The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) held its annual House of Delegates meeting in St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 21-24, 2005,1 ushering in a new era of leadership.With more than a few prominent association officers retiring due to term limits, delegates elected a new president, vice president, chairman of the board of governors, and several other key positions.
Dr. Richard Brassard, president of Texas Chiropractic College, was elected ACA president, replacing outgoing president Dr. Donald Krippendorf, who remains on the board of governors as immediate past president. "I am a second generation chiropractor, and I'm pleased to now be a second generation president of the American Chiropractic Association," commented Dr. Brassard. His father, Dr. Gerald Brassard, served as ACA president in 1970 and later as executive vice president. "You honor me greatly, perhaps more so than you think or realize."
Dr. Brassard also noted that he has been pleased to see researchers, educators and association leaders working together in recent years to benefit the profession - and he hopes to help continue that trend.
Dr. Lewis Bazakos, District 4 governor, was elected board chair, succeeding Dr. George McClelland, who stepped down after 25 years of service. "It is an honor and a privilege to serve as ACA chairman," said Dr. Bazakos, of Valley Stream, N.Y. "I follow in the footsteps of some very special people who have served the ACA well. I pledge to work hard for the ACA and its members on the many challenges that face our profession. I thank the Board for its vote of confidence."
In other ACA election news, Dr. Glenn Manceaux ((Houma, La.) was elected ACA vice president, joining Drs. Brassard and Bazakos on the ACA executive committee. Other members of the board of governors now include the following:
- District 1: Dr. William Pfeifer (Ketchikan, Alaska)
- District 2: Dr. Linda Zange (Chicago, Ill.)
- District 3: Dr. Mario Spoto (Downingtown, Pa.)
- District 5: Dr. John Gentile (Miami)
- District 6: Dr. Jerry Gerrard (Mesa, Ariz.)
- District 7: Dr. Paul Smith (Las Vegas)
- Council of Delegates President: Dr. Rick McMichael (Canton, Ohio.)
- COD Vice President: Dr. Keith Overland (Norwalk, Conn.)
Dr. David Herd (Geneva, N.Y.) was re-elected to his position as secretary of the Council of Delegates.
In addition to Drs. Krippendorf and McClelland, other outgoing board members include: Dr. James Edwards, former chairman of the board and Kansas delegate; Dr. Daryl Wills, former president and longtime Nebraska delegate; and Dr. Blair Bauer, former district 1 governor and North Dakota delegate.
Meanwhile, Kevin P. Corcoran, CAE, officially took the reins as ACA's new executive vice president during the 2005 HOD meeting.2 Corcoran succeeds Garrett F. Cuneo, who is retiring after 10 years with the ACA.
Key business items at this year's meeting included the approval of a profession-wide action plan to address the recent Office of the Inspector General's report on chiropractic documentation errors in Medicare,3 and a resolution endorsing the concept of the national public education campaign initiated by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress:3
- In the wake of the recent OIG report alleging a large number of errors in Medicare claims based on inadequate documentation by doctors of chiropractic, the HOD resolved to declare improved documentation a priority in the profession. The resolution directs the ACA to work with state boards and chiropractic associations nationwide to encourage better documentation through continuing education programs and other means.
- The HOD also passed a resolution endorsing the concept of the national public education campaign initiated by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) and resolved to offer the expertise of the ACA communications department in the development and promotion of the campaign.4
Congressman Jim Ramstad (3rd District - Minn.) delivered the keynote address before the HOD on Sept. 24, stressing the importance of chiropractic to federal health care programs and the need for improved access to chiropractic care: "You doctors provide excellent care and you're an integral part of the health care system. Expanding and improving access to chiropractic care is not only the right thing to do, it's the most cost effective thing to do."
The congressman's presentation comes as the ACA works to assure that the chiropractic benefit is available to all U.S. military service members by the end of 2005, as required by Congress. With the assistance of Ramstad and other congressional representatives, 28 Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) facilities and more than 40 military health care facilities now provide chiropractic care. Ramstad also has been instrumental in efforts to integrate chiropractic into other federal health programs, such as the National Health Service Corps student loan repayment program, the military health care system and the Medicare program.5-7
Dr. Daryl Wills received the ACA's "Chiropractor of the Year" award and Garrett Cuneo was named "Humanitarian of the Year" during the meeting. The two awards are ACA's highest honors, presented annually to those who have demonstrated "exceptional service, achievement and/or leadership to the chiropractic profession for current or past accomplishments.
Other major award winners included Dr. David Herd (ACA Upstate New York delegate) - Delegate of the Year; Dr. Cynthia Vaughn (ACA East Texas delegate) - winner of the Drs. John Flynn-Robert Lynch Memorial Award, which recognizes the "outstanding delegate who has served in the House of Delegates for less than five years"; Dr. Steven M. Perman (ACA's alternate delegate for Florida) - Alternate Delegate of the Year; Dr. Gregory D. Cramer, professor and dean of research at National University of Health Sciences - Researcher of the Year; and; Dr. Norman W. Kettner, chairman of the Department of Radiology and professor in the Clinical Science Division at Logan College of Chiropractic - Academician of the Year. A Lifetime Achievement Award was issued posthumously to Dr. Darrell Fore, a former Kansas delegate, who passed away Aug. 2, 2005.8
- ACA annual meeting features election of new officers, presentations by key officials. ACA press release, Sept. 27, 2005.
- We reported on Mr. Corcoran's appointment in the Sept. 1, 2005 issue. Please see "New ACA Executive Vice President" in the News in Brief section of that issue: www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/18/11.html.
- Is failure to document giving chiropractic a black eye? OIG issues report on Medicare billing for chiropractic services. Dynamic Chiropractic, July 30, 2005: www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/16/11.html.
- To learn more about the Foundation for Chiropractic and its ongoing Campaign for Chiropractic, please send an e-mail to Gene Veno, foundation president, at . Mr. Veno and other chiropractic leaders discuss the campaign on page 4 of each issue of DC.
- For the latest on the inclusion of chiropractic care in the military, please read "DoD's Implementation of Chiropractic Benefit Inadequate; Agency Failing to Promote/Monitor Program." Dynamic Chiropractic, Oct. 24, 2005: www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/22/06.html.
- Details of student loan repayment program now available. Dynamic Chiropractic, April 23, 2005: www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/09/09.html.
- In this issue, Drs. Michael Schneider, Donald R. Murphy, and Gary Ierna share their perspective on the status of chiropractic care within the Medicare system. For more information, read "Mainstreaming Chiropractic: The Miserable Medicare Model," starting on page 1.
- Dr. James Edwards, former ACA chairman of the board, submitted a testimonial to Dr. Fore's life, which we published in the Oct. 24, 2005 issue. See "A Moment of Silence for Darrell Eugene Fore, DC": www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/22/02.html.