June 8, 2015 — The 13th Biennial Congress of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) was held jointly with the 2015 Annual Convention of the European Chiropractors Union (ECU) at the Athens Hilton Hotel in Greece from May 10 to 16. It was hosted by the Hellenic Chiropractors’ Association, attracted over 900 delegates from 50 countries, and was the largest chiropractic conference ever held in Europe.
The meeting brought the chiropractic profession home to its Greek roots—the language that gave DD Palmer the word chiropractic, and the country that championed spinal manipulation and natural healthcare in the classical era.
“This was my first WFC Congress,” said Anthony Hamm, DC, president of the American Chiropractic Association. “And everything about it was outstanding, highly motivating, and beyond my expectations. This included the quality of the academic and social programs, the exposure to colleagues from throughout the world, and the overall optimism and enthusiasm for chiropractic and its future.”
The Congress began with a two-day WFC Assembly, which featured country reports from all world regions and a keynote John A. Sweaney lecture from Vivian Kil, DC, an impressive young leader from the Netherlands who endorsed and expanded upon the vision of primary spine care excellence given earlier this year by Scott Haldeman, DC, in his McAndrews Lecture in the USA.
The four well-received speakers for the discussion forum, this year featuring the role of traditional chiropractic language in practice today, were Philip McMaster, DC, president of New Zealand College of Chiropractic; Mark Gurden, DC, of the UK; Amy Bowzaylo, DC, of Bahrain; and Carol Mwendwa, DC, of Kenya. Mwendwa challenged the profession and the WFC to produce agreed definitions of core chiropractic terms such adjustment and subluxation.
New national associations accepted into WFC membership are from Bahrain, Estonia, Malaysia, Malta, and Sri Lanka, meaning that the WFC now has member associations from 88 countries. The theme of the three-day main Congress program, expressed through a rich array of lectures, panel discussions, and workshops, was “The Alpha and Omega of Spinal Healthcare.”
The first session, opened by the mayor of Athens and 20 minutes of live Greek song, music, and dancing, featured superb lectures from Jan Hartvigsen, DC, of Denmark, Greg Kawchuk, DC, of Canada, and Scott Haldeman, DC, and Christine Goertz, DC, of the USA. There was superior sound, elegant décor, a packed auditorium full to the last seat, and all present will long remember the occasion.
From 237 submissions of original research received, 40 were chosen for oral platform presentation and 120 were presented as posters. The profession’s premier research prize, the Scott Haldeman Award, first prize in the NCMIC Sportelli Research Awards, was given to Canadian researchers Julianne Baarbé, Michael Holmes, Heather Murphy, Heidi Haavik, and Bernadette Murphy, for their paper titled Neck Pain Participants Show Impaired Ability to Perform a Mental Rotation Task in a Four Week Longitudinal Study as compared to Healthy Controls.
At the Saturday Gala Banquet, WFC Honor Awards for outstanding contributions to the international advance of the chiropractic profession were given to Gerard Clum, DC, of the USA, former president of Life Chiropractic College West and the WFC, and to Charlotte Lebouef-Yde, DC, of Denmark, one of the profession’s leading and most prolific researchers for the past 30 years.
Others honored included David Chapman-Smith who retires as WFC secretary-general after 26 years on June 30, and Richard Brown, DC, who is to be the new secretary-general. Brown received the ECU’s Jean Robert Honor Award. The WFC’s Honor Awards are now named the David Chapman-Smith Honor Awards.
“The WFC’s Athens Congress, the 13th one administered for the WFC by David Chapman-Smith, featured excellence throughout and was a fitting tribute to him,” said WFC president Greg Stewart, DC. “Thanks for this are of course due to him, but also to many others including the two program directors Greg Kawchuk, DC, chair, WFC Research Council and Gitte Tonner, DC, ECU academic coordinator; to ECU and HCA members of the planning committee; and to our Congress platinum sponsors Activator Methods and Foot Levelers.”
Source: World Federation of Chiropractic