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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 14, 1997, Vol. 15, Issue 15

ACA Hold "Biggest Little Meeting in the World"

Diplomate Issue Resolved; Physicals by DCs Reaffirmed

By Editorial Staff
RENO, Nevada -- The American Chiropractic Association held their annual meeting in this self-proclaimed "biggest little city in the world," a metropolis that sprouted up overnight when the rich silver deposit, the Comstock Lode, was discovered back in 1858 near the swift flowing Truckee river.

Perhaps in search of their own silver lining, the ACA House of Delegates came together to elect new officers, to settle their diplomate/trademark controversy, to pass a number of resolutions and bylaws, and present awards.


Board of Governors
  • President: Dr. Michael Pedigo (San Leandro, California). Dr. Pedigo, well known throughout the profession as one of the plaintiffs in the AMA anti-trust lawsuit, served for the past year as ACA vice president. Dr. Kurt Hegetschweiler, of Torrance, California, who stepped down from the presidency after two years of service, will remain on the 11-member board of governors as immediate past president.

  • Chairman: Dr. Edward Maurer (Kalamazoo, Michigan), district II governor. Dr. Maurer assumes Dr. Lowry R. Morton's position. Dr. Morton, who served three years as board chairman, will remain as district VII governor.

  • Executive Committee: Dr. Reeve Askew (Easton, Maryland), district III governor. Dr. Askew joins Drs. Maurer and Pedigo on the three-member executive committee.

  • Vice President: Dr. James Mertz (Albuquerque, New Mexico).

Dr. Metz served as president of the Council of Delegates (COD) the past two years.

Council of Delegates:

  • President: Dr. Daryl Wills (Gering, Nebraska). He becomes one of the 11 members of the ACA Board of Governors.

  • Vice President: Dr. Donald J. Krippendorf (St. Petersburg, Florida).

  • Secretary: Dr. Linda Zange (Glenview, Illinois).
District Governors

District governors are elected by groupings of state-elected delegates, and serve on the board of governors, along with the ACA president, vice president and president of the council of delegates:

  • Dr. Roger Combs (Libby, Montana), district I. Dr. Combs replaces Dr. Kerwin Winkler (Aberdeen, South Dakota), who stepped down after nine years of service.

  • Dr. J. Michael Flynn, district V. Dr. Flynn replaces Dr. P. Reginald Hug (Birmingham, Alabama), who had served as governor since 1991.

Members of the board of governors not up for reelection who will continue to serve are:
  • Dr. Robert Lynch (South Portland, Maine), district IV;

  • Dr. Harold Kieffer (Albuquerque, New Mexico), district VI.

FCER Board of Trustees
  • George McClelland, DC, (Christianburg, Virginia) was elected to the board of the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) by the ACA House of Delegates. Dr. McClelland is also ACA's Virginia delegate. (The ACA house of delegates includes the board of governors, the state delegates, presidents of councils and the SACA national chairman.)

Dr. Pedigo Stresses Teamwork

"This great profession of ours has fought many battles over the years," Dr. Pedigo said. "We've overcome great odds. Our work is not done yet. Our strength in our work is as a team. We are a team. Together we will fight. Together we will win some battles. Together we will lose some battles. This team is the house of delegates, not just the board of governors, not just the delegates, but this entire body -- the house of delegates. That's the team."

Trademark Question of Diplomate Programs Left to Individual Councils

The house of delegates approved the action of the board of governors to give each ACA council and its related certification board or academy the option to decide whether it will continue to proceed with the existing collective trademark for its diplomate designations. Earlier this year, acting to protect its trademark, the ACA informed the specialty councils that only ACA members could use the diplomate designation.

The ACA House of Delegates has specified that:

  • each council "should decide if they are interested or desire the existing collective trademark protection for the acronym." If they are, they "must establish an enforcement policy and designate the method by which the policy will be implemented."

  • each group must recognize that the "trademark is essentially applicable to the acronym, (e.g., DACBR) and not the written designation (i.e., diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology). The written designation is that which was earned by examination and cannot be withdrawn under usual circumstances. [In the case of the American Chiropractic College of Radiology, the written designation and ACCR acronym are protected separately]."

  • those groups desiring "collective trademark protection for their acronym, it will become essential that, beginning immediately, all candidates entering their diplomate programs must be informed of the membership requirements once successful completion of the academic program and examination is complete."

  • Physical Exams

The ACA House of Delegates, in light of the resent AMA resolution opposing the performance of physical examinations by DCs, reaffirmed its support for physicals done by DCs which require the examiner to diagnose the presence or absence of health conditions and illnesses.

The HOD recommended creating a task force to prepare a comprehensive report on the educational requirements of DCs performing physical exams. The HOD directed that model legislation be developed for use by state chiropractic associations which would protect the rights of DCs to perform the exams. The delegates resolved that the ACA should serve as a clearinghouse for information on programs and organizations using DCs to conduct physical exams.

