The American Chiropractic Association's (ACA) House of Delegates (HOD) discussed the profession's progress and proposed new strategies toward securing a place for chiropractic in national health care reform during its annual meeting Sept. 23-26 in Dallas. The HOD also approved several important policies, elected new leaders, presented awards, and received progress reports on a number of ACA programs and initiatives.
Through its participation in health care reform discussions in Congress, ACA hopes to change the focus of health care in America, said newly elected ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "Together, we are pursuing a health care system that is more patient-centered, more high 'touch,' more 'whole' person; more conservative, safe and caring; more natural and more green; and more focused on health than disease ... more like chiropractic."
To this end, members of the HOD voted in favor of withdrawing $300,000 from ACA's reserves to fund strategic government relations activities that would raise the profile of chiropractic on Capitol Hill as activities surrounding health care reform in Congress continue to accelerate.
Also approved at the meeting was a resolution to adopt new definitions of care for the management of acute conditions, the management of chronic/recurrent conditions, and the management for wellness. The definitions were developed through a scientific process conducted by the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters.
Resolutions calling for the creation of a database of doctors of chiropractic with advanced degrees--which could be tapped to find potential candidates for positions in political, research and scientific environments where advanced degrees are normally required--and supporting the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners' plan to create certification for an expanded practice chiropractic physician were also passed.
Members of the House of Delegates voted Dr. Rick McMichael of Canton, Ohio, president of the ACA for a two-year term. Joining him on the association's Executive Committee are Vice President Keith Overland, DC, of Norwalk, Conn., and Chairman Mario Spoto, DC, of Downingtown, Pa. Other leaders elected to the association's Board of Governors (BOG) include:
- Anthony Hamm, DC, Council of Delegates (COD) president; North Carolina delegate
- David Herd, DC, COD vice president; Upstate New York delegate
- William Pfeifer, DC, District 1 governor
- F. Dow Bates, DC, District 2 governor
- Robert Mastronardi, DC, District 4 governor
- Thomas Hyde, DC, District 5 governor
- Michael Simone, DC, District 6 governor
- Joseph Morelli, DC, District 7 governor
The following doctors also hold elected offices within the COD:
- Cynthia Vaughn, DC, COD secretary; East Texas delegate
- Edward McKenzie, DC, COD representative to the ACA Finance Committee; Kansas delegate
The ACA recognized several noteworthy individuals for their professional accomplishments and contributions to the profession. John Gentile, DC, of Miami, Fla., was named ACA's Chiropractor of the Year; and Ms. Laura Carabello was named Humanitarian of the Year. Dr. Gentile served for the past two years as chairman of the ACA Board of Governors, during which time ACA has undertaken important campaigns to affect national health care reform on behalf of the chiropractic profession. He has played an active role in shaping ACA policies through his many leadership positions. He was first elected to the ACA House of Delegates in 1987, and later joined the ACA Board of Governors in 2003. Dr. Gentile is a past chairman of the association's Insurance and Managed Care Committee as well as the Finance Committee. In addition to his private practice and his work with ACA, Dr. Gentile finds time to be active in his local community, volunteering his time with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Ms. Laura Carabello was recognized for her contributions in raising the profile of the chiropractic profession through her work with the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Ms. Carabello, along with her husband Joseph, owns and runs CPR Strategic Marketing Communications. They have provided their services pro bono to the foundation, creating press releases, PSAs, ads, radio and TV spots, and helping to select celebrity endorsements. Thanks to Ms. Carabello, the foundation's campaign has generated hundreds of millions of impressions in print, radio and television.
Also receiving awards this year were:
- Richard Bruns, DC, of Bangor, Maine, Delegate of the Year
- John Daigle, DC, of Lafayette, La., Flynn-Lynch Award, recognizing an outstanding member of the COD with no more than five years of experience on the council.
- Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, of Santa Ana, Calif., the George B. McClelland, DC, Researcher of the Year Award
- Lisa Killinger, DC, of Davenport, Iowa, Academic of the Year Award
Also during the HOD meeting, the ACA-PAC also presented its Bulldog Award to Steven Kraus, DC. The Bulldog Award is given annually to an ACA member who has shown outstanding advocacy and political leadership on behalf of ACA and chiropractic patients.
Source: American Chiropractic Association