October 13, 2010 — The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) mourns the loss of past ACA President Michael Pedigo, DC, who passed away on Sunday morning following a battle with cancer.
A tireless champion for unity within the chiropractic profession, Pedigo served as president of the ACA, the California Chiropractic Association (CCA) and the International Chiropractors Association (ICA). To this day, he is the only doctor to receive the Chiropractor of the Year Award from both ACA and ICA.
However, within the profession, Pedigo is probably best known as one of the lead plaintiffs in Wilk, et al. v. AMA, et al., the federal antitrust lawsuit that exposed and —after a 14-year legal battle — defeated the American Medical Association’s (AMA) effort to “first contain and then to eliminate the profession of chiropractic” in the United States.
Voices from across the profession have chimed in to remember the life and legacy of Pedigo:
“We all mourn the loss of our great friend. Dr. Pedigo was a true servant-leader and a chiropractic warrior,” said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. “He served as president of ACA and ICA with attention to bringing the profession together in service to our patients. As a plaintiff in the Wilk v. AMA suit, Dr. Pedigo stood up for the profession against powerful adversaries and stayed the course until the case was won. His courage and passion lifted us to new levels as a profession. The positive effects of his life will impact us for generations to come.”
George McAndrews, Esq., attorney for the doctors of chiropractic in the Wilk case and a long-time friend of Pedigo, said, “He gave unstintingly of his time, his knowledge and his personal worth, at heavy sacrifice to himself and his family, to guarantee that the truth would be told and justice would prevail in combating the AMA’s nefarious, nation-wide effort against the profession, but Mike did not stop there. He dedicated his life to trying to advance the profession, its practitioners, its patients, its schools and its organizations.”
Rebecca Downing, CCA’s executive director at the time of Pedigo’s presidency, recalled that, “I respected Mike for his personal integrity. I never knew him to make a decision based on expedience, or to try to take the easy way out of a situation. Mike’s personal value system didn’t really permit shortcuts or half-truths.”
“Dr. Pedigo served for many years on the Council of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) and was a personal mentor to many,” said WFC President J. Michael Flynn, DC. “The international professional community mourns his loss and will be forever grateful for the positive difference he made for doctors of chiropractic and chiropractic patients globally.”
However, in a style befitting a great leader, perhaps the best example of Pedigo’s passion for chiropractic care can be found in his own words. In 1995, the year of the chiropractic centennial, he assumed office as president of CCA. His message on the election ballot read as follows:
“To serve as president of CCA during the centennial year will be a great honor. The chiropractic centennial marks an historic landmark for the chiropractic profession and the power of never giving up and never quitting. Our profession has survived incredible adversarial attacks. It has grown because we had a service the public wanted and needed and because doctors of chiropractic refused to quit serving the public no matter what! I salute all of those that made it possible for us to celebrate the profession’s first centennial! We will continue serving and fighting for our patients’ and our profession’s rights NO MATTER WHAT!”
A memorial for Pedigo is scheduled for Saturday Oct. 16, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. The service will be held at:
Roseville Church of Christ
1799 Cirby Way Roseville, CA
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Pedigo can be made to fund chiropractic research; an effort he supported his whole chiropractic career.
Please send donations to:
Mail Stop A3E14001
Clive, IA 50325
Our thoughts are with Pedigo’s family members during this difficult time.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, www.acatoday.org