Why a New Diplomate Nutrition Board?

By Jeffrey Weber, MA, DC, DACBN, DCBCN

In 1974, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) Council on Nutrition was formed. One of several specialty councils of the ACA, the Council on Nutrition has several objectives, including gathering, correlating and disseminating knowledge and information concerning nutrition for the benefit of its members, the profession and the public; and encouraging and promoting a more advanced knowledge and use of nutrition in the practice of chiropractic.

In keeping with the objectives of the council, it was appropriate to have an examining board to test and credential chiropractors in the specialty of nutrition. Guided by the late New York Chiropractic College President, Dr. Ernest Napolitano, the American Chiropractic Board of Nutrition (ACBN) was formed in 1981.

The founding fathers of the ACBN, Drs. Alan Pressman, Alan Adams, Carl Miller, Anthony Chicoke, Frank Hoffman and Frank Langilotti, had the insight to recognize the need for, and requirements and obligation of, a credentialing board in nutrition to protect the chiropractic profession and the public. However, currently, the ACBN is a multidisciplinary board credentialing different disciplines in nutrition; it is no longer a board only for the chiropractic profession.

In today's environment, the Food and Drug Administration is looking to control who can prescribe supplements, and the insurance industry and chiropractic opponents are trying to diminish doctors of chiropractic and our long-standing expertise and proficiency in many specialty areas, especially nutrition. We are fighting against those who now want to take from us the piece of health care we have counseled patients on for over a century and have had board certification in for more than 25 years. With nutrition being a focal point in health care and everyone jumping on board, medical professionals seem to forget that the chiropractor was using nutrition as part of their health care recommendations (and being abused for doing so) for much of the past century.

In 2005, several doctors realized that while the profession has specialty boards in orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics and other specialties, it was blatantly obvious that a nutrition specialty board specific to the chiropractic profession was missing. It was also obvious that since nutrition has been and continues to be a large part of practice for the majority of the profession, a chiropractic-only nutrition specialty board was necessary.

As with the medical profession, which has more than 145 specialty and subspecialty boards for medical doctors only that indicate areas of specific expertise that are recognized within their own profession, as well as by legislators, insurance companies and the public, our profession needs the same. Seeing the need for a chiropractic specialty board in nutrition to show patients, legislators and third-party payers that chiropractors are suited and trained to use nutritional protocols to help the sick in our country, a group of doctors began the process of forming the Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition (CBCN), and in September 2008, the ACA House of Delegates passed a resolution by better than 83 percent to create the board.

We are proud to say we now have a chiropractic nutrition board that not only will credential those who choose to specialize in nutrition, but will support the ACA in protecting the rights of all chiropractors to utilize nutrition in their practices. The CBCN is established as a chiropractic-only board.

CBCN Diplomates With Previous Nutrition Board Experience
Jeffrey E. Weber, MA, DC, DACBN, DCBCN; former president of the ACA Council on Nutrition
Juanee Surprise, DC, DAAPM, DCCN, DCBCN; former president of the ACBN and the Council on Nutrition
Alan Adams, MS, DC, DACBN; former president of the ACBN and the Council on Nutrition
Allan Pressman, DC, PhD, DACBN, DCBCN; former president of the ACBN and the Council on Nutrition
Don Huml, DC, DCBCN; former president of the ACBN and the Council on Nutrition
Bill Rice, DC, DCBCN; former director of the Council on Nutrition
Gary Post DC, DACBN, DCBCN; former editor of the journal of the Council on Nutrition

Many chiropractors have already been grandfathered into the board, including some with prior leadership service on the ACBN and/or ACA Council on Nutrition: Drs. Juanee Surprise, Alan Adams, Allan Pressman and Don Huml (all former ACBN and Council of Nutrition presidents), Bill Rice (former council director) and Gary Post (former editor of the council journal). Contact the CBCN to determine if you are eligible to take advantage of this professional credentialing opportunity at www.cbcn.us.

For specific grandfathering requirements, visit the CBCN Web site and read "New Nutrition Board Formed" in this issue.

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