LACC Helps Make California AIDS Ride a Success

By Editorial Staff
Channel 7 news in Los Angeles (ABC-KGO) used LACC's chiropractic crew as a backdrop for their report on the AIDS ride.

LACC's student interns treated more than 1,100 cyclists during the week-long AIDS Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

On June 1, 1997, thousands of bicycle riders began their week-long journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles as part of AIDS Ride 4, one of the country's biggest fundraising events for AIDS research.

Bicycling between 50 and 100 miles a day, many of the riders began suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and various aches and pains.
Enter the nearly two dozen student interns, faculty and alumni from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC), who came to the rescue and provided much-needed care to more than 1,100 riders during the event.

During the week, each of the interns saw an average of 60-70 patients. The chiropractic team focused on alleviating the riders' pain so that they could finish the journey to Los Angeles. One rider was heard to comment: "If it wasn't for chiropractic care, I wouldn't have made it."

LACC has been providing chiropractic care for the past three AIDS rides, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Paige Morgenthal. "During AIDS Ride 1, I saw a need for chiropractic care," said Dr. Morgenthal. "I took action by contacting both the college and the AIDS Ride organizers."

In addition to the student interns, faculty members and alumni, more than 50 LACC student volunteers also donated their time by assisting with the opening and closing ceremonies, office work, security, and other miscellaneous help.


Dr. White named Michigan's "Chiropractor of the Year"

Steve White, DC, said he was "humbled and honored" to receive the award.

Dr. Steve White of Traverse City, Michigan was honored by the Michigan Chiropractic Council with its "Chiropractor of the Year" award. The award is presented to the chiropractor who shows outstanding commitment and leadership in the advancement of chiropractic in the state.

Dr. White, chairman of the Michigan Board of Chiropractic Examiners, has worked with the Chiropractic Information Bureau, which has involved the Michigan Chiropractic Council in more than 50 sporting events across Michigan this year.

"Knowing many of the previous recipients and the personal sacrifice, commitment and contributions they have made, I am humbled and honored that my colleagues would place me in such a special class."

A 1972 graduate of Palmer College, Dr. White has been in practice for 25 years. His practice is located in Traverse City; he resides with his wife and children in nearby Williamsburg.


By-product of Chlorinated Water Causes Cancer in Rats

According to a new study, a chemical by-product of the chlorination of drinking water causes several types of cancerous tumors in rats, even at dosages that have no obvious toxic effects.1

The study was conducted by Dr. Hannu Komulainen and colleagues at the National Public Health Institute in Kuopio, Finland, and elsewhere in the country. The substance in question, 3-chloro-4-(dichloromethyl)-5-hydroxy-2(5H)-furanone -- also known as "MX" -- is a known mutagen in bacteria and mammalian cells, but its carcinogenicity in animals had net been previously tested prior to the Finnish investigation.

The research team added MX to the rats' drinking water for 104 weeks at low, medium, and high daily doses, which varied slightly between the male and female animals. The researchers found large amounts of lesions on the rats' thyroid glands, livers and adrenal glands, as well as high levels of lymphomas, leukemias, and tumors of the mammary glands.

Dr. Komulainen reported that " ... [d]ose-dependent increases in tumor incidence were observed in rats given MX-containing drinking water; the same MX doses had no obvious toxic effects on animals ... Even the lowest MX dose studied was carcinogenic."

The team also stated that the rats' reaction to MX is not necessarily how humans react to the same substance. For instance, the sites of the rats' tumors " ... are somewhat different from those associated most strongly with ... chlorinated drinking water in humans." Nevertheless, Dr. Komulainen suggested further research be done.

In the United States, chlorine has been added to drinking water since the turn of the century as a way of preventing water-borne diseases. Chlorine prevents bacterial growth in water and helps prevent the transmission of diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery.2


  1. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1997;89:832-833,848-856.
  2. Reuters Medical News, June 18, 1997.

U.S. Overpaying MCOs for Medicare

According to a recent report from the U.S. General Accounting Office, the government may be overpaying the managed care industry by as much as $2 billion a year for Medicare patients. The report states that because of the accounting methods devised by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the agency in charge of Medicare payments, managed care has been regularly overpaid during the past three years. The amount of this overpayment continues to grow by millions of dollars each month.1

Excess payments to MCOs in California alone amounted to more than $1 billion during the 1995 fiscal year, the GAO says. The state accounts for an estimated 40 percent of the Medicare managed care market. "Taking that assumption," says Scott Smith, the report's project director, "we think the $2 billion in excess payments across the nation is not realistic."

More than 280 HMOs currently participate in Medicare's risk contract program, with the largest numbers of risk contract HMOs being in California, Florida, New York, Washington and Texas. Medicare HMOs are growing by about 85,000 beneficiaries a month. Presently, more than 4.6 million of the nation's 39 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in HMOs.

The managed care industry is preparing to fight the GAO's claims, saying the investigation's cost assumptions may be incorrect and the quality of service provided by HMOs improperly calculated. "We dispute this report very hotly," said Don White of the American Association of Health Plans, a trade group for managed care.

The GAO report is understandably sounding off alarms throughout the managed care industry, raising concerns that Congress may ask HCFA to change its method of calculating payments. Such changes could remove billions of dollars from the financial assets of these Medicare HMOs within the next few years, which are already facing some financial pressure from the federal government.

In his 1998 budget proposal, President Clinton asked that payments to Medicare HMOs be cut by another five percent. Representative Bill Thomas of California, who requested the GAO study, may schedule hearings in the upcoming months.


1. GAO Report: Feds pay $2 billion too much for Medicare patients. Houston Business Journal, May 26, 1997.


Dr. Yennie Recognized for His Work in Acupuncture.

Dr. Richard Yennie, president of the Acupuncture Society of American, was given the First Place USA National Award and the Second Place International Award for his achievements in the field of acupuncture at the 6th International Congress of Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, April 26. He was also appointed visiting professor at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology (BUCMP), a prestigious school of Chinese medicine.

On May 16, three visiting Chinese doctors from Beijing University announced that Dr. Yennie will serve as the dean of academic affairs for the new Kansas College of Chinese Medicine, which opens in Wichita this fall. The new college is affiliated with BUCMP and the World Society of Medical Qi Gong.

Locally, Dr. Yennie was given a special proclamation from the office of the mayor of Kansas City in recognition of his awards and appointments to BUCMP.

Dr. Yennie has been in chiropractic/acupuncture practice for more than 43 years in the Kansas City area. He was one of the first doctors to formally teach acupuncture in the United States, initiating the practice over 30 years ago. In that time, Dr. Yennie has taught more than 15,000 students, mostly DCs, DOs and MDs.


Sherman College Board Elects New Chairman, Welcomes New Members

The Sherman College Board of Trustees elected a new chairman and named two new members to the board during their meeting in May.

* Dr. Thomas Gelardi was elected chairman of the board of trustees. Dr. Gelardi, founder and past president of Sherman College, replaces Dr. Joseph Donofrio, who resigned the chairmanship in May.

* Billy Terry, Esq., of Spartanburg is one of two new members named to the board of trustees. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Mr. Terry is a businessman and partner in the law firm of Odom, Terry, Cantrell & Hammett. He is a long-time chiropractic patient and supporter.

The other new board member is Jerry Hardee of Valdosta, Georgia. Mr. Hardee holds an Ed.D. from Northern Illinois University. He has served for many years as chairman of the Commission on Accreditation of the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association (SCASA), and is a member of the Educational Research Association, and the American Association of College and University Administrators.

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