Chiropractic Seeks Own Section in American Public Health Assn.

By Editorial Staff
Culminating a 15-year effort for full chiropractic participation in the American Public Health Association (APHA), a group of eight chiropractic leaders assembled at the APHA annual meeting in Washington, D.C., to begin writing the section status application and supporting documents that will be submitted to the APHA executive board next spring, and then to the full APHA governing council next fall.

Some 13,000 health and government officials from around the world attended this year's APHA assembly, the largest public health gathering in the world. All disciplines, included chiropractic, were well represented. Among the 800 educational sessions, three were dedicated to chiropractic with 16 papers presented on a variety of interesting topics. Among the 350 exhibitors were booths of the ACA, Life College, and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges.

APHA designates both agency and individual memberships. The ACA, ICA and seven of our chiropractic colleges (Cleveland, Life, Los Angeles, National, New York, Palmer and Western States) are APHA agency members. Chiropractic has a higher percentage of its schools as agency members than any other discipline except for graduate schools of public health.

APHA is the oldest, largest and most influential public health association in the world. Over the past fifteen years chiropractic doctors, students and educators have joined APHA and made their collective voices heard. Chiropractic members of APHA mostly joined either the Radiological Health Section of APHA or the Chiropractic Forum -- Special Primary Interest Group, with other members joining a variety of other APHA sections. While the Chiropractic Forum provided a natural home for members of our discipline, as a special primary interest group, it provided less membership rights and benefits than that of a full-fledged section such as Radiological Health.

So many chiropractors had joined the Radiological Health Section that 80 percent of its members were chiropractors, with DCs holding more than half of its elected leadership posts. In recognition of this shift away from the traditional composition, the section council leadership petitioned the APHA executive board to change the name of the section to "Radiological Health & Chiropractic Care Section."

The executive board denied the name-change petition and suggested instead that it would be more appropriate for chiropractic members to seek an independent section rather than adopting a hybrid name for Radiological Health. Dr. Rand Baird, who has led chiropractic efforts in APHA since 1979 and was the original founder of the Chiropractic Forum, alerted the members, and 200 of them transferred from Radiological Health to the Chiropractic Forum in response.

The Chiropractic Forum, by adding these 200 transfers, swelled to over 500 members and became the largest Special Primary Interest Group within APHA, and also the largest in APHA history. Numeric size and potential for future growth are among the criteria that must be satisfied for the Chiropractic Forum to become a full independent section of APHA. Assembling the data and doing the technical writing to satisfy all of the many other requirements will be a difficult task, but the sophistication, experience and expertise needed are available in this team:

  • Rand Baird, DC, MPH, FICA, FICC
  • Fred Colley, MPH, PhD
  • Mitchell Haas, DC, MA, Chairman
  • John Hyland, DC, DACBR, DABCO
  • Michael Loader, DC
  • William Meeker, DC, MPH
  • Robert Mootz, DC, DABCO
  • Michael Perillo, DC, MPH

Dynamic Chiropractic will keep the profession informed of their developing efforts through 1995. In the meantime, all chiropractic doctors, students and educators are urged to join and/or renew APHA membership. The application printed on this page can be cut out or photocopied. For further membership information, contact Joanne Nyiendo, PhD at (503) 256-3180, or call APHA at (202) 789-5600.

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