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Cleveland University-Kansas City students honored in Washington, D.C.
Cleveland University-Kansas City students honored in Washington, D.C.

Students from Cleveland University-Kansas City's (CUKC) College of Chiropractic were recognized during the 2017 National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC) in Washington, D.C. Held March 15-18 at the Washington Hilton, the annual conference draws more than 500 chiropractors, chiropractic students and others associated with the profession. Hosted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), the 2017 conference was, for the first time, held in conjunction with the World Federation of Chiropractic and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges as part of "DC17." Overall, 1,200 members of the profession were in attendance.

More than 20 people traveled to the nation's capital to represent CUKC. While there, students were able to participate in Advocacy Day, which is the highlight of the trip. It offered the students an opportunity to join others in the profession in lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill to seek increased access to chiropractic care for patients. Clevelanders were able to speak with legislators from six states during their lobbying efforts.

Members of the Cleveland contingent were recognized for their contributions of time, talent, and effort, including Christina Linares Sommer, who opened the conference by singing the national anthem. She later competed with other chiropractic students from across the nation in the Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA) Talent Show. Her efforts ended on a high note, as she won first place in the competition. She was awarded a $2500 scholarship, to be divided evenly between her and the CUKC SACA chapter.

Jocelyn Tierney, vice president of the SACA chapter, at Cleveland also experience success at the conference. She received a $2,500 scholarship from Standard Process. The award was based on an essay submission titled "Chiropractic and Whole Food Nutrition: An Integral Part of Comprehensive Patient Care," along with her GPA, and contributions to the profession.

"I am extremely grateful to be the recipient of this Standard Process scholarship," Tierney said. "Additionally, I am thankful for the opportunities paved by CUKC and CUKC-SACA, that enabled me to be present at DC17 to receive this scholarship. It will undoubtedly be of huge benefit to me as I continue in my chiropractic education!"

The NCLC celebrated the CUKC-SACA chapter for raising more donations than all other chiropractic institutions for the ACA's political action committee. The funds assist in the support of pro-chiropractic legislators in Washington, D.C.

In addition, two Cleveland students completed their service on the SACA National Executive Board. Leslie Reece was national vice chair and Katie Benson was national legislative chair. Each will now serve as advisors for the annual SACA Leadership Conference.

Ryan Burdick, chapter president of SACA at Cleveland was excited not only about what the conference did for the students that attended but also about what lies ahead for the profession.

"The greatest part of our trip was being inspired," Burdick said. "Inspired to take up the torch of chiropractic and usher in a new generation of what our profession can achieve. With the evidence of current medical research at our side, we have a path forward that will ensure that all people have access to and understand the benefits of our care."

Burdick went on to say that their path places the health of patients ahead of personal ideology, and includes medical providers in a variety of specialties working in concert for the most positive patient results. He said the vision of the ACA helps students move into the future knowing the accomplishments of the past, and focused on the wealth of opportunity that awaits the profession in the years ahead.

Students who attended NCLC include: Katie Benson, Ryan Burdick, Kristen Drumm, Sarah Graham, Annette Horn, Karly Jones, Christina Linares Sommers, Whitney Owens, Leslie Reece, Connor Romm, Jessica Romo, Trent Shenefield, Lauren Strickler Mai-Thy Ta and Jocelyn Tierney.

Cleveland administrators who attended include: Jalonna Bowie, director of student services; Dr, Jon Wilson, assistant dean of chiropractic education; Dr. Andrew Slavik, assistant dean of clinical education; Dr. Julia Bartlett, dean of chiropractic education; Dr. Jason Bartlett, faculty and Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III, president.

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