Last week’s PRNews Top Women in Healthcare Award in the Directors Category was not only validation of Sherry McAllister’s work in chiropractic, but the industry’s giant leap forward over the last few years in combating the U.S. opioid epidemic and receiving increased U.S. government backing.
McAllister, the executive vice president of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) in addition to her practice as a chiropractor, was the recipient of the award last week at the PRNews Top Women in Healthcare Awards Luncheon at The Yale Club in New York City.
“The greatest honor was being nominated for our public relations campaigns and notable membership growth,” said McAllister, who two years ago started spearheading campaigns to shine a spotlight on the danger of opioids and the benefits of non-drug treatments for chronic pain.
“I did not think we would have a chance to actually take home the award as the women communicators in this category are exceptional. Imagine being nominated in a category with leaders from McKesson, a major pharmaceutical company that generates upwards of $204 billion dollars in revenue annually. How can you compete? Do the right thing with the right resources and have the right members to help spread your messaging.”
The finalists included women from CareMount Medical, imre health, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, Surgical Directions, the American Dental Association, McKesson, AveXis and WEX Health.
Part of McAllister’s recognition was bringing together the chiropractic industry by raising F4CP membership from 8,000 to more than 24,000.
“The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is making a difference because our 24,000-plus members are active and engaged,” she says. “We would not have been nominated for our national campaigns if we did not have the doctors on the ground-level, reaching out to their communities and sharing our resources.”
White papers produced and shared by F4CP have included “Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy Than Opioids,” “Chiropractic: A Key to America’s Opioid Exit Strategy,” and recently, “As the Opioid Epidemic Rages On, Chiropractic is Recognized as Safer Option for Pain.”
“We are joining together as a profession from the top-down and the bottom-up to take on a very serious public health problem in the opioid crisis,” she says. “Through our materials we are able to showcase our finest gift — drug-free care that is safe and effective. That is why we can achieve greatness, because we united and now we are prospering.”
F4CP’s goal is to build public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care, and efforts such as the currently-proposed Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3654) introduced by the American Chiropractic Association. The bill would enable seniors to have access to all Medicare-covered benefits allowable under a chiropractor’s state licensure. To learn more or support the bill go to www.HR3654.org.
“The opioid crisis is tragic and we must continue to pursue prevention and intervention in our messaging as a profession,” McAllister says. “Educating other health care providers, employers, legislators and our consumers remain top priorities.”
She credits the F4CP board of directors and staff for the great strides made over the last two years, and a motivational quote by F4CP Board Chairman and F4CP founder Kent Greenawalt.
“As we strategize how we can make an even greater impact — Kent likes to remind the board of directors, ‘The best of us is ahead of us,'” McAllister says.
With the chiropractic industry experiencing unprecedented success in patient growth and acceptance from the U.S government, the medical community and third-party payers, that success is difficult to argue against.