In the midst of COVID, the opioid epidemic and economic struggles, chiropractic in the news is DCs stepping up to assist in their local communities
Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services in Oklahoma, which provides public health services to members of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and members of other federally-recognized American Indian tribes and nations, brought on its first chiropractor in August of this year in tribal member Wylie Briggs, DC. “I started to go back to school again [at age 35], didn’t know why I was going to go back to school,” Briggs told Potawatomi.org. “My grandfather, who was a chiropractor, called me up and said, ‘Hey, come talk to me again.’ So, I sat down with him and had a long talk with him and decided this was the thing to do. I’m glad I did. I’m really glad I did. I really enjoy taking care of my patients … I’m hoping that this will open up the eyes of all the other tribes as well, and they’ll start implementing chiropractic clinics there also.”
East Village Chiropractic in New York City hosts a small Ukrainian restaurant, Streecha, in its basement, which serves as a fundraiser for the St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church just up the block. For 40 years the “kitchen” has been staffed by volunteers and makes four comfort-food dishes: varenyky, borscht, holubtsi and kovbasa, and plates cost no more than $8. “We say varenyky, yeah, but in some part of Ukraine they say pierogi,” chef Dmytro Kovalenko told insider.com. “Potato, onion, cheese, butter, salt, black pepper. I guess that’s it. It’s simple, but people say it’s delicious.” Taras John Odulak, DC, has been helping residents in the East Village in a number of ways for more than 20 years, including collecting thousands of pounds of food for the local food bank City Harvest.
Tim Bain, DC, spent 65 days in the NHL’s COVID-19 “isolation bubble” in Canada, while the Tampa Bay Lightning won the 2020 Stanley Cup, before finally being reunited with his family. “I was nervous,” he told Tampa’s Fox13 after a 10th season as the team chiropractor. “I don’t like being away. I like being with my kids and wife. She’s a hockey person; she’s from Minnesota. She said, ‘Of course you’re going.’” For the first time in league history the playoffs were held in two sequestered venues with no fans. Bain is the CEO of B3 Medical in Wesley Chapel, Fla., specializing in body maintenance and pain management.
Bethany Wood, DC, owner of St. Paul’s HealthSource Chiropractic, was named the Minnesota Small Business Association’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year. The 30-year-old Wood was honored for her growing three-year-old chiropractic practice and a history of community service, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune. Wood gives back to her community by donating all new patient exam fees for the last three months of the year to the Salvation Army’s efforts in fighting the opioid epidemic. “If demographers are right, more women and minority entrepreneurs like them will be needed in large numbers to help the country recover from the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” the newspaper noted.
DC Patrick Smith of the Smith Chiropractic Foundation has kept the giving spirit alive for the charity event he directs, despite the 24-year-old Berkeley Heights 5K’s cancellation in New Jersey this year due to COVID-19. His foundation donated $2,500 to the Berkeley Heights YMCA, presenting the check to Summit Area YMCA CEO Paul Kieltyka and Berkeley Heights YMCA Executive Director Tiffany Escott. The 5K event has raised more than $237,000 over its lifetime and assisted more than 30 local and national charitable organizations.
Shawnee, Kan., chiropractor Michelle Robin of Your Wellness Connection in October kicked off a 31-Day Kindness Campaign to address mental health in a year filled with challenges. The campaign is in response to an escalating mental health crisis and is part of her non-profit, “Small Changes, Big Shifts.” “We have this pandemic of COVID, we have Black Lives Matter, we have the political climate and then we have this mental health crisis,” Robin told KSHB. Domestic violence and alcohol and drug abuse have all spiked during COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Kindness gives us more energy, longevity and positivity,” she said. “[And] fewer aches and pains by producing endorphins, our body’s natural pain killers.”
COVID-19 threw chiropractor college admissions into chaos between in-person and virtual teaching and enrollment this fall, but not at the Cleveland University-Kansas City campus in Overland Park, which registered the largest fall enrollment in the College of Chiropractic’s 38 years. The university reported that 103 students began the Doctor of Chiropractic degree program this fall. “Fall enrollment is consistently growing as more college graduates enroll in doctorate programs immediately after receiving their undergraduate degrees in the spring,” said Melissa Denton, director of admissions at the university. “Students are beginning to realize that the Doctor of Chiropractic degree is attractive to those seeking to help others stay healthy. People want to be proactive in maintaining proper health, and chiropractic is an affordable health care option that is essential in achieving that goal.”
In Kenosha, Wis., Kris Peterson, DC, this year again at his residence featured Peterson’s Pumpkin Patch with 150 jack-o’-lanterns. The annual display benefits a different local charity each year. According to the Kenosha News, he draws the designs on the pumpkins while volunteers help him do all the carving. After Halloween the pumpkins are taken to a farm “where the cows and horses love to eat them,” Peterson said. But don’t look for a Christmas display. “We’re so exhausted by the end of this project, all I do is string up a few lights for Christmas,” Peterson said.
Patricia Odette is a DC, the mayor of Woodhaven, Mich., and president of the 3-year-old Animal Resource Funding Foundation, which earlier this year won the blue ribbon in The Detroit News Holiday Cheer for Charity competition. They raised $34,400 for local animal shelters and services in the Detroit area, and were presented with an additional $20,000 for winning the contest. “We’re just going to continue to impact animal welfare here in Metro Detroit like we do every day,” Odette said. “All of it is to make animals’ lives better. Where humans have disappointed them and let them down, we pick up that slack.”
Chiropractor Larry Grogin was 300 feet from the finish line when the Boston Marathon bombs detonated nearby in 2013, killing three and injuring hundreds. Now he is running cross country to raise funds for Oasis Haven for Women and Children in Paterson, N.J., and says a recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease will not stop him. Since witnessing the Boston Marathon bombing he has participated in charity runs, including as part of a group that ran from New Jersey to Boston, raising $250,000 for charity. “My family convinced me to take this in stages,” Grogin, 64, told northjersey.com. “Instead of a 3,000-mile run, we’re going to do 1,020 miles over 34 running days in eight areas of the country … I want to celebrate how our differences unite us in this imperfect but free country of ours. I want America to do what it does really well, take care of each other in time of need.”