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Dynamic Chiropractic – December 6, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 25

A Single Association for Washington State

Washington Joins the National Trend towards Unity

By Steve Kelly, managing editor
September 18, 1991 was an historic day for chiropractic in Washington state. That was the day Washington followed the lead of Michigan and Arizona in bringing its rather chaotic, chiropractic house in order, coalescing three state chiropractic associations into one.

Previously, when speaking of organized chiropractic in Washington, you might have mentioned the Washington Chiropractic Association (WCA); or perhaps the Chiropractic Society of Washington (CSW); or then again, you might have spoken of the United Chiropractors of Washington (UCW).

When you spoke of Washington, you needed a score card and had to be careful not to confuse initials. Let's see, the WCA is headed up by Dr. Geoffrey Masci; the CSW is lead by Dr. Bill Davis; and of course the UCW would be Dr. Steven Bartusch.

If an individual needed to contact a chiropractic organization in Washington, the selection process could be tricky. The individual might choose to call the WCA, because it begins with "Washington;" but then CSW begins with "Chiropractic," and is alphabetically first; how about UCW, that sounds so solid, after all it's "United." Why not call all three! No, that would be too time consuming and besides, each would claim to be THE chiropractic organization in the state.

Hence forth, fortunately, when we speak of chiropractic state associations in Washington we need only refer to one organization and remember one acronym: the Washington State Chiropractic Association (WSCA).

David Matteson, a former vice president of public affairs for Hill and Knowlton, and the executive director of the newly formed WSCA, said the three former organizations had worked for several years to achieve this beneficent unity.

A state-wide survey, administered and designed by Mr. Matteson, gave the initial encouragement and impetous for the merger. The survey, Mr. Matteson states, "... showed the high levels of agreement on important issues."

"Our mandate to join together was clear," explained Dr. Geoff Masci, senior vice president of the WSCA. "The survey showed that from the field doctor's point of view, one association could handle most of the diversity among them."

The three former associations agreed on two points: that the vertebral subluxation complex and innate were central to chiropractic.

Mr. Matteson estimates that the WSCA represents "nearly 700 of the 1,300 doctors across the state."

Dr. Larry Stemp, WSCA president, characterized the new association as one encompassing a broad range of Washington chiropractors. "This is vital to achieving the all important goal of having a single state-wide voice for chiropractic."

The current board of the WSCA is an amalgam of former board members of the three associations. A member elected board is scheduled for sometime in 1992.

Dr. Robert Cummins, WSCA board chairman emphasizes member involvement. To ensure the WSCA is a representative organization, Dr. Cummins envisions a "strategically designed committee system supported by training and professional staff."

Editor's note:

We're always pleased at "DC" when state associations can see the big picture and come to the logical conclusion that chiropractic has enough battles to fight without getting sidetracked with intrastate association conflicts that waste time, effort, money, and human resources. The antipathy and mistrust they engender are burdens the profession need not be shackled to.

Congratulations to Washington state chiropractic. Your most difficult battle is behind you. We look forward to seeing the positive influences and direction you will give to the doctors of chiropractic in your state and encourage Washington chiropractors to become members.

Thanks go to David Matteson for supplying information necessary to this article.

Steve Kelly
assistant editor

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