  • Board Certification as Criterion for Membership in MCOs

This resolution denounces the use of specialty board certification as a criterion for inclusion in managed care plans, a common trend in the managed care industry. Such a stipulation was deemed discriminatory, creating an artificial barrier, and precluding the inclusion of most DCs.

ACC Position Adopted

The HOD formally adopted a position on chiropractic that was developed through consensus by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges. The new HOD statement reads:

"Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.

"The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily of the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.

"The Association of Chiropractic Colleges continues to foster a unique, distinct chiropractic profession that serves as a health care discipline for all. The ACC advocates a profession that generates, develops and utilizes the highest level of evidence possible in the provision of effective, prudent and cost-conscious patient evaluation and care."

House Imposes Two-Year Limits on Board Members

A new bylaw revision aimed at allowing greater participation on the ACA Board of Governors, limits the term of office on the board from a maximum of three 3-year terms to three 2-year terms. The new bylaw does not affect the board members elected before the limits were imposed.


"Chiropractor of the Year"

Craig Little, DC, ACA "Chiropractor of the Year."

Dr. Craig Little (Hanford, California) was awarded this distinguished honor because of his efforts on the AMA's CPT Health Care Professionals Advisory Committee (HCPAC) Review Board. He was appointed to the HCPAC in October of 1995. The HCPAC Review Board is an editorial panel responsible for the annual publication of the CPTs.

Dr. Little is a past president of the California Chiropractic Association and has been a member of the ACA for more than a decade. He has served as consultant to the ACA Insurance Committee, is ACA's appointee to the Council on Chiropractic Education, and is ACA's alternate to the AMA Relative Update HCPAC Committee.

"It was because of his keen mind ... that we have accomplished what we have now with the CPT codes and our profession has finally gained the parity that we so long sought," said last year's "Chiropractor of the Year," Dr. Kerwin Winkler. "I know very well he sacrificed his personal activities to travel all over this country to bring the CPT message ... to our profession and the nation."

"Humanitarian of the Year"

(From left:) Dr. Kurt Hegetschweiler, president of the ACA the past two years, presents Grant Bagley, MD, the Humanitarian of the Year" award.

The ACA presented Grant Bagley, MD, of the Health Care Financing Administration, the "Humanitarian of the Year" award for his exceptional work on behalf of the chiropractic profession on Medicare issues.

"I am honored to receive this," Dr. Bagley told the delegates. "I am certainly pleased and couldn't be more surprised."

Dr. Bagley related the story of a high-ranking HCFA bureaucrat who recently asked his advice on a medical matter. The bureaucrat's son was considering entering medical school. He aspired to helping people and providing care that would make a real impact on their lives.

"Well, I think you're son saw too many 'Marcus Welby, MD' movies, Dr. Bagley told the father. "That's not the way medicine is anymore. But if your son really has those kinds of feelings, I'd make a serious suggestion that he ought to explore chiropractic."

Dr. Bagley explained how he had "taken the opportunity to be educated." At the ACA's invitation several years ago, he visited National College of Chiropractic, spending the day with a group of third year chiropractic students, discussing chiropractic education and health care. "It's probably one of the most enjoyable afternoons I've ever spent," Dr. Bagley commented. "They were marvelous, they were charming, they were ambitious, and they contributed to my understanding of the profession."

Dr. Bagley said he continues to sell that message to HCFA and the federal government. "It's going to be an uphill battle, but we're making headway," he said.

"Delegate of the Year"

George McClelland, DC, becomes the ACA's first "Delegate of the Year."

Dr. George McClelland, of Christianburg, Virginia, was chosen by his peers as the first-ever ACA "Delegate of the Year." An ACA Virginia delegate, Dr. McClelland is also the ACA representative to the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) Board of Trustees, and chairman of ACA Managed Care Committee. An ACA member since 1969, Dr. McClelland is a member of the Council on Diagnostic Imaging, and the Council on Chiropractic Orthopedics.

Dr. McClelland has served as FCER president and is currently a member of the FCER research committee, and the FCER study section on low back pain.

Presidential Awards for Meritorious Service

Dr. Kurt Hegetschweiler recognized four individuals on the managed care committee with "Presidential Awards for Meritorious Service": Dr. Joseph T. Goben, Dr. Keith Overland, Dr. Mario Spoto, and Dr. George McClelland.

Dr. Linda Zange was recognized with a "Presidential Award" for her years of service on the ACA Bylaws Committee. "I started in '88 as a delegate in this house and I needed a lot of help at that time," Dr. Hegetschweiler commented. "Dr. Zange has been there, and is still here today, helping us every time we need it. This place would not be functioning without her help."

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