Before the creation of an official section, chiropractic was active in APHA via the Chiropractic Forum, a special primary interest group (SPIG) chartered in 1983. At one time, before the formation of the Chiropractic Health Care section, the chiropractic SPIG had more than 500 members, making it the largest special interest group in APHA history.
The chiropractic profession's devotion to the principles of wellness, disease prevention and health promotion, and its pioneering of several concepts recognized in complementary and alternative care, have fit well with APHA's mission. APHA has welcomed chiropractic involvement at all levels and even supported the recommendation by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) that led to the recognition of the World Federation of Chiropractic by the World Health Organization (WHO) several months ago.
As one of APHA's 24 member sections, the Chiropractic Health Care section has its own governing body and receives an annual budget allotment. The section has full equity and parity with the other professions in the association, putting it on a level political playing field with disciplines such as medical care, health administration, food and nutrition and public health education and promotion.
CHC also serves as a vehicle for chiropractic participation in mainstream public health activities and works to enhance chiropractic communications, education and credibility on public health matters. Major goals of the CHC section include increasing chiropractic involvement in multidisciplinary public health team endeavors and educating chiropractors about public health programs and practices.
Unfortunately, membership in the CHC section has dropped to below 250 this year, seriously jeopardizing the section's budget allotment and its ability to wield influence within this politically powerful organization. If the Chiropractic Health Care section loses its status, it will be a damaging blow to the profession and remove an important avenue of communication between chiropractic and many of the nation's political and health care leaders.
Now is the time for you to get involved and join the Chiropractic Health Care section. Membership is relatively inexpensive - $130 for DCs, $50 for chiropractic students - and includes subscriptions to the American Journal of Public Health (12 issues per year) and APHA's own newspaper, Nation's Health (10 issues per year). Members also receive discounts on APHA programs and publications.
Former members are urged to renew their membership in CHC. Potential members are urged to join as soon as possible so that our united chiropractic voice will continue to be heard. Renewals and new memberships can be handled over the telephone by calling (202) 777-APHA (2742). You may also apply for membership via the APHA's website at www.apha.org .
Click here for previous articles by Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC.