Dynamic Chiropractic – September 8, 1997, Vol. 15, Issue 19

Internal Post Office Memo Calls for "Quack Watch"

Do Postal Service Policies Reflect this Limited Role for Chiropractic?

By Editorial Staff
In a memo (reprinted below) directed to "All Postmasters," a labor relations specialist for the United States Postal Service called on "All Supervisors, Postmasters and Managers" to establish what he called "the quack watch":


Date: March 25, 1997

Subject: Healthcare Providers (Chiropractors)

To: All Postmasters

All Supervisors, Postmasters and Managers are alerted that chiropractors play a limited role in the Family Medical Leave Act scheme of things.

We accept their certification for only the subluxation of the spine. It is really a manipulation of the spine by a "quack."

If you receive medical documentation from an employee that has been treated by a chiropractor, please call me for advise on how to handle the leave. I do not want you setting past practices by accepting the documentation and then labeling it as Family Medical Leave.

It is my time to have the "quack" watch. This is just some light humor, so don't get carried away with the usage of the word "quack." We do need to keep in touch regarding chiropractors and their impact on our work force, so don't hesitate to call me.

Carl J. Kelly
Labor Relations Specialist

References Mr. Kelly is a senior labor relations specialist with 27 years with the post office. His apparent desire is to establish his "quack watch" to insure that chiropractors play "a limited role in the Family Medical Leave Act scheme of things." This leads chiropractic leaders to wonder just how prevalent this "quack" attitude is and how much it affects postal policies regarding chiropractic care for postal employees.

Upon reading the memo, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) wrote a letter to Postmaster General Marvin D. Runyon calling for Kelly's termination:

"We suggest and insist that it is 'his time' to be fired and demand an immediate apology."

While an apology was voiced in a small, unobtrusive article in the August 8, 1997 Washington Post, neither the ACA nor any other chiropractic organization has received anything in writing from the U.S. Postal Service.

But the questions remain:

How prevalent is this anti-chiropractic attitude in the Postal Service?

To what extent does this attitude limit postal employee access to chiropractic?

Even if the Postal Service does apologize, what steps are they going to take to inform employees of their rights to seek chiropractic care, and to insure that their rights aren't being "limited" by people like Carl Kelly?

These questions need to be answered. The senators and congressional representatives who oversee the U.S. Postal Service need to understand how you feel and what your concerns are.

The six key members of Congress are listed below. These are your representatives who have the greatest influence over postal policy.
To maintain the health care rights of the more than 803,000 postal employees nationwide, you need to take the time to write, phone, fax or e-mail each of these members of Congress with your concerns and questions.

The bigger our response, the better our hopes of casting off the "quack" label and being respected as health care providers with an important role to play in the health care of every person.

Do it now:

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO)
380 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0605
Tel: (202) 224-5852
Fax: (202) 224-1933

Sen. Herbert H. Kohl (D-WI)
330 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4903
Tel: (202) 224-5653
Fax: (202) 224-9787

Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ)
205 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0305
Tel: (202) 225-2542
Fax: (202) 225-0378

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD)
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2005
Tel: (202) 225-4131
Fax: (202) 225-4300 E-mail: www.hrcusa.org\actncntr\profiles\MD05.html

Rep. John McHugh (R-NY)
2441 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-3224
Tel: (202) 225-4611
Fax: (202) 226-0621
E-mail: None

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
1205 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-3802
Tel: (202) 225-4001
Fax: (202) 225-5392


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