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Palmer Legacy Families

Palmer Legacy Families

Palmer chiropractic keeps families together.
Winter 2018

cover story

Four generations of Chance chiropractors

Dr. Michael Chance at the Chance Family Bookstore on the Florida campus.
Dr. Michael Chance standing in front of the store window, with shelves and people in background

It all started because of incurable migraine headaches. Hugh ‘Chet’ Chance was an electrical engineer in Winfield, Kan., where he lived with his wife, Edna Mary Johnson Chance, and their three children, Hugh, Dean and Vern. Chet developed severe migraines that prevented him from working. Edna Mary’s cousins, who were chiropractors, encouraged him to try chiropractic. When chiropractic relieved his headache pain, Chet was so impressed he moved his family to Davenport, Iowa, where he and Edna Mary both started school, graduating in 1924.

At the time, researchers at Palmer were developing the first thermography instrument, called the Neurocalometer (NCM). With his background in electrical engineering, Dr. Chet Chance was hired by Palmer College (then the Palmer School of Chiropractic) to be part of the three-person team working on the NCM. He also taught neurology and eventually became director of the student clinic. The rest is four generations of Chance chiropractic history.

Chiropractors were jailed for practicing chiropractic then. Dean Chance, D.C., son of Drs. Chet and Edna Mary, graduated as valedictorian in 1935 and moved to New York to set up practice. Constantly threatened with arrest and jail for practicing medicine without a license in N.Y., Dr. Dean Chance moved to Florida, where the laws were more favorable.

He set out to change the laws that restricted chiropractic practice. As a founding member and Florida’s delegate to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), Dr. Dean Chance became chairman of the ACA’s Insurance and Government Relations Committee. This committee changed the law, ensuring chiropractic was covered by insurance. Three of Dr. Dean Chance’s sons, Steve, Mike and Chris, and three grandsons, Mark, Dean and Justin, followed in his footsteps to become chiropractors.

“The generations of Chance chiropractors before me had significant obstacles, including threats of jail, for doing what we do every day,” says Michael Chance, D.C., F.P.A.C., Davenport ’78, who’s a member of the Palmer College of Chiropractic Board of Trustees. “We can’t let decreased insurance reimbursements, fear of Medicare audits or any other negative that others throw in our way, keep us from our true mission: Healing the world, one patient at a time.”

Chance Family D.C.s
Hugh ‘Chet’ Chance, D.C., F.P.A.C.
Palmer College, 1924
Edna Mary Chance, D.C.
Palmer College, 1924
M. Dean Chance, D.C., F.P.A.C.
Palmer College, 1935
Vern Chance, D.C.
Palmer College, 1952
Mary Ann Chance, D.C., F.P.A.C.
Palmer College, 1959
Steven Chance, D.C.
Palmer College, 1971
Michael D. Chance, D.C., F.P.A.C.
Palmer College, 1978
Chris Chance, D.C.
Palmer College, 1981
Mark Chance, D.C.
Palmer College, 1992
Kristin Shiver Chance, D.C.
Palmer College, 2003
Dean F. Chance, D.C.
Palmer College, 2004
Justin F. Chance, D.C.
Florida Campus, 2012
Hayden Chance
(current student)

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