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Homecoming: President Kern and Fellows honored at Alumni Luncheon

8/25/2010 (Archived)

In his opening remarks at the Alumni Luncheon, Executive Director for Alumni Mickey Burt, D.C., noted that even after five years of hosting the luncheon, he still gets butterflies before the gathering takes place.

This year there was plenty to be energized about. Along with the induction of seven new Fellows in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic, Davenport Campus President Donald P. Kern, D.C., was honored for the 50 years he has worked at the College.

During Dr. Burt’s speech, he referred to a recent study by Alternative Medicine Integration based on data from major insurance companies that estimates if chiropractic care was part of the healthcare plan of everyone in the U.S., overall healthcare costs could be reduced by up to 50 percent.

He added, “A follow-up study in 2007 covering the years 2003 through 2005 showed that those under chiropractic care: had 60 percent fewer hospital visits; if hospitalized spent 58 percent fewer days in the hospital; had 62 percent fewer outpatient procedures; and reported an 85 percent decrease in pharmaceutical costs. The study also claimed that chiropractic patients make 60 percent few hospital visits and pay 80 percent fewer pharmaceutical costs.”

Dr. Richard Sarnat M.D. and President of has looked at the data from some of the largest Insurance companies and has reported healthcare cost could be reduced by 50 % with the incorporation of Chiropractic.

The luncheon’s keynote speaker was Vice Chancellor for Research and Healthy Policy Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D. In her presentation, she advocated for chiropractors to make pushing for inclusion in the country’s evolving healthcare plan a top priority. “We don’t want to miss the train,” she said.

Dr. Goertz used the hiring of more and more chiropractors at military and VA hospitals in the last few years to illustrate the success chiropractic continues to have in settings where it had never been offered before. She added that within such environments, many of M.D.s on staff have been able to see the value of chiropractic and those who provide it because of their everyday interactions with D.C.s.

Following the speech by Dr. Goertz, Chancellor Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D., gave a tribute to Dr. Kern and his 50 years of service to Palmer College. He noted that in the span of half a century, Dr. Kern has been clinic director, director of Admissions, chairman of the Technique Department, dean of Continuing Education, assistant to the president, vice president for Student Affairs and executive vice president. More importantly, he’s been president of the Davenport Campus—twice. And from 2002 to 2004, he served as the senior campus administrator on the Florida Campus.

When it came time for Dr. Marchiori to ask Dr. Kern to stand and be recognized for his accomplishments, the chancellor made a special request. Aware of Dr. Kern’s humility, Dr. Marchiori urged the campus president remain standing longer than he normally would prefer, so that everyone could show their appreciation for him. When he stood, Dr. Kern looked around to see everyone giving him a standing ovation.

After receiving a gift from Dr. Burt on behalf of all alumni, Dr. Kern began the proceedings of the induction ceremony for seven new Fellows in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic. It was a moving and inspiring part of the Alumni Luncheon. Along with Dr. Kern, Vice Chancellor for Academics Robert Percuoco, D.C., and Palmer Board of Trustees Chairman Trevor Ireland, D.C., also participated.

The seven new Fellows are: Anita Bigo, D.C., Latrobe, Penn., D ’56; John Bottorf Sr., D.C., Plymouth, Ind., D 1955; Michael Hahn, D.C., Bettendorf, Iowa, D ’90; Barry McAlpine, D.C., Holland, Mich., D ’71; Ian McLean, D.C., DACBR, LeClaire, Iowa, D ’79; Gary McLeod, D.C., Three Rivers, Mich., D ’81; Ronald Woods, D.C., Greensburg, Ind., D ’68.

Dr. Anita Bigo graduated from Palmer’s Davenport Campus in 1956 and returned to her hometown of Latrobe, Penn., to practice. She immediately became involved with the Westmoreland County Chiropractic Society, serving as secretary and treasurer for many years, and helping the Society in the 1950s and 1960s to increase chiropractic availability in her community. Today, she remains active with her state chiropractic association and speaks regularly to groups of students, nurses and others about chiropractic. She is a long-time member of the Palmer President’s Club and a generous supporter of her alma mater, as well as many other organizations.

