An advocate is defined as "someone who defends or maintains a cause or proposal; someone who supports or promotes the interests of another." When it comes to advocating for the chiropractic profession on just about every level imaginable, look no further than Charles DuBois, president of Standard Process. For starters, this year alone, DuBois and Standard Process have donated or committed to donating more than $3 million for the growth and development of the chiropractic profession, including a $1 million donation to Parker College of Chiropractic (a five-year commitment) that kicked things off in January 2009. Other major DuBois/Standard Process donations in 2009 include the following:
- $550,000 commitment to Cleveland Chiropractic College (over six years)
- $500,000 commitment to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (over five years)
- $400,000 commitment to Texas Chiropractic College (over four years)
- $150,000 commitment to Southern California University of Health Sciences
- $100,000 commitment to Life Chiropractic College West (over 10 years)
In short, Charles DuBois has spearheaded substantial financial support of chiropractic research, education and infrastructure in 2009. In a year marked by escalating unemployment, declining economic confidence and a general unease about the future, all of which have made a great many people- doctors of chiropractic and their patients included - tighten the reins, DuBois has actually done just the opposite, giving to the profession in record amounts.
But financial support of the profession, in and of itself, is not why Charles DuBois is Dynamic Chiropractic's 2009 Person of the Year; while Standard Process' donations over the past year are certainly impressive, it's DuBois' spirit of giving - financial or otherwise - and a keen awareness of the need to do so as a means to advance the profession that truly matter.
For instance, as a board member of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, DuBois is fighting every day to build public awareness of the value of chiropractic care. In any other year, this would be an admirable - and much-needed - endeavor, but in a year of impending health care reform, when consumers, legislators and a host of other stakeholders are discussing how to improve health care, it's absolutely vital. And in addition to its substantial financial commitment to the foundation, Standard Process has also promoted the campaign to its customer base through the company's newsletter, Web site and direct e-mail blasts.
Of course, it's just as important for you, the doctor of chiropractic, to become involved in reform advocacy, and DuBois is on the front lines in this capacity as well, encouraging chiropractors to solicit patient support for chiropractic inclusion in health care reform. When it became obvious a few months ago that additional effort was required in order to get Congress' attention, DuBois immediately stepped forward to co-sponsor the "Watch My Back" Campaign with Kent Greenawalt, president of Foot Levelers. In less than 30 minutes, DuBois and Greenawalt had planned out the event and made the necessary financial commitments to fund it.
This campaign resulted in almost 50,000 chiropractic offices across the nation receiving a packet containing a counter display, three-part petition cards, and envelopes, enabling DCs to collect patient signatures supporting chiropractic care as a guaranteed benefit and forward those petitions straight to congressional leaders. As a result of the campaign, almost 3 million petitions slips were potentially mailed to congressional representatives. While the total number mailed is not known, the fact that DuBois was ready to answer the call when our profession needed him says volumes about the heart he has for chiropractic.
DuBois is also an active member of the Chiropractic Summit, which meets under the auspices of a broad-based steering committee comprised of representatives of four major chiropractic organizations: the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, the American Chiropractic Association, the International Chiropractors Association and COCSA. Medicare and the national debate on system-wide health care reform have been the primary focus of discussions at each of the summit meetings, the first of which was held in Washington, D.C., in 2007. An estimated 40 national and international chiropractic leaders representing 30-plus organizations concerned with the current and future welfare of the profession currently participate.
Listening to DuBois talk about chiropractic makes his passion for the profession that much more obvious. When asked what needs to happen for chiropractic to reach its potential, DuBois said: "Becoming involved is key to making sure that chiropractic thrives. Everyone -doctors, office staff, students, chiropractic organizations and associations, chiropractic vendors and suppliers, and even patients - needs to be active in raising their voices to explain the chiropractic philosophy and to provide more evidence [of] the value of the profession."
Of course, as president of a leading nutritional supplement manufacturer, he is also enthusiastic about the role nutrition can play in promoting health and wellness - and its obvious relevance to chiropractic practice: "Good nutrition is the foundation that healthy bodies are built on. Much of the food conveniently available to us is devoid of nutrients. Without proper nutrition the body will not have the necessary energy to rebuild, repair and renew itself. To help patients achieve long-term optimal health, the right building blocks need to be given to the body. ... By educating and encouraging patients to make healthier choices, they will proactively be supporting their body's systems and consequently, leading healthier lives."
This is the 24th year DC has recognized excellence in chiropractic with the Person of the Year award. In each case, the common thread among award-winners has been a commitment to advancing the profession - whether by working to expand chiropractic worldwide (David Chapman-Smith, 1989 Person of the Year), advocating for chiropractic in Congress (Senator Tom Harkin, 1996), providing financial support for the profession (NCMIC, Foot Levelers and Dr. William Harris, 1997) or working to ensure chiropractic inclusion in the Veterans Administration (Dr. Reed Phillips, 2004). Congratulations to Charles DuBois, Dynamic Chiropractic's 2009 Person of the Year.