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WFC’s Montreal Congress Ranked a Huge Success by All

May 2009
“This was the most amazing chiropractic meeting I have ever attended, and it gave me much renewed confidence in the future of our profession”, said Dr. Brent McNabb of Madison, Wisconsin at the close of the World Federation of Chiropractic’s 10th Biennial Congress in Montreal, Quebec, Canada April 30 – May 2, hosted by the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

Over 1,000 doctors of chiropractic and students from 38 countries were present for this celebration of chiropractic which began with an inspirational address from Canada’s 2008 Athlete of the Year Chantal Petitclerc. Petitclerc, paraplegic and wheelchair-bound since a spinal cord injury at age 13, broke 2 world records when winning 5 track gold medals at the Beijing Paralympics.

She spoke of her career, how to adjust and achieve your goals whatever may happen in life, the important role of chiropractic in her life as an elite athlete, showed the video of her narrow victory over two Chinese competitors in the 100 metres, and drew tears and laughter and a standing ovation from an audience in awe of her character and achievements.

Increased integration of chiropractic services within mainstream health care around the world, as in Petitclerc’s sports medicine team, was one theme of the Congress. In the opening session examples were given by speakers from the US (Dr. Scott Haldeman, and Dr. Andrew Dunn from the West Buffalo Veterans Administration Medical Center), Canada (Dr. Silvano Mior and Dr. Deborah Kopansky Giles on inclusion of DCs in primary care teams and hospitals), and Denmark (Dr. Charlotte Leboeuf Yde, University of Southern Denmark).

Dr. Jack Taunton and Dr. Robert Armitage, Chief Medical Officer and Co-ordinator, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, spoke of the team of approximately 40 DCs that will be part of the core healthcare team for the Games. In a keynote address Dr. David Eisenberg of Harvard described integration of chiropractic within the Harvard University hospital system, and reported his new research there – not yet published – showing far superior results with chronic back pain patients when chiropractic and other complementary services are integrated with best medical care.

The lecture hall had standing room only for many as 15 minute overviews of their work were given by 8 Canadian chiropractic researchers holding PhDs and research chairs at major universities across Canada. One, Dr. David Cassidy, described the work of 10 chiropractic researchers and PhD students at his center at the University of Toronto. Speaking the next day Eisenberg, accustomed to the standards of Harvard, explained how “extremely impressed” he was with the intellectual standards and work of the research being presented at the Congress.

Canada now has the greatest depth of university-based researchers and research of any country, and this is the result of an ongoing long-term plan by the Canadian Chiropractic Association to establish respect, cultural authority and a secure future for the profession.

The Congress original research competition attracted 155 submissions and was sponsored by NCMIC Insurance. First prize ($10,000, the Scott Haldeman Award) went to Drs Shawn He and Veronica Dishman of Palmer Florida for a basic science paper entitled Motor Neuronal Degeneration Following Knee Joint Immobilization in the Guinea Pig: An Animal Model of Vertebral Subluxation Complex.

At the Saturday Gala Banquet and Dance on May 2, which featured Cirque Eloise acts and a premier band from the host province of Quebec, Dr. David Cassidy of Canada and Dr. Arlan Fuhr of the USA received honor awards for outstanding services to the chiropractic profession internationally. There was a standing ovation for the oldest chiropractor present – Dr. Del Hushley of Montreal, a 1948 Palmer graduate who was celebrating his 94th birthday.

Many events associated with the Congress included meetings of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, CCE International, the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS) and representatives of licensing boards worldwide. One special event was a dinner to roast and toast the sports chiropractic leader Dr. Tom Hyde of Miami on the occasion of his retirement from international sports administration.

As in Portugal in 2007 at the last WFC Congress, Sister Brigitte Yengo DC, MD of the Congo was present and the Congress was used as a venue to raise funds to support her orphanage. In a raffle sponsored by Activator Methods over $5,300-00 was raised.

At the WFC Assembly of Members, held just prior to the main conference, national associations from Indonesia, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates were admitted to WFC membership. This means that the WFC now comprises and represents national associations in 92 countries.

Other highlights of the Assembly included an address by Dr. Molly Robinson, a former student leader in the American Chiropractic Association and the World Congress of Chiropractic Students. Under a contract between the World Health Organization and the WFC Dr. Robinson has this year become the first DC ever employed by WHO and is working as a technical officer at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The location of the WFC’s next Congress, announced in the closing session accompanied by drummers and samba dancers, is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dates are April 7-9, 2011.

’This Montreal Congress worked on every level”, said Dr. Susan Gillis-Lawson of Toronto, commenting on the strong technique, philosophy and scientific presentations, the social program, the venue, the large attendance, and the atmosphere of quality, unity and success.

“It is possible at times to be discouraged about current challenges facing the profession in Canada and elsewhere but this Congress, the best chiropractic meeting I have ever attended, has completely restored my enthusiasm and optimism for the chiropractic profession and its future.”

For more on the Congress, including photos available for downloading, visit www.wfc.org.

Chantal Petitclerc2
Chantal Petitclerc

Dr. David Eisenberg
Dr. David Eisenberg

Dr Stathis Papadopoulos WFC President opens the Congress
Dr Stathis Papadopoulos, WFC President,
opens the Congress

Sister Yengo
Sister Yengo

First prize award to Dr. He by Dr. Scott Haldeman and Dr. Lou Sportelli
First prize award to Dr. He by Dr. Scott
Haldeman and Dr. Lou Sportelli

Dr. Arlan Fuhr accepts Honour Award
Dr. Arlan Fuhr accepts Honour Award

Dr. Gerard Clum accepts Past Presidents Award
Dr. Gerard Clum accepts Past Presidents Award

Full House
Full House

Dr Mike Leahys ART workshop
Dr Mike Leahy’s ART workshop

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