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Strengthening chiropractic’s voice in health care

As part of Palmer College’s continuing efforts to advocate for full inclusion of chiropractic in future healthcare plans, Palmer Interim Chancellor Bill Wilke, left, and Dr. Christine Goertz met with Congressman Bruce Braley in August.
Bill Wilke, Bruce Baley, and Dr. Christine Goertz

A sometimes contentious debate has ensued from the halls of Congress to town halls across the country since President Obama set his administration’s goals for healthcare reform and asked the U.S. Congress to develop the best plan for improving the country’s ailing healthcare system. Everyone agrees that the current system is failing healthcare consumers, but no one—from elected government officials to healthcare experts to practitioners and patients— can agree on how to fix it.

Even before the president’s charge to Congress, Palmer officials were involved in healthcare reform. Earlier this year, the College created the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Health Policy, led by Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D. Dr. Goertz and other Palmer administrators have attended Chiropractic Summit meetings, including Summit V in Washington, D.C., and College officials have advocated for chiropractic’s inclusion in any pending healthcare legislation through meetings with legislators.

In June, Palmer began encouraging alumni, and their patients, as well as Palmer students and employees, to express their views on chiropractic’s role in health care by taking part in grass-roots congressional letter-writing campaigns organized by www.Chiro-Voice.org and www.AdjustTheVote.org. The College got the word out through letters, e-mails and Palmer publications.

At the student level, the letter-writing campaign has been promoted by the Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA) and Student International Chiropractors Association (SICA) chapters on Palmer’s campuses. On the Davenport Campus, SICA has sponsored a contest for the best letter submitted to President Obama, with prizes for the top three letters.

Dr. Goertz and Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations Darren Garrett also set up meetings with U.S. legislators from Iowa. Dr. Goertz, Interim Chancellor William Wilke and Mr. Garrett met with Congressman Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) in August, and Dr. Goertz had a conference call with Jenelle Krishnamoorthy, Ph.D., the lead health adviser for Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), in September. On Oct. 6, she spoke by phone with Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa).

Palmer College also supports the work of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress as they educate elected officials and the American public through national media outlets about the effectiveness, and affordability, of chiropractic care for a number of costly, debilitating conditions.

All of these efforts, along with those of alumni across the nation and their patients, should serve to remind our elected officials of the importance of chiropractic in providing effective, quality and affordable healthcare for Americans. With the reform efforts still evolving in Congress at press time, all eyes are on Washington, D.C., as legislators consider healthcare reform that will affect the lives and livelihoods of every American citizen.

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