With the chiropractic profession and the health care industry in a seemingly constant state of change, the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) is making adjustments to keep up with the times.In 2006, the FCER began evaluating its role in and ability to meet the current needs of the chiropractic profession. The foundation hired an external consultant specializing in organizational realignment to review its internal structure, finances and programs, and to consult with members of the profession.
As a result, the FCER recently announced the following changes to better serve the chiropractic profession:
- eliminated the director of research position;
- closed its Brookline, Mass. office;
- formally appointed DeAnna Beck, CAE, as executive director and chief operating officer;
- expanded the size of its board to include stakeholders;
- renewed the commitment by the board to be personally involved in the operations and function of the foundation; and
- constructed the Evidence-Based Chiropractic Resource Center (EB-CRC).
The FCER also has redefined certain key roles at the foundation. The position of director of education, which will be filled by Robin Merrifield, has been redefined and now includes communications, workshop planning and assisting the foundation's Research Committee. Any correspondence previously directed to the director of research should now be addressed to Robin Merrifield at 380 Wright Rd, Norwalk, IA 50211, or you may e-mail her at .
Eliminating the director of research position and closing the Brookline office meant saying goodbye to Anthony Rosner, PhD. "[Dr. Rosner] has been a knowledgeable ally and willing chiropractic advocate. We will miss Tony and his wife, Ruth. They have been an integral part of FCER for the last 15 years," said FCER Vice President, George B. McClelland, DC.
The grants and fellowship programs will now be managed by the FCER Research Committee, with Reed Phillips, DC, PhD, former FCER fellow/director of research and current board member, as committee chair. In an interview with DC, Dr. Phillips addressed the recent changes at the FCER and the future goals of the foundation: "The FCER still wants to continue its role in funding grants and supporting new researchers being trained in masters' programs," he said, "but it wants to provide a greater service to the research community by being able to provide them access to a database of literature [the EB-CRC] that is relevant to the things that they are researching, as it applies to chiropractic."
"[The foundation] knows that MANTIS already exists that provides that kind of resource," Phillips continued. "It also knows that there are other databases out there that have similar kinds of things, but it wants this database to provide more than just access to the literature. It wants to make it something that has relevance, some interpretation to it, and has ties to what the CCGP is doing on best practices, so that it becomes something that is all-encompassing. It becomes a tool that the research community can use as a basis for developing further research projects and having access to data to support the research they are already doing, above and beyond the MANTIS database."
The EB-CRC is a comprehensive online database of relevant, up-to-date medical literature from around the world, which will provide content to researchers, practitioners, patients, and college faculty and students. It will help the FCER achieve its goal to better serve the research community. The EB-CRC also will help practicing DCs integrate evidence-based practice into their individual practices, ensuring that the best evidence is available when treating patients. According to Charles Herring, DC, chair of the FCER's Transition Committee, the EB-CRC "is going to be a little bit like a Web DC program, in the sense that [chiropractors] will be able to log on and type in a condition and get information about that condition."
Despite the array of recent changes at the FCER, the foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to funding new research projects. With the support of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), the foundation will be funding one of the first studies on the effectiveness of chiropractic care for the prevention of chronic cervical pain. In the study, titled "Preventive Care of Chronic Cervical Pain and Disabilities: Comparison of Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Individualized Home Exercise Programs," 105 patients complaining of chronic cervical pain will be treated with spinal manipulation, a home exercise program, or no treatment over a 50-week period to determine which treatment is most effective at reducing pain, increasing function and quality of life, and improving general health. Through funding from NCMIC Insurance Company, the FCER is also funding three new research grants that will provide the profession with further evidence of improved treatment of patients, better leverage for reimbursement and greater influence in health care.
Dr. Herring summarized the direction of the FCER by saying, "We want to involve the profession in research priorities; we want to involve the researcher in research priorities; and we want to begin to do some practice-based research, and to involve the colleges and the research folks in doing so. In order for us to change the FCER in a global sense, we have brought onto our board a president of a college, a researcher, and a representative of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, all in an effort to try to bring the research and the chiropractic communities together. We've had a slogan at FCER for awhile, 'Translating Research Into Practice,' and all of a sudden we decided that it needed not to be a slogan anymore. It needed to become a reality."
For more information on current and future FCER activities, visit www.fcer.org or e-mail .