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Caring for Heroes

Caring for Heroes

Palmer Graduates Answer Call to Serve
Spring 2019

Cover Story

CARING FOR HEROES: Palmer Alumni Answer the Call to Serve

Ryan Rubin, D.C. on-site to provide chiropractic care amid the wildfires in California.
Ryan Rubin, D.C. adjusting a fire-fighter on a table

Palmer College of Chiropractic graduates Tammi Clark, D.C. (West, ’94) and Ryan Rubin, D.C. (West, ’16) have a unique shared experience: they provided on-site relief to firefighters battling wildfires in northern and southern California last fall.

After seeing a Facebook post from a fellow alumnus about chiropractors offering volunteer-care to firefighters, Dr. Clark reached out to learn how she could assist. From there, she made the three-hour trek from San Jose to the wildfires – a part of the state she had never visited.

“I immediately saw a group of Palmer alumni, and it became this spontaneous demonstration of compassion pulled together by people willing to say ‘yes’,” said Dr. Clark.

Dr. Clark, a West campus faculty-member since 1998 who also maintains a private practice in San Jose, is no stranger to clinical outreach. For the past seven years she has provided care for inmates at San Quentin State Prison, as well as for individuals living in poverty-plagued regions of Tijuana, Mexico, and other international sites.

Dr. Clark is a proud donor to Palmer College and is part of the Palmer Annual Giving Society.

Ryan Rubin, D.C. (second from right), with firefighters at the base camp of the Southern California wild fires.
Dr. Rubin standing with firefighters

Dr. Rubin grew up in southern California and maintains a practice there. When his practice was forced to close for several days due to the wildfires, he couldn’t just sit around and watch. He, along with other chiropractors in the area (including several fellow Palmer West alumni), made their way to the basecamp to provide chiropractic care.

“We set up our tables by the food area, and as firefighters came off their shifts, they could get food and an adjustment,” said Dr. Rubin. “Many of them had been on 72-hour shifts, and they were so grateful for the care.”

Rubin estimated he and his colleagues treated 50-80 people a day during their four-hour shifts, noting that some firefighters drove from as far away as Texas, Wyoming and Utah, as well as other parts of California to volunteer for shifts.

“Any time there’s a situation like this, people in our profession have the unique ability to go out and help in a way very few others do. It was pretty amazing to be able to provide care to individuals who were working around the clock to keep other people safe. That’s something special about being a chiropractor,” said Dr. Rubin.

In addition to Dr. Clark (fourth from right), other Palmer West alumni who volunteered their services to care for firefighters battling Northern California’s firestorms last fall included: Brant Pedersen, D.C., CCSP® (’04, second from left); Andrew Cohen, D.C., CCSP® (’04, behind Dr. Pedersen); Ryan Deubel, D.C. (’08, to Dr. Pedersen’s left); and Nancy Chu, D.C. (’18, third from right).
volunteer chiropractors standing in front of fire engine

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