Dr. Slota and Dr. Kyle Prusso on the sidelines of a Lions’ game.
Last year Dr. Slota earned the distinction of becoming the first woman appointed as the full-time chiropractor for a professional football team, the Detroit Lions.
A lifelong chiropractic patient, Dr. Slota, who maintains a multi-office practice in Michigan, earned her appointment after she was invited to adjust players during a spring workout camp last year. In addition to assessing her clinical skills, another aspect of Dr. Slota’s spring-camp assignment was to determine if she would be a good fit for the training room, and to see how the players responded to a woman in the role as team chiropractor.
When the camp concluded, the Lions’ head trainer informed Dr. Slota that the players had submitted a list of four requests they wanted the organization to approve heading into the regular season—and keeping Dr. Slota as the team’s official chiropractor was one of them.
“That was very special,” says Dr. Slota, reflecting on the vote of confidence she received from the Lions’ players, which led to her selection as the team’s fulltime chiropractor. This makes Dr. Slota the first female member of the Professional Football Chiropractic Society (PFCS), which includes each of the 32 professional football team chiropractors (one-third of whom are Palmer graduates), established in 2001.
Dr. Slota’s appointment as the Lions’ team chiropractor is the latest example of professional football’s integrative approach to player care. It also speaks to the number of women drawn to the growing field of sports chiropractic.
During her debut season as team chiropractor for the Lions, Dr. Slota’s already-busy practice schedule expanded to include two mornings a week caring for players at the Lions’ training facility, two to three nights a week of player care at her office, plus three hours in the locker room before kickoff on game days.
“Dr. Slota’s appointment is a great accomplishment and a triumph for our profession,” says Kyle Prusso, D.C., PFCS president, team chiropractor for the Oakland Raiders and director of clinics at Palmer’s San Jose campus.
The Detroit Lions organization is undergoing a topto- bottom restructuring, which will determine whether or not Dr. Slota is retained as the team’s chiropractor for the 2016 season.
Regardless of what the future may bring, Dr. Slota enjoyed the challenges of working as part of a multidisciplinary team and lessons learned during her “rookie season,” and is proud of her pioneering appointment. “It’s such an incredible honor to be considered a trailblazer,” she says.