While the Virginia Chiropractic Association (VCA) and the Virginia Chiropractic Society (VCS) operate as separate organizations, they continue to make cooperative inroads that suggest increasing unity and potential for merger.The latest example: The associations' first-ever joint annual convention, held Sept. 26-28 in Richmond, Va. Members from both organizations and nonmembers attended the convention, which celebrated chiropractic as it begins its second century in the state. A unity discussion by VCA President Dr. Bill Ward, VSC President Dr. Brad Robinson, and Dr. Gerard Clum, president of Life Chiropractic College West, emphasized the spirit of the joint event. The three presidents shared their thoughts on the value of cooperation, the challenges that need to be addressed, and what true unity might look like. The associations also held a joint leadership brainstorming session in addition to their individual general membership meetings.
Other convention highlights included presentations by Dr. Clum ("Cervical Spine Adjusting and Vertebral Artery Issues"), Dr. Dan Cruoglio "Practice Prosperity in the new Healthcare Paradigm") and Dr. Kurt Larsen, who presented a hands-on workshop on cranial adjusting for adult and pediatric patients. Dr. Clum also discussed the importance of comprehensive informed consent. Attendees received updates from, among others, the Virginia Board of Medicine, the Virginia C-PAC, the American Chiropractic Association and the International Chiropractors Association.
All told, 126 chiropractors, 68 chiropractic assistants and 32 supplier organizations attended the historic convention, sponsored by Foot Levelers, Breakthrough Coaching, Harkon, NutriWest MidAtlantic, Sleep Essentials, Products of Nature International, USA Laser BioTech, and Zrii. Foot Levelers, which sponsored two speakers, also presented $1,500 checks to each association, noting their "exemplary commitment to chiropractic education and support." Exhibitors included Standard Process Mid-Atlantic, Anabolic Laboratories, Brican Systems, and others.
The VCA and the VSC first entertained the notion of merger in 2006. As reported in DC, the state associations met to discuss the possibility of unifying into a single association representing Virginia doctors of chiropractic. Prior to the meeting, each organization had polled their membership to gauge statewide interest in unification. Gene Veno, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association, organized that meeting and discussed the advantages to unification, such as cost savings, sharing resources and expertise, and speaking with one voice before legislators.