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Former Navy SEAL wows the Homecoming crowd

8/14/2013 (Archived)

Photo gallery  

A former Navy SEAL wowed the crowd, an Olympic chiropractor went for the gold, and Palmer College formed a tribe at Palmer’s Davenport Campus Homecoming 2013 Aug. 8-10.

More than 1,200 alumni, guests, faculty, staff and current students, plus 104 prospective students, gathered for three days of continuing education from the best minds in chiropractic, plus fun, food and networking during the annual event.

Dr. Howard WasdinNavy SEAL turned chiropractor 

Former Navy SEAL turned chiropractor Howard Wasdin, D.C., inspired the crowd with his stories of being a Navy SEAL and member of the elite SEAL Team Six, and how those experiences led him to his current way of life as a chiropractor.

First, he set the stage by defining what it means to win. “You have to know when you’re winning,” he said. “What is winning? It’s not seeing eight percent of the population, as chiropractors currently do, I can tell you that. To win, sometimes you need to do what you know is right in your heart. We made the streets safe in Somalia and made sure the people were able to get food. That was winning. But we didn’t finish the job in Somalia. We need to finish the job as chiropractors and make sure we see much more than eight percent of the population.”

As chiropractors, he added, “we haven’t done a good job of educating the public. But first, we need to decide what chiropractic is. There’s so much misinformation out there.” He commended Palmer for its work on an identity statement for chiropractors and supporting documents. “We need to lead from the middle,” he added. “The best teams improve their tactics. We need to agree on educating the public. If we don’t, we’ll still be seeing eight percent of the population.”

In the end, Dr. Wasdin reminded attendees that they are very lucky to be living in America with the opportunity to change people’s lives through chiropractic. “Chiropractic saved my life, not just my quality of life but my life,” he added. “That’s why I’m a chiropractor. This is a special gift and we’re squandering it. We need to stop squabbling and finish the job.”

The 'Palmer tribe'  

Palmer Chancellor Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D., talked about the importance of connecting with your “Palmer tribe” and ways of reconnecting with Palmer that will benefit you and your practice as well as Palmer and the profession.

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Outlook Handbook predicts 28% growth in chiropractic from 2010 to 2020, and that’s because of our vitalistic, conservative approach to health care and how it resonates with patients,” Dr. Marchiori said. “Palmer is the choice—the first, best and only—for training chiropractors. We are the trusted leader, and your referral of a prospective student to one of our campuses is the highest compliment you can pay us. Thank you for those referrals and keep them coming.” Dr. Dennis Marchiori - Homecoming 2013 

Referring students and coming to Homecoming are great ways to strengthen the Palmer tribe, Dr. Marchiori said. “There’s a philosophy, a science and an art that happens in our program that doesn’t happen in other programs,” he added. “It’s built on the rock of our community. The Palmer tribe has some fantastic outcomes. If we strengthen the tribe, we strengthen the outcomes.” 

Caring for Olympic athletes 

William Moreau, D.C., DACBSP®, is the managing director of sports medicine for the United States Olympic Committee, where he leads the team of health professionals caring for our Olympic athletes. 

“The U.S. is the only country in the world that has a chiropractor at the head of its Olympic medical team,” Dr. Moreau said. “It’s because it’s athlete-driven.”

At the Barcelona Olympic Games, he added, there were four chiropractors caring for U.S. athletes, and in London there were 10. “The athletes are demanding chiropractic,” he said. “Currently there are full-time D.C.s at each of the three Olympic Training Center sports medicine clinics in the U.S., with no signs of that stopping. It’s because the athletes want chiropractic and because we’re darned good doctors.”

Dr. Moreau added that “there is a reawakening now and attention to taking care of people with your hands. It’s recognized as effective, especially by athletes. Who should be doing it? Chiropractors have cultural ownership of it. We can perform a sophisticated analysis of the patients who present to us. There’s no doubt about it, but we can change people’s lives with chiropractic care. We’re on the cusp of greatness. People know we help them—whether it’s an elite athlete or the person who just walks in our door.”

Alumni Luncheon welcomes five new Fellows 

This year’s Alumni Luncheon, hosted by Executive Director for Alumni Mickey Burt, D.C., featured the induction of five new Fellows in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic, plus speeches from Board of Trustees member Michael Chance, D.C., and Palmer Student Alumni Foundation (PSAF) President Kristina Bemis.

Kristina Bemis spoke about the efforts of PSAF members to ensure spizz and philosophy are alive and well on the Palmer campuses, as well as serve as important liaisons between the student body and the alumni. “We have Spizz Night the first Friday of every trimester,” she said. “We’re looking for speakers who will challenge the students and challenge our way of thinking about chiropractic and why we’re here. Chiropractic is an awesome profession. I challenge you to mentor students and help us become the best chiropractors we can be.”

New Palmer Fellows - Homecoming 2013Dr. Michael Chance reminded the audience that chiropractic needs torch bearers to be successful. “All of us should be carrying a torch for chiropractic,” he said. “That torch can be carried in many different ways. Dr. Marchiori is a great leader and is making sure this college is graduating the best chiropractors in the world. Our Board Chairman Dr. Trevor Ireland isn’t afraid to make the tough decisions. We have people outside our profession carrying the torch, such as Standard Process, which had the vision to donate $1.5 million to our Florida Campus to build our new Standard Process Student Center. My son and daughter-in-law have been in practice for 10 years and are making chiropractic work. We need to take the torch from Davenport, where it all started, to our homes and practices everywhere.”

He gave some tips on how to carry the torch for chiropractic:

  1. Ensure our future. Talk to people and prospective students about chiropractic and specifically Palmer College.
  2. Mentor the students. Offer preceptorships in your practices.
  3. Join your professional association and local societies.
  4. Get involved in politics. Support those who support us.
  5. Find a way for your unique abilities and interests to support chiropractic, such as sponsoring a baseball team or a charity golf outing in your community.

A highlight of the Alumni Luncheon was the induction of five new Fellows in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic. They were:

  • Kevin Cunningham, D.C., Ph.D., Palmer’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
  • Glenda Foy, D.C., Aledo, Ill.
  • Thomas Souza, D.C., DACBSP®, Dean of Academic Affairs, Palmer’s West Campus
  • Paul VanDuyne, D.C., President of KJWW Engineering, Rock Island, Ill., and Palmer Board of Trustees member
  • Wayne Wolfson, D.C., Orlando, Fla.

Photo 1: Dr. Howard Wasdin, former Navy SEAL turned chiropractor. 

Photo 2: Dr. Dennis Marchiori, Palmer Chancellor, during the opening session. 

Photo 3: Recent inductees to the Fellows in the Palmer Academy of Chiropractic: (from left) Dr. Kevin Cunningham, Dr. Glenda Foy, Dr. Thomas Souza, Dr. Paul VanDuyne and Dr. Wayne Wolfson.