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WFC/ACC Education Conference. Miami, Florida, October 29 - November 1, 2014

November 2014 WFC ACC logo

Top Policy Advisers at WFC ACC Conference

Brian McAulay 
ACC President Dr Brian McAulay
opens the conference

Delegates at a high-powered conference held in Miami October 29 – November 1 on the opportunities for chiropractic in changing healthcare systems in the USA and internationally, heard that chiropractic was well-positioned for substantial growth.

This would depend, delegates were told by experts, upon whether doctors of chiropractic could deliver superior patient results and satisfaction at a competitive cost in the prevention and management of common neuromusculoskeletal disorders.  Increasingly, health systems are requiring and rewarding delivery of value, rather than paying attention to the professional designation of the provider.  This provides new opportunity for chiropractors.

The theme of the conference, held by the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) and Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) and jointly hosted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and International Chiropractors’ Association (ICA), was Chiropractic Education for a Changing Healthcare Environment.


Opening keynote speakers were Steven Lipstein, Vice-Chair of the Board of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the federal advisory body on current healthcare reforms in the US and CEO of BJC Healthcare, a multibillion dollar hospital and healthcare system in the Midwest, and Dr Robert Jesse of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).  Dr Jesse, who also serves on PCORI, oversees the VHA healthcare and education system. Main points from him were that care was not just patient-centered but rather “patient-driven” in the VHA, and that interprofessional education, cooperation and care were now of central importance.

Steven Lipstein

    Steven Lipstein

Robert Jesse         
                Dr Robert Jesse

                        Christine Goertz

Dr Christine Goertz, Vice-Chancellor for Research
and Policies, Palmer College, introduces Mr. Lipstein and Dr Jesse.  

 “It was very encouraging to hear from senior policy experts about the developing opportunities for chiropractors in the VHA and health systems generally, given an increasingly level playing field based on value,” said Dr Brian McAulay, President of Parker University and the ACC.

“This was a terrific program,” said Dr Wayne Wolfson of Florida, who serves on the NCMIC Board, “and it was great to hear the insider views of Mr Lipstein and Dr Jesse on future healthcare and reimbursement.”

The opening session then heard of high levels of integration of chiropractic education and clinical services in current mainstream healthcare in Denmark, Canada and the VHA system.  Speakers, respectively, were Dr Jan Hartivgsen of the University of Southern Denmark, Dr Sil Mior of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, a consultant to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and Dr Anthony Lisi, VHA Director of Chiropractic Services.

Speakers from various other countries, such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, Switzerland and the UK, described the interprofessional, integrative and evidence-based models of chiropractic care that exist in their communities.  Dr Edgar Rivera-Ortiz from Puerto Rico, a recent Parker graduate, spoke of opening his private practice and soon being invited to work in the local hospital, where interprofessional cooperation and ability to use common language have led to permanent chiropractic services welcomed by patients and medical staff.

“Many invited speakers at this conference, such as Dr Ian Paskowski from Beth Israel Hospital in Massachusetts and Dr Carlo Ammendolia from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada, have shown that today’s students must be prepared for interprofessional practice and an expanded world of opportunity for the profession,” said WFC President Dr Greg Stewart who practices in Winnipeg, Canada.

The third day of the conference considered new career options other than clinical practice for chiropractors, and steps educational institutions should take to prepare students for these.  On opportunities in general education, Dr Kathy Dooley of New York explained how she was teaching anatomy at the Albert Einstein Medical School and three other colleges.  

Dr Robert Mootz, Medical Director for Chiropractic, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries spoke of positions in policy, as did Dr Brian Justice, in charge of development of spinal care pathways at Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield in New York, and others.  Dr André Bussieres of McGill University in Montreal, Canada reviewed the extensive openings for chiropractic researchers at Canadian universities.

One of 13 specific consensus statements agreed at the end of the meeting was that “the utilization of patient reported outcome measures (PROMS)”, such as the Bournemouth, Oswestry and Roland Morris disability questionnaires, should be incorporated within chiropractic curricula and practice because they “have an important role to play in a changing health care environment.”  The conference had heard from many speakers that PROMS were important to patients and payers, for measurement of progress and results and to support ongoing care.

AudienceDr Josh Woggon of the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute, in private practice and one of many delegates who have written in praise of the conference and its outstanding line up of speakers, says quite simply – “One of the greatest and most rewarding events I have ever attended.”

For the full consensus statements and more photographs visit Events/Education Conferences at www.wfc.org.

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