Foot Levelers, Dr. Monte Greenawalt and Kent Greenawalt are all familiar names within the chiropractic profession.
"I am passionate about the profession because I believe in what chiropractic can do!" said Kent Greenawalt, whose father, Dr. Monte Greenawalt (1923-2007), had a life-changing experience with a chiropractor years before becoming a DC. As a young man getting ready to enter World War II, he had a bad reaction to a vaccine and was paralyzed - unable to move for six months.
Finally, Dr. Monte Greenawalt's mother suggested chiropractic. He was carried into a chiropractor's office and walked out. As a result of his treatment, Dr. Monte decided to become a chiropractor so he could change people's lives the way he had been helped. Chiropractic isn't a profession to Dr. Monte and Kent; it is a part of their lives.
The Greenawalts took their successes and life lessons and created a solid team that is accountable and passionate about the growth of chiropractic. And along with growth is a high value in education; Foot Levelers is able to donate substantial financial resources to chiropractic colleges through its seminar programs. Whenever Dr. Greenawalt was asked what the key to success is, he would say, "It is the fact that I give away more than 10 percent of what I make. You can never give without receiving." To date, the Greenawalt family and Foot Levelers have contributed several million dollars back to the profession's learning institutions, research foundations and political action committees. The philanthropic donations to numerous chiropractic colleges and research foundations, and extensive financial support to local state and national chiropractic associations, have made a major impact on the profession.
Dr. Monte and Kent Greenawalt have also made the profession more humanitarian and in the public eye through national events in which they have participated. For instance, in 2001 Kent Greenawalt led a fund-raising drive for the American Red Cross to help victims of the Sept. 11 attacks on our country. Kent Greenawalt wrote a public letter to doctors of chiropractic stating how it was a time to join as a community and reach out to those going through such dark hours.
Foot Levelers set up a matching donation campaign whereby Foot Levelers would match, penny for penny (up to $200,000), every dollar a doctor donated. Foot Levelers' goal was to raise $400,000, but once the chiropractic community joined together, they raised $500,000 for the American Red Cross efforts.
Foot Levelers not only supports causes close to home, but also worldwide. The company is recognized in more than 30 countries, and committed to growing chiropractic throughout the world. In 2009, Foot Levelers took a step further to improve global health, partnering with the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) to provide free footwear to those in need. Free footwear was one of the components of a larger VCOM global health initiative that included education and preventative health efforts to decrease the prevalence of infection and improve the quality of life for many communities throughout the Dominican Republic, Honduras and El Salvador.
When Foot Levelers heard of the initiative, it joined the cause immediately because it understood the importance of how people's feet affect the rest of their body and wanted to support preventative care. The company donated 35,000 pairs of new sandals, work boots, and dress and athletic shoes for distribution to those in need in communities served by VCOM's three international sites.
Footwear donated from this initiative was used to help control hookworm anemia and other related bacterial and fungal infections in villages. Many living in the villages served by VCOM have severely worn, inappropriately sized or no shoes at all, leaving them susceptible to parasites, bacteria and fungus that can infect their feet and cause other severe health problems. Through the great generosity of Foot Levelers, VCOM was able to outfit several entire villages with shoes; a simple intervention that can help control parasites, improve the quality of life and even save lives.
Kent Greenawalt's goal has always been much larger than just supporting chiropractic; he wanted to spread the word to the millions of people who still haven't discovered the benefits of chiropractic care. In November 2003, Kent Greenawalt founded the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to generate positive press for the chiropractic profession and increase public awareness of the many benefits associated with chiropractic care. The public-awareness campaign consists of monthly press releases, advertorials, radio and TV public-service announcements, national advertisements, and partnerships with high-profile spokespersons, such as NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and retired Brigadier General Becky Halstead.
To assist in media relations, the F4CP enlisted the services of CPR Communications, a full-service strategic marketing communications company that offers its services to the F4CP free of charge. This, in addition to the monetary support provided by Foot Levelers, enables all F4CP donations to go directly to promotional costs rather than overhead. To date, the F4CP has generated nearly 10 billion positive chiropractic media impressions.
The F4CP has achieved so much in less than a decade, including countless pro-chiropractic articles, media interviews and segments; strategic corporate partnerships; creditable chiropractic research; and advancement within the employer and health care communities.
The F4CP continues to break down barriers in regards to enhancing the public perception of chiropractic, but the effort is ongoing, as is Foot Levelers' support. Since its inception less than a decade ago, Foot Levelers has donated a million dollars to the F4CP. Most recently, Foot Levelers committed to a second million-dollar pledge. This donation kicked off during the 2012 Parker Seminars, Las Vegas, where the company also matched the $81,000 raised in donations. In addition to the tremendous support of Foot Levelers, this effort has also gained profession-wide involvement from doctors to vendors to chiropractic colleges and universities.
"With the help of the Foundation and the thousands of practicing chiropractors, chiropractic will continue to reach a broader audience," said Kent Greenawalt. "I believe that chiropractic will become a household name and that people will take a proactive approach to maintain a healthy lifestyle."
Throughout its history, Foot Levelers has had a positive influence on chiropractic worldwide: patient wellness and instruction; public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care; philanthropic donations to numerous chiropractic colleges and research foundations; and substantial financial support to local, state and national chiropractic associations. Now in its sixth decade of commitment and support, the company is a living testament to the faith, vision, hard work and generosity of its founder, the late Monte H. Greenawalt, DC, DABCO, and his son and current CEO, Kent S. Greenawalt.
Chuck Carver is the vice president of marketing and sales at Foot Levelers. Carver works closely with the planning and development of the company's philanthropic efforts and advancement of chiropractic education.