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Dynamic Chiropractic – August 12, 1994, Vol. 12, Issue 17

ACA President Russell Sawyer Jr., DC

Vincent Lucido, DC, ACA "Chiropractor of the Year"

By Editorial Staff
ACA Policy Statement on Chiropractic's Role in Primary Health Care

Elections of Officers and Awards

Positions Taken on Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine and HIV

The ACA House of Delegates have approved a policy statement on chiropractic's role in primary health care during the association's 31st national convention in Nashville, Tennessee, July 15-17.

The policy, printed below, is designed to be updated each year, if appropriate.

Role of Chiropractic in Primary Health Care

The role of chiropractic in primary health care is characterized by direct access, longitudinal, integrated, conservative ambulatory care of patients health care needs, emphasizing neuromusculoskeletal conditions, health promotion, and patient-centered diagnosis and management. The chiropractor in the primary health care system is a first-contact gatekeeper for neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

The principles outlined below are intended to better serve the health needs of the public. They also provide policymakers, other health care professionals and the public with a clear understanding of chiropractic. These principles are also intended to provide a focal point to which members of the profession can gravitate and will allow the profession to pursue its legitimate aspirations for growth and development.

Chiropractors are first-contact physicians who possess the diagnostic skills to differentiate health conditions that are amenable to their management from those conditions that require referral or co-management.

Chiropractors provide conservative management of neuromusculoskeletal disorders and related functional clinical conditions including, but not limited to, back pain, neck pain and headaches.

Chiropractors are expert providers of spinal and other therapeutic manipulation/adjustments. They also utilize a variety of manual, mechanical and electrical therapeutic modalities. Chiropractors also provide patient evaluation and instructions regarding disease prevention and health promotion through proper nutrition, exercise and lifestyle modification among others. The range of diagnostic and therapeutic services offered by chiropractic is dynamic and will be modified by education, research technological change and society's evolving health care needs.

Chiropractic diagnostic and therapeutic goals would be achieved as safely, quickly and economically as possible to promote patient health and independence.

Optimal patient care can best be achieved when chiropractic is vertically integrated within the health care system. Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential to this purpose.

This diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines adopted by the profession should be evidence-based. In health care, the absence or ambiguity of scientific evidence requires using sound clinical judgment in place of hard data.

Chiropractors offer accessible and appropriate care to all population groups.

Chiropractic recognized the multi-faceted aspects of health, disease, etiology and related patient care.

Infant and Child Care Policy Adopted

The doctor of chiropractic gives particular attention to spinal biomechanics (including the subluxation complex), musculoskeletal, neurological, vascular, nutritional, and environmental relationships in the restoration and maintenance of health. Infant and child care is included in the scope of care provided by the chiropractic profession, as taught in and through accredited colleges of chiropractic. These colleges teach physical examination, diagnostic procedures, and patient management skills necessary for the quality care of children.

The chiropractic profession recognizes that poor posture, and physical injury, including birth trauma, may be common primary causes of illness in children, which can have a direct and significant impact on not only spinal biomechanics, but on other bodily functions.

The American Chiropractic Association advocates, endorses and supports the freedom for all persons to seek health care from the provider of their choice.

ACA Says DCM Degree "Unnecessary"

The following is the ACA's position on the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, as is now being developed at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon.

Chiropractic, as defined in the ACA Master Plan relating to education, experience, and training is sufficient to define the precepts, tenets and responsibilities of the practitioner and the profession.

Any effort to develop a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (DCM) degree is not necessary and may in fact be in conflict with some existing state scope of practice laws.

HIV and Chiropractic

The ACA House of Delegates policy on HIV states:

  • "No patient should be denied chiropractic care based on real or perceive risk for HIV infection."


  • "HIV-infected chiropractors should not be restricted assuming they are capable of performing their duties in a responsible manner."


  • "Confidentiality of the HIV infection status of patients and staff must be maintained with disclosure limited to situations defined by local laws, statutes or regulations."

Elections and Awards

During the ACA convention, the House of Delegates elected Russell Sawyer Jr., of Omaha, Nebraska, president. (Editor's note: Dr. Sawyer will discuss his plans and programs as ACA president in an upcoming issue).

Lowry Morton, DC, of Anaheim, California, was named ACA chairman of the board. Elected to the vice presidency of the ACA was Kurt Hegetschweiler, DC, of Torrance, California.

Elected to the ACA Council of Delegates were: John Gantner, DC, of Medina, New York (president); Michael Pedigo, DC, of San Leandro, California (v.p.); Linda Zange, DC, Glenview, Illinois (secretary).

"Chiropractor of the Year"

Vincent Lucido, DC, of Lakeland, Florida, former ACA president and delegate, was honored as ACA's "Chiropractor of the Year." Dr. Lucido has also served the profession as a trustee for the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER), as examiner for the Florida Department of Professional Regulation Licensing Exam for Chiropractic Physicians, and as a faculty member of National College of Chiropractic.

"You don't do it for recognition," Dr. Lucido said. "You do it because you want to have a say so n the direction your profession is going."

"Humanitarian of the Year"

Miron Stano, PhD, professor of economics and management at Oakland University, was presented with the ACA's "Humanitarian of the Year" award. He has recently co-authored important articles detailing the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic in the Journal of American Health Policy, and the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.

"I just can't express how delighted and happy I am at this moment," Dr. Stano commented on receiving the award.

Student ACA Awards

Outstanding SACA chapter -- Western States Chiropractic College

Outstanding SACA member -- Sean Wahl, National College of Chiropractic, 1993-94 National SACA Chair.

Outstanding Service award -- Finn Jenk, Western States Chiropractic. College, 1993-94 National Legislative Chair.

Congressman Addresses Delegates

Congressman Harold Ford (D-TN), spoke to the ACA delegates on Friday July 15. He is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee which passed a June 23 amendment that specifically included chiropractic as an "any willing provider," that would give patients freedom to choose their own health provider under national health care.

"You have a lot to be proud of," Rep. Ford said, and urged chiropractors to continue their grassroots efforts.


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