In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina come the issues of loss and displacement. What you won't hear about on the news is what has happened to our chiropractic comrades. More than 100 doctors of chiropractic - people just like you - have suffered losses unimaginable (thank God) to most of us.
A few suffered minor water damage. Others lost most of what they owned. One unfortunate DC lost his home and two offices.
Those who can get back to their offices are now debating how long it will be before they have any patients. Some displaced doctors are seeking to care for their displaced patients, who have been evacuated to the same area.
Imagine if everything in your office suddenly was gone; no tables, no files, no computers, no supplies, not even half a roll of headrest paper.
How do you start over? How do you replace everything or at least enough to continue with your practice? The question is ours as much as it is theirs.
You start over with help. We can help. Each one of us can do something that will aid and encourage those DCs in need.
Are you thinking of getting a new table? Do it now and donate your old one to a doctor who has none. Do you have a portable you haven't used in years? Donate that, too!
Do you have something extra: office supplies, computers, diagnostic equipment, etc? Why not donate it to someone who really needs it?
Texas Chiropractic College (TCC) has created a campaign called "Hand-to-Hand." This campaign is geared directly toward helping chiropractors rebuild their offices with donated office supplies, clinical forms, and used tables or equipment. TCC will act as the repository for the material, and will organize efforts in conjunction with various state associations to help ensure that those doctors in need receive the donated items.
Any doctor of chiropractic who wishes to donate practice-related equipment and/or furnishings to help fellow DCs whose offices were damaged by Hurricane Katrina may do so by contacting Dr. Steve Haslund, associate vice president of administrative affairs, at (281) 487-1170. Doctors who need this assistance are directed to contact the TCC alumni relations office at (800) 822-2586.
As a person who is privileged to talk to you every two weeks, I am asking both DCs and the companies that provide products and services to our profession to do their part to get our doctors back on their feet. Whatever you have, whatever you sell - donate some of it to those who have lost so much.
Malpractice insurance company National Chiropractic Council has announced that "all NCC members who are living in the affected areas will be receiving refund checks equal to three months [of] malpractice insurance premiums to tide them over during this difficult time." In addition, their policyholders can request "additional free leave periods if they are still not on their feet at the end of the three months."
(For more information on the relief/recovery efforts initiated by Texas Chiropractic College, the National Chiropractic Council and other chiropractic colleges/organizations, please read News In Brief, beginning on page 4 of this issue.)
You don't really have anything you can donate? How about part of what you earn?
Think of it as disaster insurance, or just expressing your thanks for all you have and the fact that you are still in practice. Dedicate a portion of your income over the next three months to one of the disaster funds set up by the Chiropractic Association of Louisiana, the Mississippi Chiropractic
Association, the American Chiropractic Association and the International Chiropractors Association. (For more information, please see "Chiropractic in Time of Crisis: Here's How You Can Help the Survivors of Hurricane Katrina," beginning on page 1 of this issue.)
It doesn't have to be a huge amount. We are doing this together.
Between all of us - doctors and vendors, state and national chiropractic associations, chiropractic colleges, and other organizations within the profession - we can help those doctors of chiropractic who are still in need. We can help them get back on their feet and give them the support and courage they need to start over.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.