On Feb. 28, 2014, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed David Brown, DC, as new director of the Virginia Department of Health Professions.
From a chiropractic perspective, it's the right idea at the right time as the profession advocates for greater involvement and authority in the evolving health care system. In an exclusive interview with DC, Dr. Brown discusses taking on this prestigious responsibility and how doctors of chiropractic can participate in a similar fashion.
"For me personally, being the director of the Department of Health Professions brings me back to something I love: health care regulation. For the chiropractic profession, it is simply another sign of our ability to be leaders in health care regulation. Not only have the FCLB and NBCE excelled in their testing and regulation, but [here] in Virginia, Dr. Valerie Hoffman was elected president of the [Board of Medicine] by her peers [in 2012]."
Dr. Brown will lead "a state agency with almost 250 employees, a $27 million budget and 270,000 licensees." The Virginia Department of Health Professions "oversees 14 licensing boards, the Health Practitioner Monitoring Program, the Prescription Monitoring Program and operates a Healthcare Workforce Data Center."
"I report to the Secretary of Health and Human Resources, William Hazel, MD, and am active in other statewide initiatives, such as the Virginia Health Workforce Development Authority," he added.
Dr. Brown is a former member of the Virginia Board of Medicine, the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, and the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners; and is a former president of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards. He also was the Mayor of the City of Charlottesville from 2004 to 2008, and in 2009 joined Edison2, a Charlottesville start-up that won the 2010 Automotive X Prize (awarded for helping "inspire a new generation of super-efficient vehicles that help break America's addiction to oil and stem the effects of climate change").
Since 2012, he has worked as the special assistant to Delegate David Toscano, House Democratic Leader in the Virginia General Assembly.
When asked how other doctors of chiropractic could reach similar levels of responsibility, Dr. Brown advised: "Rolling up your sleeves and volunteering for campaigns and organizations creates the friendships and relationships that open doors that you may not have even known were there. Being active in the profession is important – very important, as is supporting political candidates financially.
"But these are not enough; we need to develop personal relationships with policymakers and decision-makers at all levels of government. These relationships take time – years – but the process makes life interesting and the personal connections are a key to the long-term health of the chiropractic profession."