a message from Dr. Burt

Palmer alumni are leading the charge to advance chiropractic worldwide

Dr. Burt

Before I sat down to write this column, I consulted with WFC Secretary- General David Chapman- Smith, who was interviewed for our cover story. I shortly discovered just how involved our alumni are in the advancement of chiropractic around the world. It seems no matter where you turn there's a Palmer graduate leading the charge or doing the heavy lifting.

There are world-renowned researchers such as Dr. Scott Haldeman, Davenport '64; Dr. Jan Hartvigsen, Davenport '89, from Denmark; and Dr. Eduardo Bracher, West '95, from Brazil. In the sports world you'll find folks like Dr. Saul Luengas, West '94, in Mexico; Dr. Roland Noirat, West '90, in Switzerland; and Dr. Alex Steinbrenner, Davenport '02, in Germany. Then there are those graduates who are professional leaders like Dr. Oystein Ogre, Davenport '80, president of the European Chiropractors' Union; Dr. Reg Engelbrecht, Davenport '63, CEO of the South African Association; and Dr. Laurie Tassell, Davenport '85, president of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia.

Other alumni who are regional leaders include Dr. Stathis Papadopoulos, who was interviewed for our cover story and is the long-term leader in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region; Dr. Sira Borges, Davenport '90, of Brazil, who's known as "the godmother of chiropractic” in Latin America for her work developing the profession there; Dr. Richard Visser, West '93, the minister of health in Aruba; and the WFC's current president, Dr. Dennis Richards of Australia, who examines chiropractic in his country for our cover story. This is an impressive, though incomplete, list of Palmer graduates who are making a difference in chiropractic on the international front.

The College started the process of reconnecting with its international alumni in October 2009 when I attended the Australian national convention in Canberra, which included a special Palmer alumni reunion celebration. I spent 10 days traveling around southeast Australia, meeting with a number of alumni and making important contacts and friends. Then in 2011, I traveled to Brazil to attend the World Federation of Chiropractic conference in Rio de Janeiro. During that meeting I was reminded again of the importance our alumni place on the College and its presence at these events.

This year I had the opportunity to attend the WFC conference in Durban, South Africa. The primary question I asked everyone I came in contact with was, "How could we do a better job of staying connected with you, and how could we better support you in your endeavors to move chiropractic forward?" In almost every case the answer to both questions was the same: "Share our good work with the world. Let people know what we're doing in our part of the world."

We're responding to this message from our international alumni by making a special effort to travel to international events to help stay connected to our alumni, and we plan to have a section in each issue of Insights that focuses on the good work our international alumni are doing.

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