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Sean Herrin is an associate professor in the Division of Clinical Education at the University of Western States in the College of Chiropractic. Bart Green is the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Chiropractic Education and an associate editor for the National University of Health Sciences. Claire Johnson is a professor and editor at the National University of Health Sciences.
As today’s doctors of chiropractic gain increasing acceptance by other health care providers and government agencies, practitioners and educators face the challenge of developing ways to better integrate chiropractic practice into health care. Integration is occurring in many areas related to practice and education, such as inclusion in the Veteran’s Health Administration and Military Health System, hospital privileges for doctors, and rotations for chiropractic students. Successful integration requires us to develop better strategies to create working relationships with other types of providers and to define our role in health care, such as the growing needs in primary care and geriatric health. Chiropractic doctors are currently breaking through barriers that were once impossible to overcome for past generations.
The broad and multifaceted topic of integration was the focus for this year’s Association of Chiropractic Colleges Educational Conference and Research Agenda Conference (ACC-RAC), titled Focus on Integration: Chiropractic Education and Practice in Integrative Healthcare. The conference was held March 17–19, 2011 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since the first conference in 1994, the ACC-RAC has developed into what many consider the premier chiropractic research conference in the world. International presenters, educators, and attendees met with their peers, attended informative workshops in the domains of research, integration, clinical practice, and education, and experienced research presentations by leaders in the field.
As is traditionally done at this conference, the 1st day was dedicated to ACC working group meetings. These meetings allow educators, administrators, and researchers the opportunity to meet and work to advance chiropractic. The commitment to these meetings results in valuable collaborative efforts and a sharing of ideas pays dividends for students, future graduates, and those in practice. The groups that met this year were as follows: presidents, admissions, chief academic officers, chief financial officers, clinic directors, institutional advancement/development, information technology, institutional assessment, librarians, postgraduate, and research directors.
The 2nd day opened with an inspiring keynote speech by retired United States Army Brigadier General Rebecca S. Halstead (Fig. (Fig.1),1), who spoke about the benefits of integration of chiropractic into the Veterans Health Administration and Military Health System and urged attendees that, “We must and can do more for our veterans.” A panel discussion followed that provided insight into successful experiences with the integration of chiropractic health care into veteran, military, private hospital, and corporate settings (Fig. (Fig.2).2). The remainder of the morning was devoted to development workshops related to the topics of integration, research, clinical care, education, and a special leadership workshop developed for the ACC administration groups, which was also given by Brigadier General (ret) Rebecca Halstead. Following lunch, attendees heard peer-reviewed platform presentations given by the leaders in chiropractic clinical, basic science, and educational research. The poster presentations were held concurrently with the evening reception that was hosted by Standard Process, Inc. Following the poster reception, workshops on the topics of integrative health care, research career development, and chiropractic jurisprudence/business management provided additional workshop training opportunities.
The schedule for day 3 continued with the scientific platform presentations having a wide range of topics, including evidence-based practice, public health topics, basic science research, and others. Saturday afternoon workshops focused on the chiropractic workers’ compensation industry, challenges with chiropractic technique research (Fig. (Fig.3),3), defining primary care in the chiropractic profession, and the hidden curriculum in chiropractic education. For each of the workshop sessions, parallel tracks were developed for educators, researchers, and private practitioners. Thus, no matter the attendee’s interest, there was always something relevant to attend at any given time in the program.
As is customary for the conference, all abstracts for the peer-reviewed platform and poster sessions are published in The Journal of Chiropractic Education. For more details about the platform and poster presentation, please refer to The Journal of Chiropractic Education, volume 25, number 1 (www.JournalChiroEd.com).
A number of service awards were presented at the conference. Four ACC Distinguished Service Awards were presented this year. Charles C. DuBois, CEO of Standard Process, Inc., received the Distinguished Service Award for his commitment to excellence in chiropractic education and research through his support of the ACC-RAC. Gerard W. Clum, DC (Fig. (Fig.4),4), past ACC president, was recognized with this award for his leadership and outstanding service to the ACC. Frank Nicchi, DC (Fig. (Fig.5),5), immediate past ACC president, was presented the award for his leadership and outstanding service as president from 2009 to 2011. Robyn Patkus, ACC director of member services, was awarded the Presidential Service Citation for outstanding service to the ACC.
The NCMIC Group’s 2011 Jerome F. McAndrews, DC, Memorial Research Fund Award was given to Pierre Côté, DC, PhD (Fig. (Fig.6).6). Dr. Côté was recognized for his contributions to the chiropractic profession through the advancement of research and the exchange of scientific information, promotion of high ethical standards in research and practice, contribution to practical applications to chiropractic practice, and professional interactions with other individuals and groups involved in research and application.
Dr. Louis Sportelli presented a NCMIC Distinguished Lifetime Service Award to Ian D. Coulter, PhD (Fig. (Fig.7).7). Dr. Coulter was praised for his lifetime contributions to the chiropractic profession through research publications and education. Dr. Sportelli stated,
Chiropractic has indeed been fortunate to have the talent and involvement of Dr. Ian Coulter for many decades. He has provided us with intellectual challenges to make us think and sound basis for the approaches we need to take for chiropractic to achieve its rightful place in the health care delivery system. The relative uniqueness of Ian Coulter’s approach is that he works with us, not against us. He tells us what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear.
Out of over 200 papers submitted for this year’s conference, approximately 100 were selected for platform presentation and 50 for poster presentation. From these, nine submissions were selected for special recognition. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners graciously provided awards of $1000 each to the authors of the selected papers. Clinical and basic science papers will be published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics and educational research will be published in The Journal of Chiropractic Education. The 2011 award winners were as follows:
The keynote speaker for the closing address was Steve Shannon, DO, MPH, president of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Shannon spoke about the future, benefits, and obstacles of integrative health care. Beginning with a history of osteopathy’s path to acceptance and predictions for the US health care environment, he discussed the predicted shortage of primary care physicians, estimated to be 159,000 by 2025. He also detailed a need for a new culture for health care that encourages a collaborative, patient-centered team-based approach that focuses on service and mutual accountability. Closing the conference, a plenary session further discussed and explored the benefits of, and obstacles to, integration (Fig. (Fig.9).9). The 2011 ACC-RAC conference closed with the announcement of the 2012 theme: Diversity of the Chiropractic Workforce: Planning for 2020. We hope to see you there!
Sean Herrin has no conflicts of interest to declare. Bart Green receives a stipend from the Association of Chiropractic Colleges as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Chiropractic Education. Claire Johnson receives a stipend from the Association of Chiropractic Colleges as peer review chair for the ACC-RAC meeting and serves on the ACC-RAC Planning Committee; she also is a member of the board for NCMIC and receives a stipend for that activity.
A special thank-you is extended to Horace Elliott for providing several of the photos used in this report.
Sean Herrin, University of Western States.
Bart N. Green, National University of Health Sciences.
Claire D. Johnson, National University of Health Sciences.