Students in the Doctor of Chiropractic program at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) made their presence known at the recent National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC) held in Washington, D.C., Jan. 16-19. Sixty-eight members the Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA) chapter at CUKC attended the annual conference hosted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). The event offers chiropractors, chiropractic students, and friends of the profession an opportunity to gather in our nation’s capital to advocate for the profession and to lobby members of Congress in support of chiropractic legislative efforts.
The CUKC students, along with Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III, CUKC president, and Dr. Richard Day, director of clinical operations for the CUKC Chiropractic Health Center, joined nearly 800 of their fellow chiropractic advocates for the conference. In addition to their lobbying efforts, the group from CUKC enjoyed a host of other activities during the four-day event, including awards assemblies, sightseeing and social time with their fellow attendees from around the country.
Although the partial government shutdown disrupted visits to some of the local sites, the trip remained an educational event. There were a host of speakers at the conference including Dr. N. Ray Tuck Jr., ACA president, as well as Dr. William Morgan, president of Parker University, who presented the McAndrews Leadership Lecture titled “Chiropractic Invicta.” Several other speakers explored a variety of topics pertinent to those in the profession. As is the case each year, several legislators also addressed the conference. This year those individuals were U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) U.S. Rep. Van Taylor (R-Texas).
Day said NCLC delivered a powerful message to current and future chiropractors.
“Aside from the legislative issues, the focus of the convention this year was how interprofessional collaboration with other health care providers benefits our patients as part of a patient-centered healthcare model,” Day said. “Participating in NCLC is important for all of us if we are to better understand legislative and non-legislative issues that will help ‘move the needle’ toward wider chiropractic utilization by the public. Wider utilization means healthier individuals, healthier families and communities, and events like NCLC really underscore how it important it is not to just be a spectator, but to get involved.”
The annual event always provides memories for those in attendance, and there were two noteworthy events for the group from CUKC. Kyle Koerner was named SACA national legislative chair for 2019-20. Fellow student Ryan Burdick experienced his own special moment during the conference by getting engaged to a fellow chiropractic student from Logan University.
While NCLC has long been known for quality speakers and interaction with legislators, it has expanded over time. The conference now includes education offerings, career development guidance, and panel discussions with industry thought leaders. Seeking to engage the next generation of chiropractors, the ACA has chosen a new name for the conference to better reflect that desire. The inaugural “ACA Engage” will take place Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, 2020.