health Cofunds

By Editorial Staff

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin: " ... it is important that the federal government also spend money in chiropractic research as well, and we will continue to try to increase that funding."

Gary Mohr, Palmer's executive director of institutional advancement: "This is one of the biggest legislative victories this profession has ever had."

The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research will be the hub of a five-year, multi-institution, $2.7 million program to research chiropractic care.

The National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) and the National Institute for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) have teamed up to co-fund a five-year, $2.7 million dollar grant to fund the establishment of research program designed to study the effectiveness of chiropractic care.

The grant brings about the formation of the Consortial Center for Chiropractic Research (CCCR), which along with Palmer College, is comprised of Kansas State University; the University of Iowa; Los Angeles College of Chiropractic; National College of Chiropractic; Northwestern College of Chiropractic; and Western States Chiropractic College.

The establishment of the Consortial Center for Chiropractic Research makes it the 11th specialty research center funded by the NIH's Office of Alternative Medicine.

The Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research has been named the headquarters for the program. The foundation of such a program marks a substantial and historical achievement for the chiropractic profession.

[Insert map of U.S. showing the consortium's locations.] The research roads lead to the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research.

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a longtime supporter of chiropractic, announced the establishment of the study. "I am pleased to have played a role in this center that will bring recognition not only to Iowa, but also to the chiropractic profession, both on a state and national level."

Senator Harkin applauded the efforts of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges and the ACA for their roles in helping the federal government recognize the chiropractic profession. He added: "Because the federal government spends $13 billion on medical research in national institutions, it is important that the federal government also spend money in chiropractic research as well, and we will continue to try to increase that funding."

"This is one of the biggest legislative victories this profession has ever had," said Gary Mohr, Palmer's executive director of institutional advancement. "It's not just the funding. It's the first time the NIH will be spending their money on an ongoing basis to recognize the value and significance of chiropractic."

The CCCR's position is unique among the other research centers supported by the NIH in that it will be the only one focused on a system of care, rather than a disease or condition. The Consortial Center will examine the effectiveness of chiropractic health care and assist chiropractic researchers in developing high-quality research projects and significant scientific projects worthy of independent funding.

The CCCR aspires to achieve:

  • establish a linkage of academic centers along with a network of chiropractic clinicians and investigators;

  • develop a program to provide clinical, scientific and technical assistance to potential chiropractic investigators;

  • offer research workshops, seminars and educational materials;

  • be the focal point for training in research methodology, bioethics, biostatistics, clinical trial design, epidemiological and health services studies, and basic laboratory methods;

  • link investigators to the technical expertise necessary to achieve research goals;

  • evaluate the feasibility of using data from practicing chiropractors for research projects; and

  • develop a review mechanism for scientific and technical merit of research proposals and implementing those proposals selected.

Before formation of the CCCR was officially announced, key investigators also met and drafted a list of priority criteria specific to the center's mission and goals. Key among those are the needs of the patients, clinical capabilities, and scientific methodology. This list will add support to chiropractic research that advances the profession's knowledge base, promotes patient health and recovery, and fosters chiropractic research that can hold up under close scrutiny.

Dr. William Meeker, who led a team-written proposal to establish the CCCR, will be the Consortial Center's principal investigator. Co-investigators include Cheryl Hawk, DC, PhD; Cynthia Long, PhD; Alan Adams, MS, DC; Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD; Gregory Cramer, DC, PhD; Maria Hondras, DC, MPH; Joel Pickar, DC, PhD, Joanne Nyiendo, PhD; and Malcom Pope, PhD, Dr. of Medical Science.

"This is for the entire profession," said Dr. Meeker, who directs research for the Palmer colleges through the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research. "It is housed at Palmer, but all the other institutions are integral to the success of it. The individuals involved all bring expertise in their areas. We're all gearing up to do a lot of training and seminars."

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