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WFC Athens Congress – A Huge Success! June 2015

June 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 10-16. 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 Dr Anthony Hamm, 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 2-day WFC Assembly which featured country reports from all world regions and a keynote John A. Sweaney Lecture from Dr Vivian Kil, an impressive young leader from the Netherlands who endorsed and expanded upon the vision of primary spine care excellence given earlier this year by Dr Scott Haldeman in his McAndrews Lecture in the USA.

The four well-received speakers for the discussion forum, this year on the role of traditional chiropractic language in practice today, were Dr Philip McMaster, President, New Zealand College of  Chiropractic, Dr Mark Gurden of the UK, Dr Amy Bowzaylo of Bahrain and Dr Carol Mwendwa of Kenya.  Dr Mwendwa challenged the profession and the WFC to produce agreed definitions of core chiropractic terms such as adjustment and subluxation.

    Vivian Kil web                      Forum speakers
Dr Vivian Kil delivers the John A Sweaney Lecture             Forum speakers (from right) Dr Carol Mwendwa, Dr Phil McMaster,
                                                                                                                         Dr Mark Gurden and Dr Amy Bowzaylo

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 3-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 Dr Jan Hartvigsen of Denmark, Dr Greg Kawchuk of Canada, and Dr Scott Haldeman and Dr Christine Goertz 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.

     Stewart with Estonia members                              Christine Goertz web
WFC President Dr Greg Stewart (left) with Dr Gerly Truuvaart                                    Dr Christine Goertz speaks in Session 1
and Dr Martin Heinmets of the Estonian Chiropractors’ Association.

From 237 submissions of original research received, 40 were chosen for oral/platform presentation and 120 were presented as posters.  The profession’s premiere research prize, the Scott Haldeman Award, first prize in the NCMIC Sportelli Research Awards, was won by 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.

                                                       Bernadette Murphy prize web 
Dr Bernadette Murphy receives the Scott Haldeman Award from Dr Greg Kawchuk, Chair, Judging Panel (left), Dr Haldeman, and
Dr Claire Johnson of awards sponsor NCMIC.   

At the Saturday Gala Banquet WFC Honor Awards for outstanding contributions to the international advance of the chiropractic profession were given to Dr Gerard Clum of the USA, former President of Life West Chiropractic College and the WFC, and to Dr Charlotte Lebouef-Yde of Denmark, one of the profession’s leading and most prolific researchers for the past 30 years.

Clum award        Yde award
 Dr Gerard Clum and Dr Charlotte Lebouef-Yde receive WFC Honor Awards, from Dr Mike Flynn and Dr Scott Haldeman.

Others honored included David Chapman-Smith who retires as WFC Secretary-General after 26 years on June 30, and Dr Richard Brown who is to be the new Secretary-General.  Dr Brown received the ECU’s Jean Robert Honor Award.  The WFC’s Honor Awards are now named the David Chapman-Smith Honor Awards.

                                                Vas  DACS     
David Chapman-Smith receives a gold-plated Olympian wreath from Dr Vasileios Gkolfinopoulos, President, Hellenic Chiropractors’ Association.

“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”, says WFC President Dr Greg Stewart.

“Thanks for this are of course due to him, but also to many others including the two Program Directors, Dr Greg Kawchuk, Chair, WFC Research Council and Dr Gitte Tonner, ECU Academic Coordinator, to ECU and HCA members of the Planning Committee, and to our Congress Platinum Sponsors Activator Methods and Foot Levelers.”

Visit the photo gallery at www.wfc.org for photos of the Congress.

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