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Dynamic Chiropractic – April 24, 2006, Vol. 24, Issue 09
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Dynamic Chiropractic

Determining Chiropractic's Priorities for the Next Quarter Century

National Hosts Strategic Planning Conference

By Michael Devitt

In February, the recently formed Chiropractic Strategic Planning Steering Committee held its first-ever conference, "Chiropractic Strategic Planning for the Next 25 Years: An Action Plan for Grounding Chiropractic Cultural Authority," at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in Lombard, Ill.

The purpose of the unaffiliated conference, funded in part by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, but largely the result of a concerted effort from individual volunteers, was to discuss issues related to the credibility and appropriate utilization of chiropractic care by the public.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark "It is nice to have a forum for our physicians to discuss the hurdles chiropractic care has to overcome, independent of formal professional association politics," asserted Dr. John Triano, who served as head of the conference's steering committee. "Chiropractic care has come a long way in past years, and this gives us a way to mold the profession to reach higher goals and better serve our patients in the future."

Several of the chiropractic profession's leaders in education, research and practice attended the conference. They were joined by health care futurists, experts in the study of health professions, as well as medicine and federal research programs. Together, conference participants offered recommendations used to develop an action plan for the chiropractic profession. A variety of topics were discussed, ranging from barriers to care and greater integration to increased interprofessional cooperation. From these discussion is emerged two important issues of concern to the current as well as the future state of chiropractic:

1. Integrity and trust. Attendees discussed the incidence of inappropriate treatment and billing practices used by a small number of chiropractors, which places the economic interests of those chiropractors above the interests of their patients. The general consensus was that such practices undermine the public's trust toward all members of the chiropractic profession, regardless of whether they employ such inappropriate procedures.

2. Public support for education and research. At the meeting, some concerns were raised about the dearth of fair and equitable public funding and support for chiropractic education. Specifically, attendees noted that support for chiropractic-related research and education within the academic and interdisciplinary settings is lacking, including participation with publicly funded universities and health care facilities.

As a result of these discussions, the participants created a formal resolution regarding integrity, trust and equitable public support, and their impact on the chiropractic profession. (Please see below for a copy of the conference's formal resolution.)

"I, along with the rest of the conference, urge the chiropractic profession along with its leaders and regulators to address the issue of integrity and trust among our profession," said Dr. Triano. "I feel that the ultimate goal of improved quality care within the North American health care system can only be reached when all members of the profession, along with stakeholders,"strive for and demand equitable public support for education and research within the chiropractic care sector."

"The chiropractic profession has much to offer the public in the way of health care," added NUHS President James Winterstein, DC, another member of the steer ing committee. "It is my hope that this planning process can begin to turn the tide toward greater cultural authority for the chiropractic profession and better care for our patients."

While the Chiropractic Strategic Planning Conference originally was conceived as a one-time event, the attendees voted that at least one additional meeting be convened later this year to make further advances on patient care issues. The recommendations gleaned from this and future conferences will be used to develop a comprehensive action plan that will help shape the direction of the chiropractic profession. For more information, visit www.chiropracticstrategicplan.com.

Note: For background information on the conference, including the complete list of steering committee members, please read "NUHS to Host Strategic Planning Conference" online at www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/03/12.html.

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