Dr. John Bottorff, Sr., graduated from Palmer in 1955. He is a veteran of World War II and proudly served the Fifth Army Air Corps in the South Pacific. He became interested in a chiropractic career after injuring his back several times while serving in the Army. Dr. Bottorf began practicing in Plymouth, Ind., and he has practiced there for more than 54 years. His daughter, Janelle, and son John Jr. both graduated from Palmer and also practice in Indiana. Dr. Bottorf is a member of the Palmer President’s Club and has established two endowed scholarships for Palmer students.

Dr. Michael Hahn is a 1990 graduate of Palmer’s Davenport Campus, and has been in practice in Bettendorf, Iowa, since then. He is a member of the Palmer President’s Club at the Diamond Level and has served as a member of the Palmer Board of Trustees since 2004. In addition, Dr. Hahn is a regular speaker for Dr. Strang’s 8th Trimester Philosophy class. He served as secretary and president of the East Central District of the Iowa Chiropractic Society, and is currently pursuing NBCE Part IV Board Examiner status.

Dr. Barry McAlpine graduated from Palmer in 1971, and has practiced in Holland, Mich., since then. He is a member of the President’s Club and has served as a member of the Palmer Board of Trustees since 2006. In addition to serving as a committee chair on Palmer’s Board of Trustees, in his community Dr. McAlpine serves on the Board of Directors of the County Red Cross and on the Board of Directors of the First Calvary Division Association. He also is a member of the ACA and the Michigan Association of Chiropractors, and was named a Distinguished Fellow of the International Chiropractors Association in 1988. Dr. McAlpine is a Vietnam War veteran, and received two Silver Stars, one Bronze Star, three Purple Hearts and an Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters during his military service.

Dr. Ian McLean is a 1979 graduate of Palmer College and also earned his Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology. He has served as a professor of clinical radiology for Palmer since 1983 and had a private radiology practice from 1983 to 2009. Dr. McLean also serves as Palmer’s director of clinical radiology and since 2009 has been the radiologist for Palmer Imaging Consultation Services. A Palmer President’s Club member since 1990, he has served on various Palmer committees and was the chair of the Chiropractic Ethics Board. Dr. McLean has published textbook chapters and many articles in peer-reviewed journals and has lectured on radiology topics throughout the world.

A 1981 cum laude graduate of Palmer College, Dr. Gary McLeod has been in private practice in Three Rivers, Mich., since his graduation. He earned a Diplomate from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and is a past president of the Michigan Chiropractic Association and the Michigan Board of Chiropractic Examiners. A member of the President’s Club, Dr. McLeod has been a strong supporter of his alma mater—both financially and in terms of student referrals. In fact, there are six students at Palmer currently that he has referred, including his daughter, Kiersten.

Dr. Ronald Woods of Greensburg, Ind., is a 1968 cum laude graduate of Palmer College. He is a member of the International Chiropractors Association of Indiana and served on the Board of Directors from 1974 to the present, along with several terms as president. He has been an ICA member since the 1970s and was named a Fellow in the International Chiropractors Association. Dr. Woods has served as a leader in the National Boy Scouts of America and in 1987 initiated a nationwide letter writing campaign to the directors of the Boy Scouts of America to gain recognition for chiropractors to perform physical examinations. He is very active in his community and is a longtime member of the Palmer President’s Club and a strong supporter of his alma mater.

“Membership as a Fellow in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic is a distinct privilege and honor, and the men and woman being inducted today are leaders in the profession and their communities, as well as supporters of Palmer College,” Dr. Kern said. “Their duty as Fellows is to promote the future of chiropractic, to engage in discussions of chiropractic’s role in society and to support Palmer College of Chiropractic in every way that they are able.”

Added Dr. Ireland: “It is truly my honor and pleasure to welcome these seven new members of the Fellows in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic. Throughout their history, the Fellows have been a group of staunch supporters of Palmer College. They are the vanguard of Palmer Chiropractic wherever they may live and practice. They are devoted to their patients, their profession and their alma mater. I salute them for their past service and for everything they will do in the future to move chiropractic and Palmer forward.”

Check out the photo gallery for the Alumni Luncheon.