Leah Hutchison, D.C., a fall 2017 College of Chiropractic alumna and 2009 graduate of the Air Force Academy, has become the second CUKC College of Chiropractic alumnus to be named as a Chiropractic Resident in the Veteran's Affairs chiropractic residency program. Dr. Hutchison will be at the VA Western New York Healthcare System at Buffalo, in New York state. She began her one-year residency July 1.
Dr. Benjamin Liang, a 2012 alumnus, became the first chiropractic resident as part of the Department of Veterans Affairs inaugural chiropractic residency pilot program. He was named a chiropractic resident at the VA of Greater Los Angeles.
"The application process for these resident positions is highly competitive," said Dr. Carl S. Cleveland III, president of Cleveland University-Kansas City. "There are only five VA residency sites across the country."
In 2018, 26 chiropractic graduates applied for the five residency positions, according to a report authored by Anthony J. Lisi, D.C., director of the chiropractic program for the Veterans Health Administration.
The programs provide postgraduate clinical training focused on a multi-disciplinary team-based approach to patient care. All five VA residency sites have received accreditation by the Council on Chiropractic Education. The other residency sites are in Canandaigua, N.Y., West Haven, Conn., St. Louis, and Los Angeles.
"Of course, as a veteran, I am honored to serve the Veterans Administration in this capacity," Hutchison said." Hutchison served in the United States Air Force 2009-13, rising to the rank of Captain. "As the first Cleveland graduate to be accepted for this residency, I am eager to pave the way for other students who are interested."
Dr. Hutchinson said her position will involve rotations in the areas of primary care, pain management, the Women's Health Clinic, behavioral health, physical therapy, orthopedics, prosthetics, radiology, infectious disease, and the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic.
In March 2018, the VA Western New York Healthcare System received the Gold Seal of Approval for Hospital, Home Care and Behavioral Health Care Accreditations from the Joint Commission, its accrediting agency. The award recognizes full accreditation and an organization's commitment to meeting performance standards and providing safe and effective patient care.
Statistics continue to show that our armed forces veterans benefit greatly from chiropractic care.
- Medicare and Tricare patient polls indicate veterans seeking a chiropractor's non-pharmacological approach to spine care give satisfaction ratings nearing 90 percent.
- Legislation signed in March 2018 not only expanded the ability of veterans to seek a chiropractic, non-drug approach to pain relief but included a requirement that 50 percent of all Veteran's hospital districts include access to chiropractic care by December 2019.
- A 2016 study by the Veterans Administration showed an 822 percent increase in the number of patients seen in its chiropractic clinics from 2004 to 2015. In the U.S. alone, back and neck pain, joint pain, headaches, and other musculoskeletal complaints affect nearly 45 million people year, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).